Panch (also known as Panch Puran, Panchphoran, Panch Phutana (Oriya), or Five-spice Mix) is a spice blend used in Bangladesh and Eastern India, especially in Bengali, Assamese, and Oriya cuisine. In Assamese and Bengali, panch phoran, and in Oriya, panch phutana, literally mean “Five Spices”,
This spice mix is of Bengali origin also known as Punch Pooran. Equal quantities of whole spices are simply mixed together without roasting or grinding. The five spices include: cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, yellow mustard seeds and kaloonji seeds. Panch Pooran is used in two ways: the mixture may be fried in oil to impart flavour to the oil before adding the main ingredients or fired in ghee and stirred into cooked dhal or vegetable dishes just before they are served. Panch phoran is traditionally used with vegetables, lentils, or fish. In the tradition of Oriya and Bengali cuisine, panch phoron is typically fried in cooking oil or ghee, which causes it to start popping immediately. This technique is called “baghaar” (literally “tempering”) in Oriya, “phoron” in Bengali, and chaunk in Hindi. At this point, one adds the other ingredients to coat with the spice mixture. Store in a sealed jar. They keep very well.