Panch Phoron literally means “five spices.” It is a spice blend commonly used in Eastern India and Bangladesh and consists of the following seeds: Cumin, Brown Mustard, Fenugreek, Nigella and Fennel.
The spices are left whole and, depending on how they’re being used, are either dry roasted or fried in oil in order to coax out their pungent flavors.
Panch Phoron is delicious as a rub for meats, added to Indian stews, sprinkled on vegetables, or used for pickling vegetables. It is also a delicious addition to any “carb-like” foods such as breads like naan bread.
Panch Phoron is usually a mixture of equal amounts of each spice.
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (also called black cumin or kalonji)
1½ teaspoons fenugreek seeds
Combine the seeds in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Depending on what kind of dish you make with these seeds, they can either be fried briefly in oil or dry roasted to coax out their rich flavors.
Fenugreek may help with numerous digestive problems, such as upset stomach, constipation and inflammation of the stomach. For instance, the water-soluble fiber in fenugreek, among other foods, helps relieve constipation.
It also works to treat digestion and is often incorporated in an ulcerative colitis diet treatment plan due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Fenugreek also seems to benefit those with heart conditions, such as hardening of the arteries and high blood levels of certain fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides. In fact, a study out of India showed that administering 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice daily for three months to people dealing with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus significantly lowered cholesterol naturally, along with triglycerides, without affecting HDL cholesterol.
The health benefits of cumin include its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and treat piles, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia, skin disorders, boils and cancer.
Mustard seeds act as a natural scrub. You can add it to either lavender or rose essential oil and scrub your face with it to exfoliate dead skin.
These seeds contain a good amount of sulphur which is known for its anti-fungal properties that help in warding off skin infections.
Mustard oil, extracted from mustard seeds, is a good source of Vitamin A. which acts as a great nutrient for hair growth.
Mustard seeds, when made into a paste and applied on the scalp can help strengthen hair. Because it contains protein, calcium, vitamin A and E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, all of these together strengthen your hair from within.
Mustard seeds contain fatty acids. These are known to condition your hair from within, giving your hair a good shine and bounce.
Fennel has long been used as a remedy for flatulence and indigestion in traditional medicines.
Fennel seed decoction or added as a spice in food has been found to increase breast milk secretion in nursing mothers.
Fennel water often is used in newborn babies to relieve colic pain and help aid digestion.
Its known to have anti-carcinogenic properties and keeps heart healthy. Good for hair too.