Indian Essentials: Panch Phoron | How to Make Panch Phoron

Panch Phoron | Bengali 5-Spice Mixture

This is a classic Bengali spice mix, and it can also be called many names – panch phoron, pancha phoran, panch phora, panch puran, panchpuran, punch puram, punchpuram. It is the Indian version of the Chinese Five Spice Powder. It is highly aromatic and commonly used in Bengali cuisine.

Panch means five, and Phoron means spice. It typically consists of five spices in equal proportions: Fenugreek (methi), Kalonji (nigella seed), mustard seeds (rai), sweet fennel (saunf) or anise seeds, and cumin Seed (Jeera). It is not a hot spice mix. Recipes do vary, and it is also good to make your own as commercial spice mixes always favour the cheaper spices and use less of the more expensive spices. The spices are mixed but kept whole until needed. They are usually roasted of sauteed in oil before being ground or added whole to a dish.

Panch Phoron is commonly used in Bengali dishes, but what is not generally known is that when it is toasted or fried in ghee, it is a great topping for a salad or other dishes.

Panch phoron

Panch Phoron

1 Tblspn brown or black mustard seeds, 1 Tblspn fennel seeds, 1 Tblspns cumin seeds, 1 Tblspn nigella seeds, 1 Tblspn fenugreek seeds

Mix the spices and keep in a sealed jar or airtight container. Grind only what is needed to preserve the flavours.


Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Spice information here. Or you might like to browse our Indian Essentials series here.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. katiebonken says:

    Panch phoran is something I’ve never tried. I have heard of it but always wanted to try it. What would you suggest to cook with it? Tomato based sauce or could it work in a biryani I wonder? Thanks


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