Panch Phoron is a traditional Indian spice blend that originates from the Eastern region of India, particularly from the states of West Bengal, Assam, and Bangladesh. The name "Panch Phoron" translates to "five spices" in Bengali, referring to the five distinct spices that make up this mixture. Each spice contributes its unique flavor and aroma to create a harmonious and well-balanced seasoning.
The five spices that make up Panch Phoron are:
- Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
- Nigella seeds (Kalonji)
- Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- Mustard seeds (Rai)
- Fennel seeds (Saunf)
The blend is usually used whole and not ground, as the whole spices release their flavors slowly during cooking, infusing the dish with their distinct tastes and aromas. Panch Phoron is commonly used in various Bengali and Assamese dishes, including lentils, vegetables, fish curries, and pickles. It adds a unique and flavorful touch to these dishes and is an essential part of the regional culinary identity.