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Fennel image Fennel

Botanical Name: Foeniculum vulgare
Other Names: Saunf, Mouri, Shombu, Veriyari

The bulb, foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant all have secure places in the culinary traditions of the world. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavoured spice; they are brown or green in colour when fresh, and slowly turn a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal.Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with aniseed, which is very similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. fennel seeds are eaten after a meal as a mouth-freshener. Fennel is also used as a flavouring in some natural toothpastes. Some people employ it as a diuretic, while others use it to improve the milk supply of breastfeeding mothers.

Fenugreek image Fenugreek

Botanical Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Other Names: Methi, Bird's Foot, Greek Hay-seed

Fenugreek is used both as an herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed). The yellow, rhombic fenugreek seed is frequently used in the preparation of pickles, curry powders and pastes, and is often encountered in the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent and Thailand. The young leaves and sprouts of fenugreek are eaten as greens and the fresh or dried leaves are used to flavour other dishes. The dried leaves have a bitter taste and a strong characteristic smell which means they need to be used sparingly. A side effect of consuming even small amounts of fenugreek is a maple syrup or curry smell in the eater's sweat and urine which is caused by the potent aroma compound sotolone. Fenugreek is frequently used in the production of flavouring for artificial syrups. The taste of toasted fenugreek is additionally based on substituted pyrazines, as is cumin. By itself, it has a somewhat bitter taste.

Fig image Fig

Botanical Name: Ficus carica
Other Names: Angir, Figue, Figo, Fico, Higo, Fikon, Vijg

Fig are eaten mainly out of hand by first peeling the sken back from the stem end. Peeled or unpeeled, the fruits may be merely stewed or cooked in various ways, as in pies, puddings, cakes, bread or other bakery products. The fruits are sometimes candied whole or canned commercially.

Ginger image Ginger

Botanical Name: Zingiber officinale
Other Names: Adhu, Gingembre, Jengibre, Jeung, Imbir, Inguru, Khing, Shoga, Zenzero

Young ginger roots are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. Mature ginger roots are fibrous and nearly dry. They are used as an ingredient in many spicy Indian and Chinese dishes. In Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally restricted to sweet foods, such as ginger ale, gingerbread, ginger snaps, ginger cake and ginger biscuits. Ginger is available in fresh, dried, pickled, crystallized and powdered form.

Gisuri image Gisuri

Botanical Name: Loofa acutangula
Other Names: Luffa, Ridged gourd, Turai, Jhingey, Patola, Silk gourd, Silk squash, Sing qua

The green gisuri is chopped into cubes and used to make curries or thinly sliced and used to make bhajias. In the west it is left to ripen on the plant, dried and used as a sponge for washing!

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