Panch Phoron, the spice blend most adored by Bengalis. Bengali cooks cannot go without this simple yet bittersweet whole spice mix in their pantry. Panch phoron is used in Bangladesh and Eastern India especially in West Bengal, Mithila, Assam and Odisha (Orissa).
The simplicity of this blend comes from using the whole seeds. There is absolutely no grinding and pounding with your mortar and pestle to get this magical blend! Simply gather and mix all the seeds and you have a very aromatic spice blend that can be used to elevate vegetables, meat or seafood up a notch. I use panch phoron to cook, to bake, and even to grill. My special mix vegetable is famous among my non-Bengali friends because of panch phoron. The special meat recipe I cook has panch foron in it. My mom and grandmother adds the magic of panch phoron in their fish curries all the time.
“Panch’‘ means five and “Phoron” in Bengali means to temper. Panch phoron releases its aroma when the seeds pop in hot oil or ghee. That’s why the name is panch phoron. Oh, did I not mention the seeds yet? The famous blend consists of cumin seeds(জিরা), fennel seeds(মৌরি), fenugreek seeds(মেথি), nigella seeds(কালোজিরা) and wild celery seeds(রাধুনি).
All of these seeds except wild celery seeds are readily available at Bangladeshi and Indian markets and good spice shops in the US. Wild celery seeds are difficult to find outside of Bangladesh or West Bengal. McCormick has celery seed but it is not the same as wild celery seeds. A good substitute for wild celery seeds in panch phoron is mustard seeds(সরিষা). Hence, I am sharing the recipe with mustard seeds so that you can try out the spice blend easily.
Cumin seeds, also known as jeera(জিরা), have a robust woody, earthy flavor. The rich aroma makes cumin a widely popular spice for Bengali meat, fish, curry and lentil dishes. Cumin also adds depth to Southwestern and Moroccan dishes.
Yellow-to-amber colored Fenugreek, also known as methi(মেথি) is a bit hard with a nutty flavor. If you bite on one, it is slightly bitter and has a pungent smell. The fenugreek seeds are incredibly aromatic. Stand alone, it is great for casseroles, lentil soups, chutneys and pickles. Use in moderate quantity as it can overpower a dish.
The slightly greenish cumin seed look alike fennel seeds have floral, anise flavor. They are also known as mouri(মৌরি). Fennel seeds are frequently used as breath fresheners after a meal for their sweet taste and floral aroma. Fennel seeds have many medicinal usage.
Nigella seed or kalonji(kalojeera, কালোজিরা) has a lovely peppery flavor with a slightly rough black texture. Nigella seeds can easily be confused with black sesame or onion seeds but they are not the same. Nigella is widely used in cookies and fried snacks in Bangladesh.
I do hope you will try panch phoron sometimes. I have a strong feeling, you’ll most likely fall in love with this simple Bengali spice blend. For me, there is no turning back ever from panch phoron.
1. Mix together an equal quantity of each spice and mix well.
2. Store in an airtight container.
১ ভাগ মৌরি
১ ভাগ জিরা
১ ভাগ মেথি
১ ভাগ কালোজিরা
১ ভাগ সরিষা বা রাধুনী
১. সব মসলা সমপরিমাণে মেশান।
২. একটি বায়ুরোধী কন্টেইনারে মশলা রেখে দিন।
প্রয়োজনিও কিছু টিপস্ এর জন্য দয়াকরে আটির্কেল অথবা ইংরেজি রেসিপির নোট সেকশন টা একটু দেখে নেবেন। [/print_this]