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Panch Phoran – A Five-Spice Mix of India

June 13, 2022

Any Indian cuisine is barely complete without its collection of spices, be it whole spices, grinded or various spice mix. One spice blend without which, eastern Indian kitchen is barely complete is an Indian version of five spice, Panch Phoran. It is Bengali mixture of five whole-seed spices commonly used in Bengali, Oriya, Maithali, and Assamese and Bangladeshi food. Mildly aromatic and packed with flavours, Panch phoran adds a rich texture and bag full of essence to your meal.

The name “Panch Phoran” literally translates to ‘five’ and ‘tempering spices’ respectively. Owing to the presence of five spices in the blend, the mix is commonly referred to as Bengali Five Spice or Indian Five Spice Blend. Apart from effortlessly adding flavours to any delicacy, the blend is prepared with combination of whole flavourful spices, for which the ratio may differ in every household.

Ingredients of Panch Phoran

The famous spice blend of Bengal uses 5 ingredient spices, however, the proportion may differ for every recipe, household and region. Below are the five ingredients used for the recipe:

  • Fennel Seeds
  • Nigella Seeds
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Fenugreek Seeds
Flavours of Panch Phoran

There is nothing extreme about the flavours of this spice blend. It is can easily be described as a mild aromatic spice mix with a touch of various essence including slight bitterness nutty notes from fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds, earthiness from cumin seeds, sweet undertone from fennel seeds and pungent flavours from nigella seeds.

With just a spoonful of blend, a melange of flavours is added to a dish that brings out profile of essence in harmony.

Panch Phoran

How to Use Panch Phoran

The uses of panch phoran are simple yet this versatile spice mix offers oomph to your curries, stir-fries, stews, and roasts among its other multiple uses. Below are some ideas to use the blend in various forms.

  • Traditionally, Panch phoran is used for tempering or fry it with little ghee for few seconds causing the spices to pop and release aromatic oils before adding it to vegetables or daal.
  • An essential part of any Bengali style vegetable curry, it is must to add the spice mix in Aloo tarkari, cauliflower, any type of guard and parwal
  • When added to chutneys, or yellow dal in form of tempering, the flavours are to die for.
  • Do not roast or fry panch phoran for too long, as some spices tend to fry faster than the others do. Roast over medium flame as the mix has tendency to get burned really quick./li>
Health Benefits of Panch Phoran

Panch Phoran is a blend of five spices, each one with their own health benefits. When combined together, the blend not only imparts delish flavours to the dishes but also offers plenty of benefits. Below are some of the health benefits each spice has to offer.

Jeera/Cumin Seeds

With strong earthy aroma and light bitterness, Cumin seeds or Jeera is known to improve digestion and increase metabolism. Extensively used in many Indian cuisines, these seeds are packed with antioxidants and helps in keeping our body hydrated.

  • Sarso/Black Mustards Seeds -A spice that is almost synonymous with curries in India is widely used for tempering curries and various food preparations. Known as anti-inflammatory
  • Saunf/Fennel Seeds – Fennel seeds, by burning unhealthy and excess fat naturally, help in weight loss and prevent obesity. They are also known to reduce the risk of cancer and eliminating bad breath.
  • Methi Dana/Fenugreek Seeds– Fenugreek aids in keeping the system clean and benefits those who are suffering with diabetes by maintaining blood glucose level. Perfect spice for treating digestive problems, it also helps in boosting the functioning of vital organs like liver and kidney.
  • Nigella Seeds -Packed with antioxidants, Nigella seeds have properties to kill off bacteria, may alleviate inflammation, may regulate blood sugar, and could have cancer-fighting properties.

With unlimited health benefits and mildly aromatic and bitter in taste Panch Phoran is a must used spice blend, especially in Bengali kitchens. Unlike other spice blends, the spices in this mix are kept whole while using in the dish. Cee Pee brings the best panch phoran online at the best prices. Now, one can buy the Ceepee’s Panch Phoran online at various online platforms including Amazon and Grofers.



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