Fennel seeds are always kept in a container in our home. They are inexpensive, plant derived and provide relief from digestive disorders.
They help to overcome gas, cramps, acid indigestion, and many other digestive tract maladies. Recent studies have found that consumption of fennel can increase the production of bile and may also possess diuretic, pain-reducing and anti-microbial activities.
Some are candy coated and some are not. Fennel seeds are usually found in South Asian supermarkets and they are a must have for some after a meal. Many cultures in India, Pakistan and the middle east use fennel seeds in their cookery and it is one of the most important spices in Gujarati cooking.
These seeds are very rich in minerals including magnesium. Two of its main constituents are Anethol and Fenchone. Anethol and other terpenoids may inhibit spasms in smooth muscles such as those in the intestinal tract. Fenchone may be responsible for the medicinal properties associated with Fennel.
So what does fennel taste like? Personally I would say it tastes like mild licorice but the candy coated ones taste a bit more sweet.
Fennel seeds may be chewed after every meal or even more often. About 2-3 gms may be had at a time. Daily intake about 7 gms. (or 1½ teaspoon).
Fennel may also be had as a tea decoction. Just boil about 3 gms. (1/2 teaspoon) of seeds in 250 ml. of water. Let the water boil for about 5 minutes while keeping the pot covered. Cool the mixture and then sip as required.
So how can we jazz up some of these pretty coated seeds you ask? As favors! Some South Asians, especially gujarati’s hand out these little pretties to their guests at the end of a dinner party at a wedding (there is usually 300+ guests as South Asian weddings!) If you visit a South Asian market, they may have different color coated ones such as red or green.
(p.s. in case you are wondering, I whisked this gorgeous little antique embroidered table mat from our visit to New Delhi)
All packed in white organza bags which can be found at dollar stores and then place in a pretty basket with colourful ribbons tied around the basket handle.
As for my hubby, I like to pack a little portable, take along container of fennel seeds from an empty tic tac container so that he can easily have it on the go (he is a fennel seed addict…shhh don’t tell him I told you that).
Have you ever had a chance to taste fennel seeds?