Glossary

Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds

Pronounce it: feh-nell seeds

A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener, and have an aniseed flavour and a warm, sweet aroma. They're also used in spice mixes such as Chinese five spice and the Indian panch poran.

Availability

All year round.

Prepare it

You'll get more flavour out of fennel seeds by grinding or dry frying them. To grind, either pound in a pestle and mortar, put them in a sealed bag and bash with a rolling pin or whizz up in a small, clean coffee grinder. To dry fry, heat up a pan, tip in the seeds and, over a medium heat, brown for a couple of minutes, tossing them around the pan frequently.

Store it

Kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, fennel seeds will last for up to two years.

Cook it

Use to flavour fish, meat and vegetable dishes, as well as breads and chutneys. You can also chew the whole seeds as a breath-freshener, and they're believed to aid digestion, too.

Alternatives

Try dill or caraway seed.

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