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Panch Puran

Panch Puran

Panch Puran (in Bengali: পাঁচ ফোড়ন) is a mixture of spices typical of the cuisine of some regions of India.

Origins and History –
Panch Puran, also known by other names, including Punch Phoron is a blend of spices born in Bangladesh and prevalent in the regions of Bengal, Assam, Orissa and southern Asia.
The term Panch Puran, in its original language literally means “five spices”. It is a mixture of spices commonly used in eastern India and Bangladesh.
This mixture is obtained by mixing generally cumin seeds, black or brown mustard, fenugreek, nigella and fennel.
The spices are left whole and, depending on how they are used, they are dry roasted or fried in oil to obtain their pungent flavors.
Panch Phoron is used to season various dishes and, in particular, lentil and vegetable dishes where spices are used whole.

Description –
Panch Phoron, as mentioned, is composed of five spices, not chopped and mixed in equal parts:
– fenugreek seeds;
– seeds of nigella sativa;
– mustard seeds;
– fennel seeds;
– cumin seeds;
The mixture, not being the individual spices ground, looks like a simple mixture where it is obviously possible to identify the individual components.

Active principles –
The nutritional values ​​of Panch Phoron are linked to the percentages that are used of the individual components which, as is evident, depends very much on the starting raw materials, so there is no standard data sheet of the nutritional values ​​and substances present in this spice.
This is due not so much to the variability of the components, which in the Panch Phoron mixture are used in somewhat standard percentages, but for the variety of ingredients and also for the difference in characteristics, often of the spices that compose it as they also come from somewhat different cultivation.
Obviously for the composition of the individual spices, please refer to the data sheet.

Properties and Uses –
Panch Puran takes on different names, especially in relation to the place where this particular spice mixture is prepared.
Among the different names we mention:
– Paanch phorana (Maithila);
– Padkaune Masala (Nepal);
– Pas phoron (Assam);
– Pãch phoṛon (Bengal);
– Panchu phutana (Oriya);
– Padkaune masala;
– Panch puran;
– Panch phoron;
– Panchphoron;
– Panch phutana;
– Bengali five spice;
– Panch phora;
– Panch poran;
– Panchpur.
Due to the particular composition of the spices, Panch Puran, in addition to its taste and spiciness, also has significant health benefits.
Some of the important advantages related to the consumption of this mixture are the following:
– The presence of cumin in the five recipes helps to secrete pancreatic juice, therefore good in digestion. It also works as a pre-meal;
– Cumin seeds are good for healthy and radiant skin;
– Fenugreek seeds are beneficial for breast milk;
– Fenugreek seeds are useful for diabetic patients;
– Fenugreek seeds are also used to improve fair complexion;
– Nigella seeds are useful for more or less all types of diseases and ailments. These are considered seeds of miracle cure;
– Fennel seeds are good at lowering blood pressure;
– These seeds are also good for heart problems and the development of body immunity.
The best use of Panch Puran is to prepare tasty recipes to satisfy the preparation of very aromatic foods.
Panch Puran is hardly used for different recipes. However, the main use is that with eggs, cheese, salads, sausages, soups, paneer, lamb and pork, especially in cities and, moreover, it is used to enrich the flavor of different vegetables.
This mixture is also used in the dressing of poultry, fish or lentils.

Preparations –
The preparation of these five Bengal spices requires that they be fried in oil or clarified butter on the pan. When they start to crackle, you have to mix the other ingredients. This process is known as Baghaar in Oriya, Phoron in Bengal and Chaunk in Hindi. It is the moment when the aroma starts to escape from the ingredients. At this point you can add other recipes on the frying pan. The other simple process of using this five Bengali spices is to be used when preparing vegetables. It must be sprinkled from above and then mixed well in the pan. It also gives the recipe a pungent smell.
The various ingredients used to prepare the panchpuran recipe are as follows: Kalonji seeds (1 tablespoon), fenugreek seeds (1 tablespoon), mustard seeds (1 tablespoon), fennel seeds (1 tablespoon) and cumin seeds (1 tablespoon). The mixture is prepared and stored in a jar for use from time to time.
You can slightly decrease the amount of fenugreek, it is quite bitter. You can also use classic mustard seeds, the yellow ones if you can’t find the black seeds.
It is preferable to prepare Panch Puran at home instead of buying it from the store. Ground Panch Puran should not be used as its aromatic flavor is transient in nature. If you buy in a shop, it is good to check that there is no humidity in the composition. The expiration date should also be checked.
If, on the other hand, it is prepared at home, it is advisable to keep it in a tightly closed glass container. It should be kept in a dry, dark and cool place.
Among the most interesting recipes where Panch Puran is used we mention:
– Potato curry with panch puran and tamarind;
– Bengali curry fish with Panch Puran;
– Spinach with Panch Puran;
– lentils with Panch Puran;
– red Msoor from Panch Puran;
– Pumpkin and Sabzi shrimp-Panch Puran;
– Cranberry chutney with khejur.

Guido Bissanti

Warning: The information shown is not medical advice and may not be accurate. The contents are for illustrative purposes only and do not replace medical advice.

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