Panch Phoron

Nigella seed, a main ingredient in Paanch Phoran

JLPC / Wikimedia Commons

Prep: 2 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Total: 4 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings

Panch phoran is a five-seed blend, popular in Bangladesh and Northern India that is not ground. "Panch" means "five" in Bengali, and "phoran" means "spice." The blend, made of equal parts cumin, fennel, nigella, fenugreek, and mustard seeds, is nearly synonymous with Bengali cooking.

Indeed, according to "​The distinct aroma of Bengali cuisine is mostly due to the blend of spices known as panch phoron." (Tarla Dalal was the Julia Child of India before she died in 2013, but the website she founded is still widely read in India, Bangladesh, and other South Asian countries.)

Though you don't grind the mixture, you almost always will fry panch phoron in ghee or cooking oil before using it in any recipe. Just some of the recipes that make use of this spice blend in include chicken or fish curry, roasted potatoes and even lentils.


  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds

  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Mix cumin, fennel, nigella, fenugreek, and mustard seeds.

  3. Store mixture in an airtight container.