Ah blending spices! Is there anything more delightfully satisfying? Doubtful. Panch Puran / Panch Phoron is a North East Indian/Bangladeshi/Nepali style mix of 5 whole spices. This blend will not only give your curries and dals deep and layered flavours, but each seed offers a range of feel-good benefits.
Nigella - immune boosting, promotes skin health
Fenugreek - high in fiber, folic acid, anti-inflammatory
Cumin - rich in vitamins and minerals, sleep aid
Fennel - rich in minerals, aids in digestion
Black Mustard - high in magnesium, relives aches and pains
(these are, of course, only a few of the multitude of health benefits from these seeds!)
How to make and use Panch Puran
You can make your mix by combining equal parts of each whole seed: nigella, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, black mustard. You can use 1 tablespoon of each or 25 grams of each spice if you think you'll make a lot of use of it!
Combine the seeds well and at this point you can seal the mix up in an airtight jar.
If you want to get ahead of the game, you can toast the mix in a dry frying pan on medium heat, until slightly browner and fragrant. Make sure to shake the pan frequently or stir gently with a wooden spoon; this should take 3-5 minutes. Once you start to smell the seeds, its time to take them off the heat before they burn!
Allow to cool, and store in the jar.
The best way to use Panch Puran is to make a tempering by frying the seeds in some oil or ghee, and then adding chillies, garlic, ginger and onions--caramelise everything in the spiced oil. Use this as the base for a curry or dal, or even better--pour OVER a finished curry or dal, over rice, roasted veggies, fish or meat, to give your dish an added rich and powerful spice blast!
Check out my Perfect Tarka Dhal recipe to test out your Panch Puran!