Panch Phoran: Five Spice Powder & Mixture
Panch Phoron literally means “five spices.” This blend of spices commonly used in Eastern India and it consists of the following seeds: Cumin, Black Mustard, Fenugreek, Nigella and Fennel.
The spices are left whole (depending on how they’re being used) and are either dry roasted or fried in oil in order to coax out their pungent flavours.
Panch Phoron is also a delicious addition to any “carb-like” foods such as bread, potatoes and naan bread and with a dash of mint, it tastes awesome.
Many of my posts, for example, Mango Pickle, Kaddu Ki Sabji, Aloo Tamatar Ki Sabji, Fish and Lau Tenga, Bilahir Tok, Labra etc have Panch Phoron as their tempering.
Panch Phoron preparation is quite extraordinary which can be easily prepared at home by adding 1tsp of all the mentioned spices.
There hardly have words to describe its flavour. It’s simply awesome. It can turn a mundane pumpkin into a mouthwatering dish to be relished.
Panch Phoron adds a wonderful depth and flavour to any dish it’s added to and brings it to life.
A quick spice blend to make, give it a try and you’ll be reaching for it any time you have a hankering for authentic Indian food.
I will be posting some more of my recipes in the near future that call for this spice blend.
Panch Phoron – Indian Five Spice Blend
A hearty and delightful Indian “five spice” blend that is gratifying as a rub for meat/fish preparations, added to Indian foods, sprinkled on roasted greens and potatoes, and spattered on or incorporated into breads before baking.
Recipe type: Seasoning Blend
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds ज़ीरा
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds सरसों
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds सौंफ़
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds (also called black cumin or kalonji) कलौंजी
- 1½ teaspoons fenugreek seeds मेथी दाना
- Combine the seeds in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
- Depending on what kind of dish you make with these seeds, they can either be fried briefly in oil or dry roasted to coax out their rich flavors.
Know you Panch Phoran Herbs
Fennel Seeds/Saunf सौंफ
The first ingredient of Panch Phoron is Fennel Seeds/Saunf. India is the largest exporter of fennel seeds, widely known as saunf. Use of fennel seeds/saunf is integrated into our daily lives.
From a mouth freshener to being used in vegetables and curries, tea and even paan we Indians have a habit of using it everywhere as per our need of it.
The age-old practice of most Indian households is to have few fennel seeds or saunf at the end of every meal.
Fennel seed is a concentrated source of minerals like Copper, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin C, Iron, Selenium and Magnesium, does much more than simply beat bad breath.
So if you think it is only to freshen you gotta think again. The secrets of health can be found in the simplest ingredients in our kitchens.
Some 9 great fennel seed benefits are-it helps regulate blood pressure, reduces water retention in the body (drinking fennel tea, regularly helps flush out excess fluids as it works as a diuretic,) it is excellent for constipation, indigestion & bloating, reduces asthma symptoms, helps purify the blood, improves eyesight.
According to Ayurveda, fennel seeds reduce all 3 trodosha (vata, pita, kapha), it’s great for acne and keeps cancer away.
The second ingredient of Panch Phoron is Jeera/Cumin. Spices play an important role in making a dish more flavorful.
Indian cuisine is especially known to have some of the healthiest traditional spices as its main ingredients. Cumin is one such spice that forms an integral part of various dishes in the Indian cuisine.
Commonly known as Jeera/Cumin it is usually purchased in the form of whole dried seeds or as ground powder. It is a typical ingredient in many spice blends, such as curry powder.
It is brownish in colour and oblong shaped, tapering at each extremity with tiny stalks attached.
Cumin is a staple spice in many cuisines, especially Mexican, Indian, African, and Asian. Apart from cooking, cumin has also been used medicinally in many parts of the world for some years.
I generally fry or roast them before usage. They also form an integral part of tempering in my recipes. The health benefits of cumin include its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity, and treat skin disorders and insomnia.
It also helps treat anaemia, boils, cancer, and respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis.
Prevention of cancer, curing piles, fighting common cold, soothing inflammation, treating diarrhoea, increasing lactation, improving memory etc. The list is never-ending.
Fenugreek/Methi Dana मेथी दाना
The third ingredient of Panch Phoron is Fenugreek/Methi Dana. Fenugreek or Methi Dana is one herb whose leaves and seeds have been used since millennia our Indian cuisines.
Fenugreek, commonly referred to as ‘Methi’ in Hindi, has made a permanent place for itself in many households.
Traditionally, fenugreek leaves are dried and preserved to be used later in gravies. It lends a smoky flavour to the gravies. Its seeds have been used as a condiment to promote better health and as a potent hair potion.
But recent research indicates that they can do much more than that. From adding flavour to dishes and controlling diabetes, to inducing labour, fenugreek seeds have had diverse benefits for your skin, hair, and health.
Curing Acne, Moisturizing Skin, Prevention of Hair Loss, Fighting Dandruff, Controlling Diabetes, Preventing Heart Attacks and Cancer, Reducing Cholesterol, Aiding in Digestion, Helping with Weight Loss, Improving Kidney Function and providing protection to the liver are just a few benefits of Fenugreek/Methi Dana.
Kalongi/Black Cumin, Nigella Seeds कलौंजी
The fourth ingredient of Panch Phoron is Kalongi/Black Cumin, Nigella Seeds. Also known as black cumin, nigella or by its scientific name Nigella sativa, kalonji belongs to the buttercup family of flowering plants.
The kalonji, or Nigella seeds, is an interesting spice. –it adds a beautiful aroma to the dishes when used for tempering.
It has a flavour that you can’t quite nail. In India, dry roasted kalonji is used for flavouring curries, dal, stir-fried vegetables, and even savouries such as samosa, pickles papads and kachori among others.
In addition to its culinary use, kalonji is known for its medicinal properties. Fighting Acne, Keeping a Check on Diabetes, Increasing Memory and Alleviates Asthma, Controlling Blood Pressure, Protecting the Kidney, Easing Joint Pain and Strengthening Immunity are only some of the enormous benefits of this herb.
When you’re buying nigella seeds, remember to check the pack carefully; the seeds are beautiful and jet black and shouldn’t look stale or grey.
Storing nigella is important. Always store it in a dry place and make sure it doesn’t come in contact with moisture.
You normally won’t be using it in normal tempering on a daily basis so don’t buy large quantities of kalonji. 100 grams can take you a long way, so buy in smaller portions.
This will prevent the seed from losing its aroma and benefits by sitting on the shelf for too long.
Mustard seeds/Sarso/Rai सरसों
The fifth ingredient of Panch Phoron is Mustard seeds/Sarso/Rai. Mustard seeds, also known as ‘Sarso‘ or ‘Rai‘ in Hindi. Mustard seeds are largely used for tempering dishes.
It is also used in non-vegetarian dishes to enhance the taste of meats and fishes. It can also be used for pickling and in chutneys.
Brown mustard seeds are used for garnishing, once sautéed in oil a little. Another great way of putting mustard seeds to use is in salad dressings. Make sure you don’t overcook mustard seeds or their taste may turn bitter.
Benefits of mustard seeds are many and popularly used for taste generally in hot dogs, burgers, pizzas and commonly used as tempering in Indian cuisines and pastes for gravies of fish in Assam/Bengal.
Where mustard sauce is very much preferred. In India, we consume the seeds as well as the leaves of mustard seeds. Sarson Da Saag is a hot favourite in winters.
Apart from the taste benefits of mustard seeds and the easy availability that made them popular, one can find a number of mustard seed benefits for our health too.
Some of the mustard seeds health benefits are – cancer treatment, rheumatic arthritis, migraine, is known to relieve respiration congestion, good source of dietary fibre that improve digestion, a number of nutrients present in mustard seeds like copper, iron, magnesium and selenium also assist in the treatment of blood pressure and menopause relief.
Sulphur present in mustard seeds is known for its anti-fungal properties. Always store mustard seeds in a cool place in an air-tight container so that it is sealed properly.
Whole mustard seeds can last up to one year (at least) and powdered or ground ones last as long as six months.
Want To Test Your Knowledge On Indian Spices
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “TULSI”?
Tulsi/Vrinda/Basil is a sacred plant in Hindu religion. Tulsi is regarded as an earthly manifestation of the goddess Vrinda. She is COMMONLY regarded as the consort of the god Vishnu and thus the avatar of Lakshmi.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “HING”?
Hing/Asafoetida makes for an essential part of the Indian cuisine. Any tempering especially in curries and dals is incompete without it. It is an age-old medicine for stomach problems including gas, bloating etc.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “AJWAIN”?
Ajwain/Carom seeds help in treating stomach problems including gas, bloating etc. Both the seed‑like fruit (often mistakenly called seeds) and the leaves of the plant are consumed by humans.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “DALCHINI”?
Dalchini is widely used as a spice. It is mainly employed in the kitchen as a spice and flavoring material. Cinnamon is additionally used in many dessert recipes, such as apple pie, doughnuts including cinnamon buns, as well as spicy candy, tea, hot cocoa, and liqueurs.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “JEERA”?
Jeera/Caraway seeds is a miraculous weight loss drink. Jeera water can help to shed kilos. They are packed with antioxidants and can even help to remove harmful free oxygen radicals from the body.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “SAUNF”?
Saunf/Fennel look like a grooved or ridged grain of rice. It comes in colors ranging from bright to pale green and tan and has a licorice-like taste - sweeter and slightly less pungent and intense than licorice.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “AMLA POWDER”?
Some people claim that using it as a hair mask can lead to shinier locks and a healthier scalp. Organic Amla Powder/Gooseberry Grass is a powerful natural hair conditioner and scalp cleanser. Amla prevents hair loss, premature greying.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “JAVITRI”?
Javitri/Mace is a crimson red-coloured material with a strong aroma. It appears like a thick thread that envelops the Nutmeg’s seed coat. It's spicy in flavour, somewhat like a combination of pepper and cinnamon.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “CHAKRI FOOL”?
CHAKRI FOOL/Star Anise is the seed pod from the fruit of the Illicium verum plant, an evergreen shrub native to Southwest China. Although this star-shaped pod has a similar flavour and name to Spanish anise, the two plants are unrelated. A compound called anethole is responsible for the licorice-like flavour of both plants.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “TIL”?
Sesame seeds/Til seeds are tiny, oil-rich seeds that grow in pods on the Sesamum indicum plant. They have many health benefits. Til seeds have been used in making medicines for thousands of years.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “GULKAND”?
Gulkand/Rose Petal Conserve is a sweet preserve of rose petals, used as a flavouring in many parts of South Asia. It is prepared using unique pink rose petals and is mixed with sugar. It also helps relieve constipation.
What is the English Name of Essential Indian Spice “SENDHA NAMAK”?
Sendha Namak/Rock Salt, is a favourite of those fasting during the auspicious days of Navratri. It is ideal for maintaining skin health and hair health. It also reduces yellowing of nails, fights stress, combats respiratory diseases and digestive disorder.
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Recipe Name: Panch Phoran: Five Spice Powder & Mixture
Author: Ranjeeta Nath Ghai
Description: Panch Phoron literally means “five spices.” This blend of spices commonly used in Eastern India and it consists of the following seeds: Cumin, Brown Mustard, Fenugreek, Nigella and Fennel. The spices are left whole (depending on how they’re being used) and are either dry roasted or fried in oil in order to coax out their pungent flavours.
Preperation time: 5M
Total Time: 5M
Recipe Yield: 4 recipes
Recipe Ingredients: 1 tablespoon cumin seeds ज़ीरा , 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds सरसों , 1 tablespoon fennel seeds सौंफ़ , 1 tablespoon nigella seeds (also called black cumin or kalonji) कलौंजी , 1½ teaspoons fenugreek seeds मेथी दाना
Recipe Instructions: Combine the seeds in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container. Depending on what kind of dish you make with these seeds, they can either be fried briefly in oil or dry roasted to coax out their rich flavors.
Recipe Cuisine: Indian
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