Have you tried these colourful, candied fennel seeds, which are served in Indian restaurants at the end of a meal ? They are called mukhwas – mouth freshener. Chewing digestive spices and seeds after a meal is an ancient Indian tradition and already the Mughal emperors where chewing mukhwas to freshen their breath and digest one or the other mutton better.
In India you can find mukhwas not only in the form of colourful candy, but made from a variety of spices, seeds and herbs. Spices often develop their soothing qualities best while being chewed and I feel a bit of mukhwas after a meal is also a really nice ritual.
And it is super simple to make your own wholesome digestive mix! In my recipe you will find not only fennel seeds but cardamom, sesame seeds (supposed to be good for the teeth), linseeds (a bit extra fibre), nuts and berries. Did I mention that it also tastes really good ?
Mukhwas - Digestive Spice and Seed Mix
adapted from a recipe on www.tarladalal.com
- 2 tablespoons linseeds
- 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 6 green cardamom pods
- Goji or other dried beriies (optional)
- Pistachios, chopped (optional)
- Sugar crystals (optional)
Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and grind them with mortar and pestle into a rough powder. Put aside.
Heat a pan over medium-low heat and start roasting the linseeds for 2 - 3 minutes, while stirring constantly.
Add the fennel and sesame seeds and roast for another 5 minutes. The seeds shouldn’t turn brown while roasting. Add the cardamom powder to the seeds, stir one last time and empty everything on a plate. Let the mixture cool down.
You can store the mukhwas in a lidded glass jar for several weeks. It already tastes nice as it is, but you can add sugar, berries and nuts before serving.