Indian Five Spice / Panch Phoron
Also known as panch phoron (panch meaning “five”, and phoron meaning “flavor” or “spice”), five spice typically includes in equal parts fenugreek, cumin, mustard, nigella, and fennel, and is not to be confused with Chinese five spice. It is an essential seasoning in Bengali and North Indian cooking (in fact, another name for this mixture is Bengali five-spice). The seeds are used whole or ground, and is not just aromatically pleasing, but visually, as well, with the many colors of the individual spices.
Five spice is often fried in oil or ghee as a beginning ingredient of a dish, but it can also be used as a finishing component, added at the end right before serving. It pairs well with vegetables, chicken or beef curries, fish, lentils, and potatoes, and is an ingredient in some pickling and chutney recipes. It is even sometimes coarsely ground and sprinkled over breads.
- whole seed
Substitutions for each individual seed include: