Panch phoron is a whole spice blend, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used especially in the cuisine of Bangladesh, Eastern India and Southern Nepal. The name literally means “five spices” in Bengali (pãch phoṛon), and is also known as in; Maithili (paanch phorana), Nepali (Padkaune Masala), Assamese (pas phoṛôn), and Odia (panchu phutana).
All of the spices in panch phoron are seeds. Typically, panch phoron consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts. Some cooks prefer to use a smaller proportion of fenugreek seeds, because of their mildly bitter taste.
Unlike most spice mixes, panch phoron is always used whole and never ground. Traditionally, panch phoron is used with vegetables, chicken or mutton curry, fish, lentils, shukto (a mix of cooked vegetables topped with a coconut sauce) and in pickles.
In the tradition of Odia, Maithili cuisine, Nepali cuisine, and Bengali cuisine, panch phoron is typically fried in mustard oil or ghee, which causes it to immediately begin popping. This technique is known as “tempering”. After tempering, other ingredients are added to the fried spices to be coated in the mixture.
- “Panch Phoron Seeds Glossary | Recipes with Panch Phoron Seeds”. Tarladalal.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Mom, Bong (2007-06-07). “Bong Mom’s CookBook: Panch Phoran”. Bongcookbook.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Deepika Sahu (10 May 2012). “The power of five seeds”.