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Indian Restaurant - After Dinner Spice Blend?

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I'm in the middle of an Indian food obsession. Last night at upon leaving the restaurant, by the hostess stand, there was a bowl of dried spices offered up where the American after dinner mint would be. Does anyone know what this is called and what is usage is about?
As people left they simply spooned a bit in their palm and chewed. A digestive? A breath freshener?

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  1. i've seen these in a candy coated form, and i assumed it was fennel. like these:

    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/fr...

    They help settle your stomach i think. The uncoated variety could also be fennel?

    1 Reply
    1. re: im_nomad

      fennel was part of the mix but they weren't coated or so brightly colored sugared--more dried spice

    2. Maybe cardamom pods?

      1. most likely fennel and anise seeds

        1. They are called Mukhwas, or basically "mouth freshener". There are dozens of types available depending on the maker. I like Chandan brand's mukhwas -- I keep several different types at home.

          1 Reply
          1. re: boogiebaby

            THANKS very much boogiebaby!

          2. I'm a fan of that stuff, and I buy it here in NYC at Kalustyan's. It's relatively inexpensive.There are several varieties. I''m not sure if they do mail order (I think they might) but it might be something you can look into.

            1. After a meal or whenever you need to freshed your mouth you can take any variety of mix of those seeds and it is both a breth freshener and a digestive aide. A simple one would just be saunf which is anise seeds. You will also see mixes of saunf with rock sugar or candy coated saunf. A mix from an Indian grocery will have stuff like cardamon, betel nut (suparee), anise seeds, fennel, sugar, and even little bits of silver. They will be in little travel sized containers for you to keep on your person at all times, or you can get them in little packets.