Kids Corner


Pass The Saunf, Please:
Fennel Seeds





A Punjabi meal is incomplete without the popular mouth freshener known as saunf -- fennel. It is also loaded with many healing properties.

What is saunf or fennel seed?

It is a popular digestive eaten after a meal, routinely served in restaurants after a meal.

Fennel has a distinctive aroma and flavour that subtly enhances the taste of a dish. It is a key ingredient in many Punjabi spice mixes. In Punjabi and Indian cuisine, fennel seeds are mainly added to spices, pickles, curries, soups, lentils and rice.

In Chinese cuisine fennel is one of the main features of their five spices. It is also one of the main ingredients of Kashmiri cooking. It has  an amazing aromatic, sweet and refreshing flavour.


Fennel is also added these days to salads, dressings, sauces, soups, vegetables, pulao, and biryani. It is used to marinate fish, white meat and red meat. It is regularly added to chewing gum, ice-cream, and some desserts. Punjabi sweets like kheer are flavoured with fennel and pistachios. Its revitalising properties make it a key factor in herbal concoctions and teas. Its invigorating cooling properties makes it a refreshing addition to cold beverages.



    50 gm fennel seeds

    50 gm sesame seeds

    salt and lemon to taste


    o    Mix fennel and sesame seeds in a vessel. Add salt and lemon and mix well

    o    Roast it continuously on a slow flame till crisp

    o    Use as a mouth freshener after meals




    50 gm fennel seeds

    1 tsp organic honey

    1/2 lemon

    1 glass water


    o    Soak fennel overnight in water

    o    Boil the same water next morning for five to seven minutes

    o    Allow it to cool. Add honey and lemon

    o    Chill and serve

Fennel seeds are rich in minerals like copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese.

Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Fennel seeds are anti-inflammatory. They are strong anti-oxidants.

A recent study proved that fennel is more powerful than Vitamin E, which is generally known to be a nourishing and beautifying antioxidant protecting against cardio vascular diseases. Fennel seeds are believed to improve the lactating mother’s milk flow. It is a well known addition to the diet of people suffering from cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Consuming fennel regularly may also reduce the incidence of strokes.

On the sub-continent, fennel seeds are often mixed with sesame, pumpkin seeds and raw sugar crystals and served.

Fennel seeds should be stored in an airtight container away from moisture and pests. These seeds are actually fruits of the fennel plant. Fresh fennel is available in the winter months from vegetable vendors. Dried fennel seeds are available all year round in supermarkets and grocery stores in whole and powdered form.

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Hundred grams of raw fennel contains 7.29 g of carbohydrate, 3.1 g of dietary fibre, 0.20 g of fat, 1.24 g of protein, 12 mg of vitamin C, 49 mg of calcium, 0.73 mg of iron, 17 mg of magnesium, 50 mg of phosphorus, 414 mg of potassium and 0.20 mg of zinc.

[Courtesy: Life Positive. Edited for]
March 28, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), March 28, 2014, 10:50 PM.

A mouth freshener like saunf and a mind freshener like gurbani!

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Fennel Seeds"

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