Fennel Seeds


A dried seed that tastes like anise and is very aromatic. It comes from a hardy and perennial plant from the Foeniculum genus. One of the spices in panch phoron, a Bengali/Indian 5 spice mix.

Fennel is sometimes used as a flavoring in natural toothpastes.
It turns grey as it ages. For cooking, green seeds are best.

It is native to the mediterranean region


Other names: সঁওফ/মৌরি Sôof/mouri, सौंफ, Saunf, பெறுஞ்சீரகம், संचल, Sanchal, సోంపు
Translations: Fenheļa sēklas, Pankolių sėklos, Seminte de Fenicul, Komorač Seeds, Fennel seeds, Nasiona kopru, Venkelzaadjes, सौंफ़ बीज, Семян фенхеля, Σπόροι μάραθου, بذور الشمر, 회향 씨앗, Semena fenyklu, Adas Benih, Haras binhi, 茴香籽, Les llavors de fonoll, Semená feniklu, Semi di finocchio, זרעי שומר, Fänkålsfrön, Семе морача, フェンネルの種子, Fenouil Graines, Fenchelsamen, Fennikelfrø, Las semillas de hinojo, Насіння фенхелю, Fenkoli Siemenet, Копър Семена

Physical Description

Aromatic, anise-flavored spice, brown or green in colour when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. Fennel seeds are the ripe, dried, gray-green striped to yellowish brown schizocarpic fruits (4 - 10.5 mm long, 2 - 4 mm wide) of the fennel bush, which is of Mediterranean origin and belongs to the Umbelliferae family.

Fennel seeds ar 4-8 cm long with a slightly curved shape

Colors: brown, green, grey, light green

Tasting Notes

Flavors: anise-flavoured, slightly minty taste
Food complements: Fennel goes well with fish
Substitutes: Anise seeds, Caraway seeds, Dill seeds, Cumin seeds, Yellow mustard seeds

Selecting and Buying

Procuring: Spices are processed, cleaned, graded and carefully packaged for overseas dispatch in the countries where they are cultivated. They are dried to preserve them for transport and storage. In consumer countries, they are delivered to spice mills, where they are cleaned and graded again, ready for sale in unground or ground form.

Preparation and Use

For cooking, green seeds are optimal.

Fennel is also used as a flavoring in some natural toothpaste.

For adults, fennel seeds can relax the intestines and reduce bloating caused by digestive disorders. Fennel seed is used as a seasoning in bread and pastries and in candies and also for medicinal purposes (fennel oil and fennel tea for infants).

Conserving and Storing

"Combed" fennel seed is harvested by hand or using a comb. "Straw" fennel seed is harvested after the first frost and is therefore of lower grade.

Fennel seed may be kept for approx. 12 months if the recommended storage conditions are complied with.


In the Indian subcontinent, fennel seeds are eaten raw, sometimes with some sweetener, as it is said to improve eyesight.

History: The name comes from the greek word "marathon" because the famous battle at marathon in 490BC against the Persians was founght on a field of fennel



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