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How do I make my own panch phora spice mix ?

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How do I make a panch phora spice mix ?

Translated from Hindustani, panch phora means “five seeds”. Also known as Bengali Five Spices, A panch phora spice blend is literally that, 5 whole seed spices blended equally together in a typical mix of brown mustard seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds.

In traditional Bengali cooking, the panch phora is fried in oil or ghee until the seeds pop releasing their flavour, and then the meat or vegetables are added to the dish.

Recipe for panch phora spice blend :

1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds

1 tablespoon nigella seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

Mix all the spices together in a small bowl and combine well. Store in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. The panch phora will keep for a long time up to a year.

A favourite recipe using panch phora is a spicy fried potato. Try this recipe to add a little bit of zing to your next family meal. 

Spicy Potato with Coriander

Ingredients :

½ kilogram potatoes cut into small cubes (use organic potatoes for a real taste treat)

¼ cup ghee (available in Woolworths or Coles)

1 tablespoon of panch phora spice mix

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

½ teaspoon chilli powder

1 brown onion sliced finely

2 garlic cloves finely chopped, or equivalent crushed garlic

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 cup coriander leaves, roughly or finely chopped depending on your preference

Par boil the potato cubes in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt. Drain, then rinse under cold water in a colander or sieve, drain and rinse again, and then put the potatoes aside on a paper towel.

Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over medium heat until melted. Add the panch phora and cook for about a minute until you hear the seeds pop.

Add the remaining dry spices and cook for about 30 seconds until you can sense the aroma being released. Stir in the onion and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and potato cubes, and stir into the onion mixture until the potato cubes are coated in spices. Season with salt, keep stirring, and fry for about 10-15 minutes until the potato is cooked and golden crispy brown.

Remove from heat and serve immediately, sprinkle with limejuice and garnish with the coriander leaves.

Use your imagination to try interesting variations on this recipe!  Substitute chicken for the potato and cook into kebabs, serve with natural yoghurt.  Your family will be delighted :)



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