Five-spice mix is an Indian spice blend typically consisting of five whole spices in equal measure.
Panch means ‘five’ and phoron is ‘flavor’ or ‘spice’, hence the common translation Bengali ‘Five-Spice’. Panch phoran is a colorful blend of flavorful seeds: the green of fennel seed, black mustard and nigella seeds, golden fenugreek and buff-colored cumin seeds.
- 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp Nigella seeds
- 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1 tbsp Mustard seeds
Mix all the above ingredients and store in an airtight container.
How to use:
Panch phoran is usually fried in hot oil or ghee before adding anything else to the pot in which cooking is to be done. These seeds pop up in the hot oil releasing the aroma of the seeds in the oil. Other ingredients are added when seeds stop spluttering. The panch phoran mixture adds sweetness and brings forward the flavors of vegetables, fish or lentils.
Some variations include wild onion seeds instead of cumin, while others include radhuni seeds in place of mustard seeds.
Radhuni is also known as wild celery in English or ajmod in Urdu and Hindi. It is a very strong spice, with a characteristic smell similar to parsley with the taste of celery.
In the tradition of Oriya and Bengali cuisine, seeds are used whole and quickly fried in very hot oil until they crackle. Vegetables (especially potatoes), lentils, or fish are added to the cooking vessel after this to coat with the spice mixture.