Savoury rye and fennel bites( vegan)

by Sunita on February 26, 2009

Fennel seeds are an inseparable part of the Assamese life. Used mostly as a breath freshener, after being roasted, it makes it’s appearance in every important social function. If you attend a wedding, the first thing that you will be greeted with is with some ‘saunf‘ or ‘gowamuri‘ (as we call it in Assamese).

The bride will always have some on a bota (a traditional brass metal plate), mixed with dried coconut pieces and others add ons  and it is quite common to see the kids hovering around her to get some. Somehow they always tasted better at weddings. If there is a guest and is in too much of a hurry to accept a cup of tea, the host/hostess make  sure that they do not leave empty mouthed and offer some saunf.  Again, after every meal, most of us will reach out for some as well.

Apart from it’s great use as a breath freshener, fennel seeds are also used in cooking, especially in meat curries.

For today’s recipe, however, I used some roasted and ground fennel seeds to make these cute, savoury, rye and fennel bites, which I had great fun making and eating as well.

What’s needed-

1 tblsp fennel seeds, roasted and slightly roughly ground

1C rye flour
1 and 1/2 tblsp coarse cornmeal
1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C water
1/4 C sunflower/vegetable oil

How to-

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the rye flour, cornmeal, ground fennel, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the oil and water.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the water mixture.
  4. Fold in gently, preferably with a rubber spatula till everything is moistened. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. Pre heat the oven at 170 deg C and line a baking tray with foil.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a ziploc packet. Snip off one end of the packet to about 8mms across.
  7. Starting from centre, pipe tiny spirals of the mixture of about 2 cms in diameter. ( I got about 112 of them).
  8. Place the tray in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 15-17 minutesor till firm and nicely browned.
  9. Cool in the tray for 2 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool completely before storing in airtight containers.

All that’s left to do now is to start nibbling, and I must warn you that they are very addictive. The flavour of fennel shone through these simple but flavoursome snacks. Rengoni and Agastya just couldn’t have enough and neither could Dinesh and myself. Everyone’s eyes were on the container…not that they lived there long enough. At such times, it feels nice to see the family gorging on healthy snacks.

And as you must have guessed by now, these nibbles are off to dear Ivy who is guest hosting Think Spice for the month of February’09. She has given us two choices for spices ( Think spice, think twice); fennel and mastic gum, a spice unique to Greece. If you haven’t already submitted your fennely or mastic gum goodies, there is still time ( till the 28th of Feb’09). The link on my sidebar will take you to the event announcement page.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Asha February 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm


Itty bitty swirls of yummy fragrant cookies. Kids must be thrilled to have some when they come home. Good one! :)


2 Sunita February 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Thanks Asha. I had made these a while ago, and they were quite a hit with the kids :-)


3 Nirmala February 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm

They were looking lovely…and u piped 112 of them? how much u’re nck and arms wud have ached? but they wud have disappeared at agastya and rengoni munching on them right?


4 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Oh they were so tiny, didn’t take much time :-) And yes, we did love them a lot .


5 Tartelette February 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Love the new site design! Pretty place :)

Love the flavors of these little morsels. You are the spice queen!


6 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:27 pm

Thanks dear Helen :-)


7 snookydoodle February 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm

what an interesting recipe. I love fennel seeds . I d like to try these :) look nice too !


8 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Thanks…do give them a try :-)


9 Ivy February 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm

They sound delicious and so easy to make. I love the taste of fennel so these go in my list of things to do!! How quickly the time has passed and it’s already the end of February. I shall post the roundup on Sunday. Thanks again Sunita.


10 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm

You’re most welcome, dear Ivy :-)


11 Marija February 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

This is so genial! Thank you so much for this, it is something I know I’ll love.


12 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:29 pm

You’re welcome Marija


13 Michelle February 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm

What beautiful little treats and great photographs, too!


14 Nags February 27, 2009 at 1:01 am

beautiful shape and such a lovely idea to use the icing pipe!


15 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Thank you , dear Nags :-)


16 A&N February 27, 2009 at 1:41 am

They look so cute! :)


17 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Thanks :-)


18 sushma February 27, 2009 at 5:03 am

Hey loved those lilttle swirls.. :)


19 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Thank you, Sushma :-)


20 Madhumathi February 27, 2009 at 5:30 am

They look so simple and interesting..thank you so much for recipe :)


21 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:32 pm

You’re most welcome, Madhumathi :-)


22 mona February 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm

They look so gourgeous, YUMM!


23 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Thanks Mona :-)


24 DK February 28, 2009 at 12:07 am

Thats one gorgeous and good eats Suni. Looks amazing :)

Bookmarked to try….will update when I do


25 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Thanks DK…do give them a try :-)


26 Kiran February 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm

This is a great healthy recipe, I made sweet biscuits for the event. I really look forward to trying these, as they seem like a unique version of the Indian snack chackri, only healthier as they are baked as a pose to fried. A quick question, is corn meal the same as semolina or different ?


27 Sunita March 1, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Kiran, cornmeal is flour ground from dried corn and semolina is the purified middlings of hard wheat. Hope this helps :-)


28 Pallavi October 26, 2010 at 9:21 pm

They look delicious! Thinking of making them for this Diwali. Do they turn out crispy or chewy?


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