Panch phoron, also called panch puran or panch phutana, is a special blend of spices used in Eastern India and Bangladesh, especially in Assamese, Bengali and Oriya cuisine. The name itself means "five spices" in the 3 Indian languiages - Bengali, Assamese and Oriya.
Constituents: According to the Panch Phoron Recipe
Panch puran is typically made using Nigella seed, fenugreek, cumin seed, fennel and radhuni seed in equal parts. Celery seed is also sometimes used in place of radhuni. The spices are generally neither ground nor roasted. It has gained its popularity on account of its diverse color (green, black and yellow) and shapes.
Uses: Pach Phoron Seeds
There are a couple of ways to use Panch Phoron - They can be toasted in hot oil till the time the aroma of each spice is released and the oil as a base to cook meat, dal and vegetable or even roasted in butter or ghee and introduce it as seasoning to thick curries and dals.
Traditionally, Panch phoran is used with fish, vegetables, beef or chicken curry, shukto, lentils and pickles.
In the tradition of Bengali and Oriya cuisine, panch puran is usually fried in ghee or cooking oil that causes it start popping. This technique is known as tempering. After tempering, other ingredients are added to the fried spices to be coated in the mixture.
It is very common in North and East India, where a lot of the seed spices are grown. They can be used as a coating on roasted meat or chicken and sprinkled on Indian breads(chapathi, parotha), potato dishes, and vegetables, especially cauliflower and eggplant. Infact panch phoron can be added to almost any Indian dish.