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All About Fennel Seeds | Know Your Spice Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds or Saunf

Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds or Saunf

All About Fennel & Fennel Seeds | Know Your Spice Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

Know more about fennel & fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

Homemade saunf or fennel powder

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an aromatic herb from the carrot family (Apiaceae)  with both gastronomical and health benefits.

It is grown for its edible shoots, leaves, and seeds. Apart from its health benefits saunf has an important use as a spice.

It is a concentrated source of minerals like Copper, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin C, Iron, Selenium and Magnesium.

The seed spice dominates a variety of our preparations – both sweet & savoury. Did you know that India happens to be the largest exporter of fennel seeds, widely known as saunf.

A common practice in most Indian households is to have few fennel seeds or saunf at the end of every meal since it possesses a sweet taste and is chewable as a mouth freshener.

What are the other names of Fennel Seeds?

The names of fennel seeds in other languages are given below.
Indian Languages Other Languages
Hindi: Saunf
Bengali: Mouri (মৌরি)
Gujarati: 
Variyali (વરિયાળી)
Kannada: Badesopu (ಬಡೇಸೋಪು),
Badasompu (ಬಡಾಸೋಂಪು, Dodde jirige (ದೊಡ್ಡ ಜೀರಿಗೆ)
Kashmiri:
Badian (بادین)
Malayalam
: Perumjeerakam (പെരുഞ്ജീരകം),
Perujirakam (പെരുജീരകം), Perum jirakam (പെരും ജീരകം)
Marathi: Badishep (बडीशेप)
Punjabi:
Saunph (ਸੌਂਫ)
Sanskrit:
Madhurika, Shatpushpa
Tamil:
Perunjiragam (சோகிக்கிரை),
Sohikirai (பெருஞ்சீரகம்), Sombu (சோம்பு)
Telugu:
Pedda jilakarra (పెద్ద జిలకర్ర),
Sopu (సోపు), Sompu సోంపు
Latin (Botanical): Foeniculum vulgare
Arabic: Shamaar (رازيانج)
Chinese:
Wuih heung (茴香)
Dutch:
Venkel
English: Sweet cumin
French:
Fenouil, Aneth doux
German: Fenchel
Greek: Maratho (Μάραθο)
Japanese: Uikyō (ウイキョウ)
Portuguese: Funcho
Swedish
: Fänkål

What exactly is fennel & fennel seeds?

Get to know more about fennel & fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

What exactly is fennel & fennel seeds?

Fennel is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves.

It is erect, glaucous green, and grows to heights of up to 2.5 metres (8 ft), with hollow stems. The leaves grow up to 40 centimetres (16 in) long.

The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels 5–15 centimetres (2–6 in) wide, each umbel section having 20–50 tiny yellow flowers on short pedicels.

The fruit is a dry schizocarp from 4–10 millimetres (3⁄16–3⁄8 in) long, half as wide or less, and grooved.

Since the seed in the fruit is attached to the pericarp, the whole fruit is often mistakenly called “seed”.

It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.

Fennel is widely cultivated, both in its native range and elsewhere, for its edible, strongly flavored leaves and fruits.

It has a bulbous base that can be eaten like a vegetable, feathery fronds that are used as an herb, and seeds that can be dried for a spice.

In Italy, the plant’s pollen is even gathered and added to dishes as a saffron-like spice.

What is the nutritional value of fennel seeds?

Find out about the nutritional value of fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel bulb (235 g) consists of 212 g of water, 2.91 g of protein, 0.47 g of fat, & 17.2 g of carbohydrate (including 7.28 g of dietary fiber & 9.24 g of sugars). This equals a total of 72.8 kcal of energy.

The 235g bulb provides 115 mg of calcium, 1.72 mg of iron, 40 mg of magnesium, 188 mg of phosphorus, 973 mg of potassium, 122 mg of sodium, trace amounts of zinc, copper & selenium.

In addition to above it also provides  28.2 mg of vitamin C, as well as choline, several B vitamins, folate, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

What is the chemical composition of fennel seeds?

Know and understand about chemical composition of fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

According to the 2nd edition of the European Pharmacopoeia monograph, sweet fennel contains not less than 2.0% v/m of essential oil.

The essential oil is constituted mainly by anethole (80%) (a substance with supposed anticancer properties), it contains not more than 10% estragole and not more than 7.5% fenchone.

Other minor constituents may be present including: R-pinene, limonene, β-pinene, β-myrcene, and p-cymene. Sweet fennel contains other non volatile constituents such as flavonoids and coumarins.

What is the history of fennel seeds?

Know more about the origins & the story behind fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel is another herb with a history of medicinal, magical and culinary uses. Fennel history dates back to Pliny (AD 23-79), the Roman author of The Naturalis Historie.

He believed that serpents ate and rubbed against fennel because it was able to improve their eyesight after shedding their skins.

Following that observation, Pliny believed fennel was so powerful that he used the aromatic herb to treat 22 different ailments.

Hippocrates suggested fennel could aid wet nurses to increase their milk supply.

Fennel was used by the ancient Egyptians as a food and medicine, and was considered a snake bite remedy in ancient China as well.

During the Middle Ages it was hung over doorways to drive away evil spirits. Fennel is also associated with the origin of the marathon.

Ancient Athenian Pheidippides carried a fennel stalk on his 150 mile, 2 day run to Sparta to gather soldiers for the battle of Marathon with Persia in 490 B.C. The battle itself was waged on a fennel field.

Fennel was a staple in the household of King Edward I of England. His account books from 1281 listed a purchase of 8 1/2 pounds of fennel seeds to be used as a condiment and an appetite suppressant.

Another physician from the thirteenth century noted in the Book of Physicians of Myddvai “he who sees fennel and gathers it not, is not a man but a devil.”

The Greeks and Indians traditionally combined fennel with other herbs to make home remedies for the relief of gastrointestinal problems such as acidity and indigestion.

What are the uses of fennel seeds or saunf?

How are fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare) used?
  • it is chewed as a mouth freshener as well as a digestif.
  • The leaves or seeds, boiled in barley water, and drunk, are excellent for a nursing mother.
  • Fennel is used to break flatulence, rouse urine, and eases the pain caused by stone and helps break it.
  • The seeds, boiled in water help to get rid of hiccups, cough and soothe the stomachs of the sick and feverish.
  • The leaves, seeds and roots are used for a drink or a broth for weight loss.
  • Fennel not only helps in proper digestion, but also has the capacity to reduce bad breath and odour that originates in the intestines.
  • Traditionally made fennel tea  was considered to be a good eyewash.
  • Fennel is crispy and somewhat sugary, adding an uplifting contribution to the increasingly popular Mediterranean cuisine.
  • It is used in baking, particularly in rye bread and sweet pastries.
  • In Italy, they are often used to make sausages.
  • In India, fennel seeds are one of the ingredients of the common Bengali cuisine spice blend panch phoran, which also contains cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds
  • Fennel seeds and fennel powder is used in various curries of Kashmiri cuisine.
  • The essential oil from the seeds is added to perfumes, soaps, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
  • Fennel oil, seeds or extracts are also used to flavor prepared foods including meats, ice cream, candy, baked goods and condiments.
  • It is also used for liqueurs like sambuca, non-alcoholic beverages and toothpaste.
  • In traditional medicine, fennel was used as an aphrodisiac and to encourage menstruation and lactation.
  • Fennel seed and oil are approved by the German Commission E for short-term treatment of dyspepsia, flatulence and upper respiratory catarrh.
  • It’s oil is reportedly antioxidant, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, and stimulates gastrointestinal motility.

What do fennel seeds taste like?

What is the taste of fennel seeds or saunf?
  • Uncooked fennel – It has a mild licorice flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Cooked fennel – When fennel is cooked, the flavour becomes more delicate and the texture softens.
  • Fennel seeds – The flavour of fennel seeds or saunf is slightly sweet and has a resemblance to anise or licorice-like taste.

How Much Fennel Seeds or Saunf Should I Use?

What is the the recommended quantity of fennel seeds or saunf for a day?

1–2 teaspoons of fennel is ideal for an individual’s daily consumption.

What are the ayurvedic properties of fennel seeds or saunf?

Information about ayurvedic details of fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare).

Rasa (Taste): Madhura (Sweet), Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna (Qualities): Laghu (Light), Rooksha (Dry)
Veerya (Potency): Ushna (Hot)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion): Madhura (Sweet)
Karma (Actions): Balances Vata and Kapha

What can I use fennel seeds for?

Learn how to use fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare) in your food & beverages.
  • Use it for your kashmiri rogan josh.
  • It goes very well with malpua and pancakes.
  • Add saunf to your rice.
  • Use it in soups, sauces, and stews, particularly tomato-based recipes.
  • When chopped or sliced, fresh bulbs make a great raw addition to salads.
  • Paanch Phoran Masala, have saunf as one of their ingredients.
  • Saunf is often used in Tadka or tempering of dishes and in pickles and chutneys.
  • Add it to your cup of tea.
  • Have a teaspoon after your meal.

How do I prepare fennel seeds for food?

Learn how to prepare fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare) in your food & beverages.
  • Roast evenly, grind mildly and use as per the recipe.
  • For a tea, boil and simmer them for 5 minutes with water.

Can you eat all parts of fennel?

What parts of fennel or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare) plant are used for food & beverages.
  • All parts of the fennel plant—bulb, stalk, seeds and the feathery fronds—are edible. They will add texture and flavour to your curries, salads, slaws, pastas, and more.
  • Thinly sliced raw fennel bulb adds a sweet licorice flavor and crunchy texture to salads. To soften the flavor of the bulb, try braising, sautéing, roasting, or grilling it.
  • To used fennel seeds or saunf, it is always better to dry roast them and use as per the recipe.

How long does fennel last?

Learn about how long does fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare) last in storage.
  • To Store Fresh fennel – Wrap the fronds in a brown paper bag to store on the counter for 2-3 days, its shelf life can go up to 7-12 days total by covering it with a moistened kitchen towel, and keeping it in the fridge.
  • To Freeze Fresh fennel – Freezing fennel is another tip to enhance its life for almost eight months. Simply, blanch it and freeze.
  • Fennel seeds or saunf – Transfer the dried fennel seeds or saunf in an airtight container. You can store it in a spice cabinet or a refrigerator.

How do I store fennel seeds?

Learn about how to store fennel & fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare).
  • To Store Fresh fennel – Wrap the fronds in a brown paper bag to store on the counter for 2-3 days, its shelf life can go up to 7-12 days total by covering it with a moistened kitchen towel, and keeping it in the fridge.
  • To Freeze & Store Fresh fennel – Simply, blanch the fennel fronds and freeze.
  • Fennel seeds or saunf – Dried fennel seeds or saunf should be stored in an airtight container. You can store it in your spice cabinet or refrigerator.
  • Fennel seeds powder or Saunf powder – It is always safer to buy fennel in seed form rather than in powder form to avoid buying adulterated products. In case you grind fennel into powder to use, store it in airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.

Do not store the powder for long because fennel powder or saunf powder tends to lose its flavour very fast.

Is there a substitute for fennel seeds or saunf?

Learn how to use a substitute for fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare) if unavailable
  • Anise – The best substitute for fennel seeds is anise. Fennel tastes very similar to anise seeds because of their licorice taste.
  • Dill seeds – Dill seeds are also very similar to fennel seeds, although this is more in terms of their savoury flavour.
  • Caraway seeds – The licorice taste is more pronounced in caraway seeds than fennel, and the taste is more bitter than sweet.
  • Licorice root powder – Do note that it is very potent and will be far sweeter than fennel.
  • French tarragon – French tarragon (or simply tarragon) has a very distinct licorice flavor.

Where do I buy fennel from?

Where to Locate Fennel Seeds or Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare) in the Grocery Store?

Fresh fennel – Buy the vegetable fresh and crisp. it is important that you go for clean and firm bulbs that are bright white.

You will usually find it lying next to celery in the vegetables section of your supermarket or Indian stores.

Buy fresh fennel on Amazon: India | USA

Dry Fennel Seeds or Saunf – You can find dry f

Buy fennel seeds or saunf on Amazon: India | USA

What are the health benefits of Fennel Seeds?

Learn more about health benefits of fennel seeds or saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)

Health benefits of fennel seeds or saunf help in improving overall immunity: Fennel has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

These health benefits of fennel seeds help to improve your overall immunity. They keep you safe from bacterial infections, fever, cold and other common ailments.

Consumers of fennel seeds don’t fall sick often. Saunf can also provide you with quick recovery from wounds and injuries, and reduce further inflammation.

  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds as an Antioxidant – They prevent many diseases that can get serious at a later stage. Some of the antioxidants in these seeds are kaempferol and quercetin. These prevent degenerative reactions. They are also useful in fighting the signs of ageing as well.
  • Health Benefits of Saunf for Nutrition – Fennel seeds contain a good amount of dietary fibre that is essential for the body. It not only relieves one of constipation but also increases intestinal motility. The fibre content helps improve digestion in the body.
  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds for Digestive Health – Fennel has a long history of being used to treat a variety of gut and digestive problems. Fennel stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and enzymes which facilitate the digestive process. They are good for stomach aches, flatulence, diarrhoea, and constipation.
  • Health Benefits of Saunf for Weight loss – Fennel seeds can help you lose weight, by boosting metabolism. Adding a cup of fennel seed water to your diet can help you keep your weight in check. This is one of the major health benefits of fennel seeds.
  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds for Regulating Blood Pressure – Fennel seeds are rich in dietary fibre, magnesium, and potassium. Health benefits of fennel seeds are highly effective for the overall health of your heart. This is because these nutrients keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Unregulated blood pressure and cholesterol are amongst the two top factors that lead to serious ailments such as cardiac arrests and strokes.
  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds for Improving Brain Functioning – Fennel Seeds are rich in potassium, which stimulates electrical conduction throughout the body.  Which in turn improves brain functioning and cognitive skills. It acts as a great brain booster and improves brain-based skills..
  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds Against Menstrual Pain – Fennel Seeds help in reducing menstrual pains, alleviates symptoms of menopause, shorten the length of the menstruation cycle, reduced period-related nausea due to the presence of oestrogen.
  • Health Benefits of Saunf for Reduction of Hair fall – The antioxidants and nutrients present in fennel powder & seeds strengthen the roots of your hair.
  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds for Purifying Blood & Blood Circulation – Health benefits of fennel seeds and through the essential oils and fibre that are very useful to flush out toxins and sludge from our bodies, thus helping to cleanse the blood and clear the skin.
  • Health Benefits of Saunf for Boosting Fertility – Fennel, being rich in phytoestrogens which mimic the female hormone oestrogen, helps in stimulating and regulating the menstrual cycle. This can have a direct impact on fertility.
  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds to Revitalise and Adding a Glow to the Skin – Due to its anti-microbial properties, fennel has been used since ancient times to treat various skin issues. Its antioxidant properties help combat the free radicals that attack healthy skin. It revitalizes and adds radiance to the skin. Fennel also possesses anti-ageing properties which help in reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds for Improving Eyesight – Fennel, being a rich source of vitamin A, promotes healthy vision. The anethole compound found in fennel seeds is known to improve the protein content of the lens, slowing down the progression of cataract. In addition, it also helps in treating watery and inflamed eyes.
  • Health Benefits of Saunf against Osteoporosis – Fennel is known to be anti-osteoporotic in nature. The presence of phytoestrogens, which mimic the hormone oestrogen, plays a crucial role in bone health.
Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds or Saunf
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Fennel - How to make Fennel Powder? Homemade Saunf Powder Recipe

Fennel - How to make Fennel Powder? Homemade Saunf Powder Recipe - Homemade roasted fennel powder recipe is easy to make spice powder recipe. Homemade fresh, flavourful and aromatic fennel or saunf powder. 
Course Condiment, Spice Powders
Cuisine Indian
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Fennel, Fennel Powder, Homemade Fennel Powder, Roasted Fennel Powder, Saunf, Saunf Powder
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 30 people
Calories 20kcal
Author Sumit Malhotra

Ingredients

  • 500 gram Fennel Seeds 500 grams is 2 Cups
  • 1 tbsp White granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Put a non-stick frying pan on the flame.
  • Maintain the heat on medium.
  • Add half of the fennel seeds (1 cup) to the heated pan.
  • Dry roast the saunf stirring regularly till fragrant.
  • When the fennel seeds pod starts giving out its aroma.
  • Get them off the pan. Repeat with the other half.
  • Cool them down completely then transfer to a clean mixer-grinder dry grinder jar.
  • Grind to a fine powder (this may take up to two iterations).
  • Store in an airtight container, preferably a glass container.

Notes

  • Addition of sugar in each fennel seeds batch makes a very smooth powder.
  • Grind fennel into fennel powder twice for better smoothness.

What is fennel powder used for?

What are the uses & benefits or fennel powder or saunf powder?

Fennel powder or saunf powder is used in the treatment of diabetes, bacterial infections, sore throat, painful periods, anxiety and liver disorders.

It improves digestion, reduces gas formation and gives relief from abdominal discomfort.

Saunf or fennel seed powder contains essential oil which is responsible for its excellent flavour and aroma. Powdered fennel seeds are used in many food preparations in India.

FINALLY, TO SUM IT UP

Homemade saunf or fennel powder

Fennel is an aromatic herb from the carrot family (Apiaceae)  with both gastronomical and health benefits. Apart from its health benefits saunf has an important use as a spice.

It is grown for its edible shoots, leaves, and seeds.

It is a concentrated source of minerals like Copper, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin C, Iron, Selenium and Magnesium.

The seed spice dominates a variety of our preparations – both sweet & savoury. Did you know that India happens to be the largest exporter of fennel seeds, widely known as saunf.

A common practice in most Indian households is to have few fennel seeds or saunf at the end of every meal since it possesses a sweet taste and is chewable.

So, it is chewed as a mouth freshener as well as a digestif.

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