May 21, 2011

Fennel, Fenugreek & Mustard

May 21, 2011
There is more to spices than pleasing the tongue. Each of them carries a role in a food consuming process. Some kick the appetite and some aid the digestion.

Spicing is a delicate skill. We can sense only a couple of tastes at a time. It takes practice to know which spices to combine. They support the main ingredients and create a mood, like a background music.

FENNEL (Saunf)

All parts of fennel are edible: root, stalk, leaves and fruits (seeds). Fennel seeds have a light green colour and a fresh, sweetly ethereal taste similar to anise and liquorice. Many Indian languages, including Bengali (mouri), contract the name for fennel from the Sanskrit origin, madhurika, which describes the sweet nature.

Fennel is noticeably sattvic spice. Sattivic means the mode of goodness. It supports qualities like peacefulness, equilibrium and sustainability; whereas passion infused seasonings, like chilli, promote action, change and greed.

Seeds are used whole or ground. Toasting them on a dry pan before grinding enhances the character. 

Mouri is an important part of Bengali cuisine, being an ingredient of panch phoron. It is a distinctive combination of five tastes: mustard seeds (or alternately radhuni), cumin, fenugreek, kalonji and fennel.

Fennel is a natural mouth freshener. It has many medicinal attributes. To boost digestion and to help disperse flatulence or relieve gastrointestinal cramps, seeds are chewed after meal.


Fenugreek is an interesting spice. The seeds are a bit tricky to use because of their bitter nature that can overwhelm. However, bitter flavours are important in prompting bile, which aids digestion.

Green leaves (kasuri methi) are fresh and delicious, and used as herbs. Their fragrance slightly resembles lovage.

Technically fenugreek is a legume and belongs to the bean family (Trigonella foenumgracum). The seeds are easily sprouted and make a quick window garden around the year.

Dry-toasted fenugreek seeds have an altered, nutty flavour and reduced bitterness, provided care is taken not to overheat them. Generally they are toasted in a low heat or quickly tempered before being ground or added to food. If they turn reddish brown, the result is extremely bitter!


Unlike the yellow mustard seeds used in French/European cuisine, I prefer the tiny ones with a dark brown colour. They have a faint spicy smell and a peppery, rustic taste. Their fiery temperament increases the body heat and passion. Besides the dark brown seeds, there is also a black variety that is most pungent.

The seeds are from the mustard plant, which is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. The plant greens are delicious and used like spinach.

Mustard seeds are entertaining fellows! When tempered in a hot ghee or oil, they crack, pop and create mini-fireworks in the kitchen! As fun as it is to see, it can be hazardous, too. There has been a time or two that a piping hot seed has hopped right into my face. Please, be warned!

Mustard seeds are also used as garnishing. They are dry roasted or sautéed with chillies and fresh coconut and sprinkled on steamed vegetables, dal or savouries like dhokla or khandvi. They go well together with potatoes, cabbage and beans.


  1. Such a beautiful understanding of spices! Mustard seeds splattering on our faces is such a common affair for cooks in India that we don't give it much relevance...but for someone who is new to cooking with it or unfamiliar, it is such an important tip that you have given! Love the pictures of all the spices! They are my best friends!

  2. Your blog was really very helpful for me and I am very glad to have such a great blog to read. I was wondering that why these things were not in my mind before.

  3. Deal with Ed and get best solution with this

  4. This is great information for students. This article is very helpful i really like this blog thanks.

  5. There are number of spices available in the market but I really like Fennel after the meal.
    Know About ED

  6. File explorer of window which makes better interface and user friendly this program also tell us to navigate the different types of files and folder.It has also some additional features than older ones.

  7. Natural food system is the best one to maintaining the body into more health conditions. I love to eat vegetables, green leafy spinach, flax seeds, cereals and nuts. It gives more amounts of nutrition's and vitamins to my body. It may also avoids the various health issue from the body.
    Thanks & Regards
    Buy Caverta Online

  8. Normal sustenance framework is the best one to keeping up the body into more wellbeing conditions. I want to eat vegetables, green verdant spinach, flax seeds, oats and nuts.

  9. system service exceptionApril 03, 2018

    Very Interesting and wonderfull information keep sharing
    system service exception windows 7

  10. When looking to take out a large, payday loans to purchase a house or another major investment, you can probably afford to wait for weeks on end to get an approval. But when you are in need of cash fast for a relatively small, personal loans same day, you don’t have time to waste.

  11. Guaranteed approval payday loans over the Internet is a much simpler procedure than a bank loan, but usually require some Guaranteed cash advance same day security, eg. In the form of a promissory note or pledge of gold, a car, an apartment, a house, a building plot or other property.

  12. We also explain our payday loans innate minimize costs for the functioning of our body "programmed" is the smallest effort. Needing a sudden influx of cash does not think rationally and often frantically looking Loans Online responsive loan from a private party.

  13. You can rapidly arrange solution frame this online drugstore as all prescriptions are therapeutically affirmed and also come about situated.I know everything is depend on the condition but some drug is available is use for everyone like Online Viagra is the best.

  14. I didn't know that spices can have medicinal properties. I never even checked. Don't know how to check if they are of good quality or not. While explaining their qualities you have given their medicinal properties also.. I appreciate that...

    Online generic viagra

  15. First of all let me tell you, you have got a great blog Feather Hair Extensions!. I am interested in looking for more of such topics and would like to have further information. Hope to see the next blog soon. And also today I would like to suggest you this cosplay site. , you would never regret buying cosplay costumes from them. once upon a time costumes for halloween

  16. Healthy and nutritional foods item provides so many health benefits, that will keep you well in both psychologically and physically. Consuming nutritious foods at a proper level will good for your

    • Heart Health
    • Boost up the body Energy
    • Strengthen your bone and Teeth
    • Brain Health
    • Weight Control

  17. We can sense only a couple of tastes at a time. It takes practice to know which spices to combine.

  18. Thanks for sharing. Another website for hela cosplay costume is also great.

  19. Really Nice blog.. I would prefer to bookmark this one. Need emergency cash then please apply payday loans online no credit check instant approval & loans near me & payday loans wichita ks.