Panch Phoron

Bengali panch phoron is a seed mix of equal quantity of cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard (black and yellow), and nigella, with a bittersweet anise flavor. This mix is used without grinding the seeds.

Try this exotic spice mix in three selected recipes:

  • Shukto
  • Panch Phoron Chicken
  • Purple Panch Phoron
Panch Phoron
Bengali Shukto

Bengali Shukto

Shukto is a must on any festive Bengali dinner menu. It has a slight bitterness balanced with sugar. If you are not up for this, try a Panch Phoron recipe from our website. Panch Phoron is a Bengali five-spice blend. It's always used whole. The seeds are fried in oil until they pop and release their aromatic flavor.
Cuisine Bengali
Servings 3


Shopping list

  • 1 large potato
  • 1 large turnip see notes
  • 1 medium zucchini or squash
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 cup milk
  • oil
  • sugar
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 lb chicken thighs or breast cut into 1-inch pieces

Suggested Sides

  • cooked rice recommended: Basmati
  • flat bread naan or chapati

Culinary Spice Kit

  • [1] Panch Phoron Cumin, fennel, fenugreek, brown and yellow mustard, nigella
  • [2] Yellow and brown mustard, ajowan, bay leaves



  • If using rice, cook rice according to package instructions.


  • Cut all vegetables into bite-size pieces.


  • In a large PAN, heat 6 tbsp oil.
  • Add Shukto [1] spices and ginger. Stir-fry 30 seconds until seeds start to pop.
  • Optional: Add chicken and salt to taste. Fry until all sides turn slightly brown.
  • Add potato, turnip, and salt to taste. Fry until they turn slightly brown.
  • Add all remaining vegetables and salt to taste. Fry until they turn slightly brown.


  • In a small CUP, dissolve Shukto [2] spices in 2 tbsp of water.
  • Add this spice paste and 1 cup of milk to the PAN. Cover. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low.
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables and optional chicken are cooked.
  • Add 1-3 tsp sugar to taste.
  • Serve with rice or bread. Enjoy!



Substitute turnip with daikon or 1 bunch radish.
Substitute one of the vegetables with 1 plantain or 1 sweet potato.
Keyword nigella, panch phoron
Bengali Panch Phoron

Panch Phoron Chicken

Cuisine Bengali
Servings 3


Shopping list

  • 1 lb chicken legs, thighs, or wings
  • 5 medium tomato/es quartered
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice

You might have

  • 1 inch ginger peeled, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, grated
  • limes
  • oil or ghee
  • salt

Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Brown & yellow mustard, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, nigella
  • Pouch [2] Kashmiri chili


  • Cook rice according to package instructions.
  • In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil.
  • Fry Panch Spices [1] over medium heat until they begin to pop.
  • Add ginger and garlic.
  • Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken and salt to taste.
  • Stir-fry chicken over high heat until the pieces turn brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and salt and Panch Spices [2] to taste.
  • Simmer over low heat about 10-20 minutes until tomatoes fall apart and chicken is cooked.
  • Serve chicken on rice with lime wedges.
  • Enjoy!


Variations/ Vegetarian

Substitute chicken with fish filet, shrimps, tofu, or your favorite vegetable/s.
Keyword nigella, panch phoron

Purple Panch Phoron

Cuisine Bengali


Shopping list

  • 1 little purple cauliflower
  • 1 Asian eggplant
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice optional
  • salt


  • 1.5 tsp of panch phoron seed mix
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp chili flakes optional


  • Cut cauliflower eggplant in 1-inch pieces.
  • Chop onion.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a PAN and stir-fry the cauliflower until brown on all sides.
  • Empty PAN in a heat resistance BOWL.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same PAN and stir-fry the onion and eggplant until brown on all sides.
  • Empty in the BOWL.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same PAN and fry panch phoron seed mix until they pop.
  • Add the vegetables, season with cumin, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup of water.
  • Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat to slow and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Check after 5 minutes and add some water if necessary.
  • Serve with rice or your grains of choice.


  • Squeeze lemon juice over the vegetables and sprinkle with chili flakes.
Keyword nigella, panch phoron