Marjoram (Origanum majorana, Lamiaceae, synonymous with majorana hortensis ) is a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or under shrub with sweet pine and citrus flavours.
Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes. Marjoram leaf is used fresh, as whole or chopped, and dried whole or broken, and ground. The tops are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade. It is often used in herb combinations such as Herbes de Provence and Za’atar.
Marjoram is indigenous to northern Africa and southwest Asia. It is cultivated around the Mediterranean, in England, Central and Eastern Europe, South America, the United States, and India. Marjoram was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness.
Marjoram is typically used in European cooking and is added to fish sauces, clam chowder, butter-based sauces, salads, tomato-based sauces, vinegar, mushroom sauces, and eggplant.
The French add marjoram to bouquet garni and herbes fines for flavouring pork, fish, and lamb dishes. It is popular in Greek cooking, for grilled lamb and meats and to complement onions, garlic, and wine. Italians use it in tomato sauces, pizzas, fish dishes, and vegetables. In Eastern Europe, it is added to grilled meats and stews with paprika, chillis, fruits, nuts, and other dried spices.
Greeks used marjoram extensively to treat dropsy, convulsions, and poisons. Traditionally, it was used in tea to cure headaches, head colds, calm nervous disorders, and to clear sinuses. Marjoram has also been used to comfort stomach-aches and muscular pains and improve circulation.
Marjoram has a delicate floral aroma. It has an aroma like thymus but the taste is softer and sweeter.
Other names :
Mirzan josh (Hindi).