Panch Phoron- The King of all Spices
It is not wrong to say that Indian Kitchen is incomplete without the presence of spices as they plays a crucial role in cuisines. One such important spice is Five spice mix, also known as Panch Phoron in Bengal and Oriya, and can be easily found in East Indian kitchen. The essence of Panch Phoron lies in the name itself. While Panch means five, Phoron refers to spices. Bengali cuisines and the special and unique flavors, they encompass are not only full of scrumptious aroma but are mouth watering as well. Credit goes to one in five blended spices like Panch Phoron which is a typical colorful mixture of five seed spices, namely, green colored fennel seeds, black colored mustard seeds, golden colored fenugreek seeds, buff colored cumin seeds and other black colored Nigella seeds.
The seeds are generally mixed in equal quantity, but it may also vary upon the individual preferences. However, the seeds are not minced but are used as such. To get the ever needed taste and aroma, the seeds is taken and either dry roast in a pan or fried in oil so that the quintessence of the mixed seeds reach directly to the food it is being used for.
Benefits of Panch Phoron
Apart from imparting delightful aroma and flavor, the benefits of Panch Phoron are endless. Due to the combination of five super healthy spices, Panch Phoron has properties to elevate the fitness. Each seed in itself endows a wide range of health assisting characteristics. Let’s take a sneak-peek over them:
1. Fennel seeds:
Having diuretic properties, it helps in intoxicating the body and also improves the cognitive functions. With a high amount of Vitamins, it is also rich in minerals required for proper development of the body.
2. Mustard seeds:
Being a good source of dietary fibers, mustard seeds help in digestion process, thus improving the overall metabolism of the body. Being rich in mineral contents, it is one necessary spice to be used for the betterment of the body.
3. Fenugreek seeds:
The anti-inflammatory properties of fenugreek make it one of the most preferred spices in the Indian cuisine. Other that aiding digestion, it is best for the people suffering from diabetes and heart problems.
4. Cumin seeds:
The volatile oils present in cumin seeds, helps in aiding digestion and fluxing the toxins out from the body. Antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties of it lead to the consumption of cumin seeds in almost all the delicacies.
5. Nigella seeds:
Also known as Kalonji, Nigella seeds encompass anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It is one exotic spice that has the power to eradicate gastrointestinal troubles. It stimulates bile and thus helps in proper digestion in the body.
Uses of Panch Phoron
The most important use of Panch Phoron is to make the dish more mouth watering and more delicious. The strong aroma of five mixed spices can elevate your hunger pangs and satisfy your taste buds to another level. Apart from enriching the flavor of the food, it can make it nutritionally rich and loaded. With the high dietary benefits, use of Panch Phoron is not limited to Bengali cuisines only. These days it is being used in other parts of the country as well. It has the power to increase the taste of the food being added to. It is generally used for increasing the taste and savor of chicken, beef and lamb. However, it can also be used in vegetarian dishes, especially in soups and sausages to make them more tempting and alluring.
Selection and storage of Panch Phoron
If you are about to use this wonderful spice mixture in your home, then you must consider a few points before getting it in your kitchen. Always try to get a hold on whole seeds rather than crushed or minced. Having volatile oils in abundance, the crushed Panch Phoron will be nothing less than just a few seeds with very little aroma and flavor. Crushing them will let the oil escape, leading to dry and parched seeds of different colors. So always go for whole seeds.
Also, while selecting the seeds, seek for the ones that are grown organically as they will impart stronger aroma. The flavor would be much higher than that which are not organic ones. The additional thing to look upon is the packet should not have any hole that has lead air to pass as it will increase the chances to make it worthless quickly.
Once you get the Panch Phoron after selecting appropriately, you need to store it in any airtight container; preferably a glass container. Store it in a cool, dark and dry place so as to avoid moisturization of the seeds.
How to use and recipes:
Panch Phoron should be used in the raw form and not grinded as this will make them lose their strong authentic flavor. If you are health conscious, they can be dry roasted in the pan or if want to have a rich diet it can be deep fried in oil. As soon the seeds start popping with fluttering sounds, a strong aroma of Panch Phoron will surround the environment. The other ingredients can now be added as per your recipe. Roasted Panch Phoron can also be used to sprinkle above the cooked vegetable to get a crisp and pungent taste. There are a number of recipes where Panch Phoron is being documented to add a strong tempting and mouth watering flavor. Some of them are:
• Fish curry: Bengali’s most relished cuisine can be made more interesting with Panch Poron.
• Chicken and beef curry with Panch Phoron
• While you add Panch Phoron in Pumpkin and shrimp vegetable the recipe gets the much-required attention.
• Along with the non-vegetarian dishes, it can also be used in:
- Potato curry
- Different lentil recipes
- Soups, chutney and sausages
So what are you waiting for? Go get the Panch Phoron from a reliable shop and relish the delicacies with the strong and yummy flavor of Panch Phoron.