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Food glossary

Various seeds

Fennel seeds

These are tiny olive green-coloured oval shaped seeds that have the same distinctive aniseed flavour as the vegetable fennel.

Uses: Fennel seeds can be used whole, crushed or ground in cookery. Ground seeds have the most concentrated flavour and are a popular addition to meat and vegetable dishes and especially curries. Whole or crushed seeds are often included in bread or biscuit recipes and cabbage dishes.

To store: The seeds have a long shelf life, store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

To use: To gain the maximum flavour from fennel seeds it is best to dry-fry them. Heat a heavy-based frying pan (without any oil), add the seeds and fry them over a medium heat, stirring frequently. When a rich aroma is released, remove from the heat and cool. Use whole, crushed or ground (use a pestle and mortar) in sweet or savoury dishes.