* false ego — the conception that “I am this material body, mind or intelligence.”
* fennel — the tall, hardy, aromatic perennial of the parsley family native to southern Europe and Fennel the Mediterranean area. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
is distinguished by its finely divided feathery green foliage and its
golden-yellow flowers. It is used both as a herb and for its aromatic
seed. In Italian cuisine, the bulb of the Florence fennel, or Finocchio, is used whole, sliced, or quartered as a vegetable, and either braised or baked au gratin.
It is also chopped raw in salads. Wild fennel stems and the frondy
leaves, with their slightly cooking, especially to flavour sauces.
Fennel seeds, although used to some extent in European cooking, are
especially favoured in Indian cuisine. The oval, greenish or
yellowish-brown seeds resemble tiny watermelons. They emit an agreeable
warm, sweet fragrance, similar that of anise. Fennel seeds appear in
Kashmir and Punjabi dishes and are one of the spices in the Bengali
spice blend panch puran. They are prominent in the famous beverage Thandhai, and in a variety of vegetable dishes, dals,
and pastries. The most common use of fennel seeds in Indian cuisine is
as an after-dinner digestive. They are dry-roasted and chewed,
freshening the breath and stimulating digestion. Fresh fennel bulbs are
available seasonally at good greengrocer shops. The seeds are available
at Indian grocers.
* fenugreek — an erect annual herb of the bean family indigenous to western Asia and southeastem Europe. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum - graecum)
is cultivated for its seeds, which, although legumes, are used as a
spice. The seeds are small hard, yellowish-brown smooth, and oblong,
with a little groove across one corner. Fenugreek has a warm, slightly
bitter taste reminiscent of burnt sugar and maple. The seeds are used in
Greece and Egypt and especially India, where they are lightly
dry-roasted or fried to extract their characteristic flavour. One should
note however that over-roasting or frying results in excessive bitter
flavours. The leaves of the fenugreek plant are also popular in Indian
cuisine. Known as methi, they are used in vegetable dishes,
breads, and savouries. Easily home-grown, fresh young fenugreek leaves
are wonderful in salads dressed with oil and lemon. Fenugreek seeds are
available at Indian or Middle Eastern grocers. The fresh leaves (if you
are shopping outside India) can occasionally be found in markets, or can
* feta — a crumbly, strong-tasting white cheese usually made from sheep's milk and ripened in brine. Feta cheese is especially well-known in Greek cuisine (see Greek Salad and Spinach and Filo Triangles, [Spanakopita]). Feta cheese is available at Greek shops and well-stocked supermarkets.
* filo pastry — a
very light and paper-thin pastry popular throughout the Middle East and
in Greece. This delicate pastry is used for either sweet or savoury
dishes. Filo pastry is featured in this book in Spinach and Filo Trianales (Spanakopital), and in Turkish Nut Pastries in Syrup (baklava)
Filo is difficult to prepare at home and is best purchased refrigerated
from well-stocked supermarkets, delicatessens, and health food stores.
* five-spice — two varieties of five-spice are prominent in the world of vegetarian cuisine — Chinese five-spice powder and Indian panch puran,
a blend of five whole spices. Chinese five-spice powder is a
combination of five dried, ground spices, generally cinnamon, cloves,
fennel, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns, the pungent brown
peppercorns native to the Sichuan province. When used as a condiment for
fried food, it is used in sparing quantities because it is very potent.
Try making your own by grinding together 2 or 3 small sections of
cinnamon stick, a dozen cloves, 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds, 2 teaspoons
of Sichuan peppercorns, and 3 or 4 star anise. Keep the powder in a
well-sealed jar in a cool, dry place. Obtain your ingredients at any
Asian grocery store. You can also purchase Chinese five-spice
ready-made. Panch puran is most often associated with Bengali
cuisine. It is a combination of equal quantities of fenugreek seeds,
cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, and nigella (kalonji) seeds. Panch puran is always fried in ghee
or oil before use to release the dormant flavour in the seeds. Mix your
own, or purchase it ready-mixed at Indian grocery stores.
* flat rice — flat, pounded rice, also known as poha.
Popular in Indian cuisine, it is sometimes deep-fried and added to
fried potato straws, peanuts, and raisins and eaten as a tasty snack.
Food For Life — ISKCON’s food relief program.