Fennel Seeds look a bit like cumin seeds (or vise versa), but are plumper and greener. Their flavour is anise-like. In Kashmir, they are often ground and used in conjunction with asafoetida powder and ginger powder for a host of dishes. In North and West Indian, the whole seeds are used in pickles, chutneys and snack foods. They are often dry roasted or flash fried in oil to enhance the flavour and aroma, and are used this way in the stir frying of vegetables in Bengal in East India, where they are also part of panch phoran. They are also part of the Chinese Five Spice Powder, and can form part of Garam Masala.
Fennel seeds are often eaten dry roasted after a meal to freshen the mouth and as a digestive. A refreshing tea can be made by infusing the seeds in hot water.
From the A Note On Series
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- Spices: A Note on Chillies
- Spices: A Small Note on Cinnamon
- Spices: A small Note on Cloves.
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- Spices: A Note on Green Coriander and Coriander Seeds
- Spice Advice: A Note on Cumin – Brown and Black
- Ingredients: A Note on Curry, Curry Powder, and Curry Paste
- Ingredients: A Small Note on Dal, or Lentils
- Ingredients: A Short Note on Daikon Radish
- Ingredients: What to do with Olives