Panch phoron

Panch Phoron – the sweet and bitter mixture

I want to recommend a spice blend – the North Indian Panch Phoron

Panch Phoron

Slowly, but surely, we are heading towards autumn. And with it, to the cooler days and the warmer spices. And the more substantial dishes. That’s why I want to recommend a spice blend that goes very well with this time of year – North Indian Panch Phoron.

This mixture consists of five different seeds, which are different in taste:

Fenugreek seeds: slightly bitter

fenugreek seed

Cumin seeds: slightly bitter, warm, and earthy

cumin seed

Mustard seeds: spicy and aromatic

Fennel seeds: sweetish and fresh

Black cumin seed also called nigella: tart and nutty

Black cumin
black cumin seed

It’s these differences in taste that are exciting and together create a harmonious, diverse taste experience. 

Panch Phoron can be used for legumes, vegetables or potatoes

Panch Phoron is used in North India for pulses, especially lentils, or for vegetables. But you can also use it for salads or potato dishes.

If you roast the mixture first, either dry or in some oil or ghee, the taste will be more intense. You can also grind the mixture on the finished dish.

The mixture consists of the whole seeds, which are freshly ground before use. 

For grinding you use a mortar or a pepper mill. I personally find a pepper mill particularly practical. You always have the mixture ready to use.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds (the brown ones, if you can’t find them, the yellow ones will work as well)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nigella

Mix everything well and store in an airtight and light-proof container.

Have fun trying it out!

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