Indian fennel, known as Lucknow fennel, is what we use at Pondicheri and is described below.
Taste: Slightly sweeter and more delicate than the traditional spicy anise flavor that we are accustomed to. Adds a herbaceous, pine-like bitterness to dishes.
Look: Light tan, greenish seed. Looks similar to cumin except is smaller with a greener color.
Smell: Anise-like aroma.
Use in pickles, pilafs, and seafood dishes.
Compliments tomatoes well.
Add for special flavor to breads, fruit salads, compotes, and scrambled eggs.
Pairs well with allspice, bay leaf, cardamom, coriander, cumin, tamarind, and turmeric.
- Look for the bright green fennel seeds, these are better quality than the greenish-yellow ones.
- There are two types of fennel:
- Florence fennel: licorice-flavored (most common in stores.
- Lucknow fennel: sweeter, and more delicate in flavor (harder to get and more expensive). Seeds are a bit smaller and thinner than common fennel seeds.
- Best when lightly toasted.
- Can be used whole or ground.
- Appetite suppressant
- Aids in digestion
- Reduces menstrual cramps and can aid in lactation
- Nerve stabilizer
- An antidote for insect bites and food poisoning
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
Disclaimer: The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.