Better late than never – this was supposed to have been posted before the end of July 2020 – but laptop issues challenged me – as I am really technically challenged – so had to wait for all of the necessary to be resolved – and here is my July edition of “A-Z Of Spices”
For July – the seventh month of the year and I am featuring the letter “F” and the spice/herb chosen is “fennel and the fennel seeds/saunf/varyali”. But yes I am posting in August – for some reason – not even valid I never got down to posting this in July
The fennel plant belongs to the “carrot” family (never knew that), and it is a flowering plant producing yellow flowers and feathery leaves. Almost every part of the plant – bulb, foliage, fruit and seeds are used in many culinary traditions of the world – the small flower of the wild fennel – known as the pollen – is the most potent and most expensive part.
The bulb – a crisp vegetable with intense flavour and texture – can be sautéed, stewed or even eaten raw in salads – the tender young leaves are a perfect addition to garnish any dish – the tender young shoots can be eaten as you would a celery stick or just as an addition to your salad ingredients. The fennel fruit can easily be confused with that of the anise – both are similar in taste and appearance.
It is also a common ingredient in natural toothpastes and various other mouth fresheners – because of its natural “breadth freshening” properties. Fennel/saunf seeds are somewhat crunchy – with a mild sweet/liquorish taste and its aromatic properties, has made, the fennel fruit form one of the common and essential ingredients of the compound in liquorice powder.
Many sub-continent cultures use the fennel seeds/fruits in day to day cooking and it is one of the essential and most important spice in “Gujarati Cooking”, and most of my recipes originate in “Gujarati Cooking”. Roasted and salted fennel seeds are also used in “mukhwas”, (traditional Indian after-meal digestive and breadth freshener) – the colourful candied version of fennel seeds is now also readily available and many a time a tastier option.
Fennel Seeds/Saunf/Varyali is commonly and frequently used by diverse cultures – and simply because of all the natural health benefits it provides, and here are just but a “handful” of Health & Wellness Benefits of Fennel Seeds:-
Taking of “YOU” and your personal beauty needs is not as time consuming, difficult or as expensive as you might think. A few of the spice cupboard, pantry and kitchen essentials are all that you need to pamper YOU and let YOUR natural beauty shine through. There you go – don’t starve YOUR body of the pampering it so deserves.
Care & Precautions When Using Natural Products
In India and in Ayurvedic medicine “Fennel Seeds” are commonly used, simply because of its ability to heal/treat/cure a list of ailments (with caution always).
The next time you want to add a “Naturally Healthy Bonus” to your diet – look no further than fennel seeds or even the fennel plant – they would fit right in with long term “Healthy Living Goals
In India and more so in Gujarat during the summer months “Variyali/Fennel Sharbaat/Drink” is a popular preferred alternative to fennel tea/infusion – simply because the tangy drink is “hydrating and cooling”. There are numerous other benefits of enjoying and consuming this drink on regular basis – weight loss, detoxifies the body by ridding it of acidity and reducing stress levels – and all of this is possible because of the list of antioxidants that fennel contains. I will be sharing two recipes ASAP – one for fennel tea/infusion and one for the fennel/variyali shaarbat/milkshake or smoothie
All of the above images have been sourced from the internet