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:
- Panch Phoron Chicken
- Purple Panch Phoron
- 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
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb chicken thighs or breast cut into 1-inch pieces
- cooked rice recommended: Basmati
- flat bread naan or chapati
Culinary Spice Kit
-  Panch Phoron Cumin, fennel, fenugreek, brown and yellow mustard, nigella
-  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  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  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!
Variation:Substitute turnip with daikon or 1 bunch radish. Substitute one of the vegetables with 1 plantain or 1 sweet potato.
- 1 lb chicken legs, thighs, wings
- 5 medium tomatoes quartered
- 4 cups basmati rice cooked or steamed
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- limes or lemons
- oil or ghee
Panch Phoron Culinary Spice Kit
-  Brown & yellow mustard, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, nigella
-  Kashmiri chili
- In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat.
- Fry Panch Phoron  spices until they begin to pop.
- Add ginger and garlic.
- Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chicken and salt to taste.
- Stir-fry chicken over high heat for about 5 minutes until all sides turn brown.
- Add tomatoes.
- Add salt and Panch Phoron  spices to taste.
- Cover and cook over low heat for about 10-20 minutes until tomatoes fall apart and the chicken is cooked.
- Serve the panch phoron chicken on rice with lime wedges.
- Substitute chicken with fish filet, shrimp, or tofu.
- For a vegetarian version, substitute chicken with garbanzo beans, potatoes, and mixed root vegetables.
- Optionally, season the rice with turmeric.
Purple Panch Phoron
- 1 little purple cauliflower
- 1 Asian eggplant
- 1 red onion
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
- 1 tbsp lemon juice optional
- 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.