Panch Phoron (Indian Five Spice Blend)

4.67 from 6 votes

Made using five whole spices, Panch Phoron (Panch Phoran, Indian Five Spice Blend) is a traditional spice mix that is quintessential in Bengali, Oriya, and Bangladeshi cuisine. It is very easy to make at home using five basic Indian spices.

Here are some more Indian spice mixes you can make at home: Achari Masala Powder, Sambar Powder, Thandai Powder, Kerala Garam Masala Powder, and Chai Masala Powder.

Panch Phoron kept on a small plate.
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About Panch Phoron (Indian Five Spice Blend)

Panch means ‘Five,’ and Phoron means ‘Tempering’ in Hindi.

Panch Phoron (Panch Phoran, Indian Five Spice Mix) is a mixture of five aromatic spices (seeds).

This five-seed mix is also widely used in the cuisine of Bangladesh, Eastern India (West Bengal, Assam, Orissa), and Southern Nepal.

It is called by different names in different regions. For example, it is known as Padkaune Masala in Nepal, pas phoron in Assam, and panchu phutana (panch phutana) in Orissa.

To make panch phoron spice mix, the seeds are neither roasted nor ground. They are just mixed in a specific proportion. This whole spice mix is added to hot oil while tempering a dish, and it releases all its flavor and aroma in the hot oil, making the final dish very flavorful.

This Indian 5-spice is readily available in your nearby grocery stores, but you can also prepare it very easily at home.

Making the panch phoron recipe at home is very economical, and you can be sure of the quality of the ingredients.

This spice mix is vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

Panch phoron ingredients

This Bengali spice mix uses just five ingredients: warming and nutty radhuni (which can be replaced with cumin seeds), oniony nigella seeds (kalaunji), licorice-flavored fennel seeds (saunf), spicy and sweet brown mustard seeds (sarson), and bitter fenugreek seeds (methi dana).

Radhuni

Radhuni, known as ajmod in Hindi, is the dried fruit of Trachyspermum Roxburgianum. Grown mostly in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia, it is often confused with ajwain (carom seeds). It is made from the seeds of the radhuni plant, which is a parsley family member. Radhuni has a strong, warming, nutty, and pungent flavor and is used as a seasoning for various dishes, including fish, chicken, and vegetables. This seed is believed to have medicinal properties and is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive disorders. It is also said to boost immunity and help in weight loss.

If radhuni is not easily available, you can replace it with cumin seeds as I did.

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Dana)

Fenugreek seeds are small, yellow-brown, bitter-tasting seeds from the fenugreek plant. They are known for their medicinal properties, which include aiding digestion and lowering blood sugar levels. Fenugreek is also used as a natural remedy for various health conditions, such as high cholesterol, menopause symptoms, and breast milk production.

Nigella Seeds (Kalonji)

Nigella seeds, also known as onion seeds, black cumin, or kalonji, are small, black, triangular-shaped seeds from the Nigella sativa plant. They have a unique flavor, with notes of onion, oregano, and black pepper. Nigella seeds have a long history of medicinal use and are believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. They are also used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines.

Fennel Seeds (Saunf)

Fennel seeds are small, greenish-brown, oblong seeds from the fennel plant. They have a strong, anise-like flavor and aroma and are commonly used as a spice in cooking, particularly in Indian and Mediterranean dishes. They are also used as a breath freshener after meals. Fennel seeds are believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive properties. They are also used in traditional medicine to relieve menstrual cramps, increase milk flow in breastfeeding women, and treat digestive issues.

Brown Mustard Seeds (Sarson)

Brown mustard seeds are small, hard, round seeds from the mustard plant. They are less pungent than their yellow counterparts and have a nutty, earthy flavor. They are also used in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine to aid digestion and relieve respiratory issues.

How To Make Bengali Panch Phoron

Add the following ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and mix well using a spoon.

  • 2 tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tablespoon brown mustard seeds (sarson)
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 1 tablespoon radhuni (or cumin seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
All the ingredients added to a bowl.

Transfer the spice mix to an airtight jar (or glass bottle) with a tight lid. Use as desired.

Ready panch phoron.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should be the ratio of spices in panch phoran?

Many people use equal parts of all the spices in their mix, but I feel that fenugreek, radhuni, and kalonji taste bitter when used in large amounts. Hence, my blend uses a lesser amount of these spices.

Usage Ideas

Traditionally, paanch phoron is used to prepare chicken or mutton curries, fish, lentils, shukto (cooked vegetables), and pickles. It is added to hot oil to release the aroma of the spices, which is then transferred to the main dish.

Panch Phoron is an integral part of any Bengali-style tarkari (stir fries), be it Aloo, Cauliflower, Parwal, or any Vegetable.

Panch Phoran tomato chutney and yellow dal tempered with this spice mixture are to die for. I also make Tok Dal and Tomato Khejur Chutney using this spice mix.

Add a spoonful of this Indian spice blend in hot mustard oil or ghee and let them fry until the seeds start crackling. This technique of tempering spices in oil is called tadka in Hindi. The spluttering of these spices in hot oil releases a very strong aroma.

Do not fry these spices too long, as they get burned fast.

The methi seeds tend to cook a little faster than the other spices, so keep your next step ready as soon as you add the spices to the oil so that you can easily reduce the temperature of the oil and the spices do not burn.

Storage Suggestions

Panch Phoran is best stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. It can also be stored at room temperature for up to 6 months.

If you want your panch phoran to last longer, store it in the freezer. If stored properly, it can last up to 2 years.

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Made using 5 whole spices, Panch Phoron (Panch Phoran) is a traditional spice mix that is quintessential in Bengali cuisine. It is very easy to make at home using five basic Indian spices. Here is how to make it.
4.67 from 6 votes

Panch Phoron Recipe (Panch Phoroan, Indian Five Spice Blend)

Made using 5 whole spices, Panch Phoron (Panch Phoran, Indian Five Spice Blend) is a traditional spice mix that is quintessential in Bengali, Oriya, and Bangladeshi cuisine. It is very easy to make at home using five basic Indian spices.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 6 minutes
Servings: 8 uses (1 tablespoon each)

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds (sarson)
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • 1 tablespoon radhuni (replace it with cumin seeds if not available.)
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds (kalonji, onion seeds)
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Instructions 

  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Store in an airtight jar and use as required.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Many people use equal parts of all the spices in their mix, but I feel that fenugreek, radhuni, and kalonji taste bitter when used in large amounts. Hence, my blend uses a lesser amount of these spices.
The methi seeds tend to cook a little faster than the other spices, so keep your next step ready as soon as you add the spices to the oil so that you can easily bring down the temperature of the oil and the spices do not end up burning.

Nutrition

Calories: 16kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 44mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 10IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg
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