Amanda’s note: If you’ve never seen mukhwas, this recipe is going to strike you as strange at first glance. It looks like a container of candy cake sprinkles or some such. It’s actually a very clever way of cutting your craving for dessert after a meal because you actually only eat a teaspoon or so. You just pop it into your mouth and chew it. The sugar and flavor of the fennel and cumin and very satisfying after a meal. Here Ramya describes how to make your own. Ramya writes from India on her website WildTurmeric.net where you can find more traditional Indian recipes and remedies.
I’ve since added a dye-free recipe option below the Indian classic.
Breath fresheners are very popular in India and they have been around for a long time. There are wide variety of breath fresheners made with different ingredients. I personally love breath fresheners — they taste great and have possible health benefits.
Breath fresheners are usually served after a heavy meal — even by most of the hotel restaurants in India. Both cumin seeds and fennel seeds aid in digestion and are perfect for having after a heavy meal. This recipe is also high in fiber and make a good snack when I have a craving for sweets. They make a perfect in-between snack that tides me over until lunch. I have used sesame seeds in this recipe which makes this breath freshener high in iron content. If you are a person who is suffering from anemia, try using this breath freshener often.
I have tried many different versions of breath fresheners at home and I always come back to the few recipes that are my absolute favorites. This recipe is one among my favorites and it very healthy and tasty. Usually breath fresheners are made with fennel seeds as a base. Here in India, we get sugar coated fennel seeds and I used that for the recipe. The rest of the ingredients are sesame seeds, flax seeds, and rose white essence. The rose white essence gives the recipe a mild rose flavor end blends well with the other flavors. (You can use rose water instead.) I also used sugar-coated cumin seeds that comes in different colors for some added color in the recipe.
This breath freshener is not too sweet, as I didn’t add any sugar and I prefer it that way. The sweetness comes from the sugar coated fennel and cumin seeds. This recipe is full of nutrients, tastes great, and can be made in a matter of minutes.
To make the recipe, toast flax seeds separately in a thick bottomed pan until they pop and are fragrant. Dry-roast the white sesame seeds separately until the color changes slightly. Let the seeds cool completely, mix them with the rest of the ingredients, and store in an airtight box.
These make great gifts too, simply pack these in small beautiful boxes and anyone you gift will love it. The last time when I went to the departmental store, I saw a beautiful box that was partitioned into four and filled with four different breath fresheners. Even I, who make breath fresheners regularly at home, was tempted to buy it. If not for the size of the box (it was really huge), I would have bought it as it looked so colorful. It was also fairly expensive — we can make it at home for the fraction of that cost and personalize the recipe. You can also decrease or increase the amount of ingredients in this recipe according to your personal preference. This recipe should keep well for a week or two, I really don’t know the exact shelf life for this breath freshener because it gets used so quickly in my house and I am sure it will be the same in your home too 🙂
Follow the instructions for the recipe above, dry roasting your seeds. Add sugar at then end of your blending process. Add more sugar to taste.
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