I have a recipe that calls for a 1/2 cup of cracked fennel seed. If I wanted to use a light ground fennel seed what would be the equivalent? Thanks!
I used a spice grinder to actually measure how much ground fennel I would get from 1TBS cracked. I got just over 2tsp ground. Therefore, 1/2 cup of cracked fennel is in a sense equivalent to about 6TBS ground. However, don't do it that way! Cracked fennel gives a little burst of flavor as you crunch the seed. Powdered fennel will strongly permeate the whole dish, and that much ground fennel will seriously overpower all other flavors. If the fennel is really necessary to the dish, and you can only get ground fennel, start with a single tablespoon, and then add more to taste. My guess would be that 2TBS will be plenty, but seriously, I wouldn't even try the substitution.
I like the answer but my husband mustn't have seeds due a digestive problem so I have to grind every type of spice. Most recipes requiring seeds are much better if the seed is used rather than ground. But for some of us this isn't an option. I would go with a small amount, adding it gradually for your own taste. Ground tends to have a slightly different and stronger taste anyway. As your recipe is for a large amount of fennel I would start with about 1-2 tbsp. I am trying to convert 1 TEASPOON of fennel seed at present :) For future reference, if you buy in the seeds you can always grind them down. Seeds keep fresh longer anyway. So keep seeds rather than ground in your larder