You know that stuff that you sometimes get at the end of the meal or on your way out the door at an Indian restaurant? That sweetish mix of flavorful seeds that’s usually served in a small bowl with a tiny spoon… that stuff? That stuff is called mukhwas, and as I’ve learned more and more about herbal medicine, I’ve come to appreciate how brilliant it is as an after-meal munch.
Like many spice mixes, mukhwas recipes are quite variable, but with some knowledge of the plants that are used, I can see that most recipes aim for at least two effects: freshen the breath and dispel gas in the gut. How brilliant for after a pungent, rich meal! This stuff would make a fantastic wedding favor, I think, because what wedding guest wouldn’t want a boost of fresh-breath confidence and a little digestive help after a celebratory meal? Of course, mukhwas is easy to make, and easy to customize to your tastes or the tastes of the crowd. Below, I offer a recipe as a starting point for your own homemade mukhwas.
I made a fun project out of packaging small amounts of mukwhas in tiny sealable bags, also called jewelry bags, (often available at smoke shops, of all places) and matchbook style cardboard packages made of toilet paper rolls (of all things). The label style, Whimsical Romance, from evermine.com blends nicely with Indian-inspired imagery and features a subtle texture that goes well with the soft texture of cardboard rolls.
- ¼ cup culinary seed mix
- Several 2-inch wide x 2.5-inch tall jewelry bags
- 2-3 toilet paper rolls
- Personalized labels in the petal, square and rectangular label shapes (sizes 32, 1B and 05)
- Place a tablespoon or more of seed mix in each of the jewelry bags, seal the bags, label them with a petal shaped label and set them aside.
- Flatten a toilet paper roll and cut it in half width-wise. With one of these half-rolls, cut the roll about ¼ to ⅓ inch parallel to one of the folds.
- This will leave you with two ends—one end has a fold (we’ll call this the folded end) and one end doesn’t have a fold (we’ll call this the open end). Locate the fold between the two ends, and about ¼ inch toward the folded end, create a new crease parallel to the other folds.
- Staple the top of the jewelry bag into the folded end. Cut about ⅛ inch off of the open end, and, optionally, cut small triangles from the corners of the folded end.
- The open end should be able to tuck neatly into the folded—and stapled—end (we’ll call this side the back).
- Label the back with the square label and the front with the rectangular label. You may need to cut away about ¼ inch from the bottom of the rectangular label. Repeat this process for the other rolls and half-roll.
- 2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon powdered licorice root
- 1½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon powdered cloves
- a few drops of rose water
- Toast the seeds in a small cast iron skilled over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the seeds from heat when the become fragrant, and combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Allow the rose water to evaporate by dehydrating the mixture in a low-heat dehydrator for an hour or set in dry room for a day. Store in an airtight container.
Used In This Project:
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