Panch Phoron, Five Spices Mix, Bengal Spices, 100g
The name “Panch-phoran” means mixture of five spices. Panch-phoran are a blend of five whole spices, which is made by mixing whole seeds – Cumin(Jeera) , Fenugreek , Fennel , Mustard and Black onion seeds (kalonji) mixed in equal measure. Panch-phoran is most frequently used for seasoning Indian cuisine in all over Indian subcontinent. This type of spice-mixture is very special in Bengal and Bangladesh where Panch-phoran is used in almost all spicy Indian dishes. Panch-phoran is usually used as whole seeds, but it can be ground to a fine powder also. It has a bitter-sweet flavor and a pungent aroma. Panch-phoran is traditionally used for preparing vegetables, Chutneys , Lentils , chicken or fish. Panch-phoran is used in making Tarka or baghar which is a traditional technique of seasoning the recipes in Orissa and Bengal. In this technique Panch-phoran is first fried in cooking oil or Ghee , which causes them pop. Then vegetables (especially potatoes), lentils, or fish dishes are added to the popping oil and mix in the cooking vessel so as to coat them with the spice mix.
Use of Panch-phoran :
• Panch-phoran not only compliments the main ingredient, it enhances the taste, makes it more exciting and lends it richness.
• Panch-phoran should be used in small quantities as it has a very powerful aroma and flavor.
• Panch-phoran spices mixture is added to hot oil before adding vegetables, lentils or other spices.
• It gives a unique flavor and aroma when it is added to mustard oil for frying
• Panch-phoran spices are used to prepare almost in all traditional indian dishes
• Panch-phoran is an integral part of Bengali cooking and its flavor. Though panch-phoran is utilized in other parts of northern and eastern India, It is almost impossible to imagine Bengali food without them.
Indian recipe: Bengali fish curry with aubergine, potato and Mung dal
Recipe Ingredients for making Bengali fish curry:
• 1 tablespoon Panch-phoran
• 500g white fish fillet
• salt for seasoning
• 2 tsp Turmeric Powder
• 3 tbsp vegetable oil
• 200g potatoes, peeled and cut into slice
• 100g Moong Dal Chilka
• 1 tsp ground Ginger
• 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
• 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
• 1 tsp freshly ground Coriander Seeds
• salt as per taste
• 150g aubergine, cut into thick pieces
• 4-6 green cayenne chillies, halved lengthways
• 4 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
Preparation method for Bengali Fish Curry
• For the fish curry, cut the fish fillet into pieces 1 inch thick, then season the fish pieces on both sides with some salt and dust with half the turmeric powder.
• Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized pan over a medium-high heat.
• Add the pieces of fish a few at a time and fry for one minute on each side until lightly browned all over. Lift out onto a plate and set aside.
• Add the potato slices to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown. Lift out and set aside on a plate.
• Add the moong dal to the oil left in the pan and leave to sizzle for a few seconds.
• Add the panch-phoran, the remaining turmeric powder, the ground ginger, chilli powder, ground cumin seeds and ground coriander seeds and cook for a few seconds, or until aromatic.
• Add the water, the fried potatoes, aubergine, green cayenne chillies and the remaining teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for ten minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
• To serve, add the pieces of fried fish and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Stir in the fresh coriander and serve.
Other Indian recipes made from Panch-phoran are:
• Cauliflower dal
• Red lentils dal with panch-phoran
• Dal Makhani
• Shahi dal
• Vegetable curry recipe
• Masala dal
• Fish Curry Masala
• Doi maach
Other Indian names of Panch- phoran are: Panch puran, Panch phoran, Panch phutana, Five-spice mix, Pas phoron, Pach phora, Panch-puren gewürze, Fünf-Gewürze-Mischung.
Color: Black, grey and green mix
Taste: Sweet- bitter
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