What is Sombu (சோம்பு) – Sombu (சோம்பு) is the Tamil name for Fennel seeds or Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare). 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.
Read more: Health Benefits of Sombu (சோம்பு)
Fennel 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.