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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. 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.