Panch phoron (Bengali five-spice) recipe.
Panch phoron is a blend of five whole spices and is the most commonly used spice blend in Bengali vegetarian dishes. The spices used are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and fennel seeds. These spices are mixed together in equal proportion to make this simple five-spice blend. It is also widely used in Bihar, northeastern states, Nepal and Bangladesh.
These spices are left whole in the spice blend. Depending on the dish that it is being used in, they are either tempered in ghee/oil or dry roasted and ground into a powder. Irrespective of how it is used, it gives a wonderful flavour and aroma to the dish.
To make panch phoron, combine equal proportions of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds. Store it in an air-tight container away from direct sunlight and use as needed.
Each of these spices has its own set of health benefits. Cumin seeds aid digestion and are traditionally used to cure indigestion. Mustard seeds are rich in a nutrient called selenium, known for its high anti-inflammatory effects. They are also rich in magnesium. Nigella seeds are packed with antioxidants and can aid in blood sugar regulation. Fennel seeds are well known to aid digestion. They are even consumed after a meal for this very reason. Fenugreek seeds are well-known for their use to regulate blood sugar levels. These spices combined together not only elevates the taste of the dish but also increases the health benefits.
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