Also Known as
Vilayati Saunf, anise, anis, anise seed
Aniseed, which is used as a spice and as a medicine, has a sweet liquorice-like taste. It is of the Apiaceae family, which makes it a relative of other plants like celery, dill, coriander, fennel and cumin.
It is used whole or ground, to add a distinctive flavour to foods. The essential oil derived from aniseed is used to manufacture perfumes. The oil is used to produce anethole, an aromatic compound that occurs widely in essential oils, and sometimes as a sensitizer for bleaching colours in photography.
How to Select
• Ideally, they will have a pale brown colour and a very mild, fragrant aroma.
• Make sure the package is well-sealed and the lot is fresh, to ensure maximum aroma and flavour.
• It is used for flavouring curries, bread, soups, baked goods, dried figs, deserts, cream cheese, pickles, egg dishes, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.
• The seeds were used in early European cookery in pretzels, ginger breads etc.
• It is also used to flavour soufflés, biscuits and cookies, etc.
• The spice is also popularly used in making confectionaries, and for distillation purposes.
• Aniseed is also used in flavoured liquors. Ouzo and Pastis are examples of aniseed flavoured Mediterranean drinks.
How to Store
• Store the seeds in an air-tight container in a cool dry place, away from humidity.
• In India, the seeds are often chewed after a meal, both as a digestive and to sweeten the breath.
• Aniseed is known to have anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties. Thus, it is used in home remedies to treat fungal infections, getting rid of lice, etc
• It also has antioxidant properties.
• Aniseed has numerous purported medicinal properties, mainly as a digestive aid.
• Anise oil, extracted from aniseeds, has also been used in treating flatulence and colic in children.