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What is Panch Phoron ?


Panch Phoron (Hindi: पन्चफोरन,(Odia: ପଞ୍ଚୁ ଫୁଟଣ)).) Bengali: পাঁচ ফোড়ন pãch phoṛon), also found transliterated as Padkaune Masala, panch puran, panch phoran, panchphoran, panch phutana, is a whole spice blend used in Bangladesh, Eastern India and Southern Nepal especially in their cuisine. The name literally means “five spices” in Maithili (paanch phorana), Nepali (Padkaune Masala), Assamese (pas phoṛôn), Bengali (pãch phoṛon) and Oriya (panchu phutana (ପଞ୍ଚୁ ଫୁଟଣ)).

Panch-Phoron-Phoran

All of the spices in panch phoron are seeds. Typically, panch phoron consists of fenugreek seed (methi मेथी दाना), nigella seed (मंग्रैल / कलौंजी), cumin seed (जीरा), black mustard seed (राई) and fennel seed (सौंफ़) in equal parts. Some cooks prefer to use a smaller proportion of fenugreek seeds, which have a mildly bitter taste.

In Bengal, panch phoron is sometimes made with radhuni instead of mustard seed. In the West, where radhuni may be hard to obtain, some cooks substitute the similar-tasting celery seed.

Unlike most spice mixes, panch phoron is always used whole and never ground. Traditionally, panch phoron is used with vegetables, chicken or beef curry, fish, lentils, shukto and in pickles.

In the tradition of Oriya, Maithili cuisine, Nepali cuisine, and Bengali cuisine, panch phoron is typically fried in mustard oil or ghee, which causes it to immediately begin popping. This technique is known as “tempering”, called ବଘାର (baghaar) or ଛୁଙ୍କ (Chhunka) or ଫୁଟଣ (Phutana) in Oriya, ফোড়ন (phoŗon) in Maithili of Nepali dialect and in Bengali, or বাগাড় (bagaŗ) also in Bengali and छौंक (chaunk) in Hindi/Urdu. After tempering, other ingredients are added to the fried spices to be coated in the mixture.

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