There maybe times when you do not have Panch phoron or do not know what it is. Here is a list of most suitable alternative spices that can be used as panch phoron substitute.
A must- have spice in any Bengali household!
‘Panch or paanch’ in Hindi and Bengali respectively means five and the word ‘Phoron or Phoran’ means tempering spices.
It is a classic mix of 5 whole spices that is, fenugreek, nigella, fennel, cumin, and mustard seeds.
Panch Phoran has over lapping flavours of bitter, earthy and nutty.
If you have started out into venturing with spices, then I would surely recommend keeping this blend in hand as they are so easy to use.
Click here to read about how to use panch phoron for cooking
Best Substitutes For Panch Phoron
The unique combination of different flavours makes it difficult to replicate the taste.
No one spice can be a substitute for panch phoron. One of the best way to replicate the taste of panch phoron in a dish is to use a combination of whole spices. Below are two closest combination as an alternative to panch phoron.
Spice Combination Option 1 – Mix black seeds, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds
Spice Combination Option 2 – Use a combination of thyme, cumin seeds, mustard seeds
In case you prefer a single spice as a panch phoran substitute then go for the following, although do keep in mind that these spices listed below do not replicate panch phoran taste :
Single Spice Option 1 – Nigella seeds
Single Spice Option 2 – Fennel seeds
Best Food Pairings
Being a mild neutral spice, panch phoron is versatile and goes well with most food items.
Best food pairing: root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, ginger, turnip, sweet potatoes, green beans, cabbage, cauliflower, chicken, lamb, meat, eggs, seafood, rice, curries
Best spice pairing: asafoetida, cardamom, cinnamon,sesame seeds, ground ginger, cloves,curry leaves, dry chilies, coriander seeds, turmeric
Uses and Cooking Tips
The most traditional use of Paanch phoron is to temper or fry it in warm oil or ghee for few seconds causing them to pop and flavour the oil before adding other vegetables, or ingredients to it.
It is use to make dishes such as shukto, alu posto, in pickles, lentils and many Indian curries.
You can read many cooking tips, facts and uses of panch phoron in this post here.