PREPARING PAANCH PHORON
Bengali five spices mix recipe
Panch Phoran or Phoron Paanch is a mixture of spices, all seeds, used in Bengali cuisine. This delicious blend, which has a surprising mix of flavors, has spread across Eastern India and Bangladesh.
In Indian language, Paanch means five and Phoron means spice. Therefore, this mixture is also termed as Bengali five spice mixture.
Photo of cumin
Seeds of fennel
Seeds of fenugreek
Seeds of cumin (image on the right)
Seeds of white mustard
Black cumin seeds
Mix all spices in equal measure.
Store in a sealed glass jar.
The Bengali fivespice is used to flavor the butter ghee or oil before cooking, as if it was a sauté. When you add the beans to the hot fat, they become roasted until they burst. So, they release their aroma in the cooking oil.
Used in stirfries or vegetable dishes, over low heat to release their aroma and so as they do do not burn.
Note: Some variants substitute fenugreek for celery seed, because fenugreek has a very bitter taste. However, we can try to use a lesser amount, if we dislike its strong taste.
Each spice has different medicinal properties:
– Mustard has some cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates, which provide a spicy and hot taste.
– Fennel and cumin are very digestive spices, like other Umbelliferae as dill or anise.
– Fenugreek has a characteristic bitter flavor. It prevents hypoglycemic glucose spikes after meals. It can also help lower cholesterol, treat menstrual pain and even increase bust size. * More information: Fenugreek for women.
Apart from their medicinal properties, we must highlight the importance of spices as a cultural heritage which is unfortunately increasingly less valued. Fragrant spices have written the history of the modern world, through the Spice Route and the discovery of America (or New World) Such was the value of spices in ancient times, that, during the Middle Ages, in Europe they were used for trading.
Currently, the amazing aromas that these spices can bring go unnoticed in societies where fast-food has become the common form of consumption.. However, spices provide not only aroma to our dishes but nutritional and medicinal virtues, to our body, too:
More information on fenugreek.
22 April, 2019