Panch phoron is a blend of five whole spices and is the most commonly used spice blend in Bengali dishes. It is a great way to add flavor to dal and curries.
Also called panch phoran (or panch foran), it is also widely used in Bihar, northeastern states, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The spices used are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds. These spices are mixed together in equal proportion to make this simple five-spice blend.
These spices are left whole in the spice blend. Depending on the dish that it is being used in, they are either tempered in ghee/oil or dry roasted and ground into a powder. Irrespective of how it is used, it gives a wonderful flavor and aroma to the dish.
To make panch phoron, combine equal proportions of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds. Store it in an air-tight container away from direct sunlight and use it as needed.
Cumin seeds: Cumin seeds are dried seeds of the herb Cuminum cyminum, which belongs to the parsley family.
Mustard seeds: Mustard is a spice that is very common in South Indian cooking. These tiny seeds come in two varieties – black and yellow mustard. Black mustard seeds are commonly used and are more pungent and stronger than yellow mustard seeds.
Nigella seeds: Nigella seeds, also called black caraway seeds, are tiny black seeds very similar to poppy seeds. They have a slight bitterness to them and an associated onion flavor.
Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds look very similar to cumin seeds and are widely used as a spice in Indian cooking. It adds a unique flavor to the dish and is used both as a whole spice and in powdered form.
Fenugreek seeds: Fenugreek is used as both herb and spice. Fresh fenugreek leaves are used as a herb to make methi dal, stir-fry, and methi rice. Fenugreek seeds are used as a dried spice. They have a slightly bitter and pungent taste.
More Bengali Recipes
Panch Phoron / Bengali Five Spice
- Combine all the ingredients well.
- Store in an air-tight container away from direct sunlight.