Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Food: [panch phoron = five spice] + vegetable

Panch phoron is a Bangladeshi spice consisting of a mixture of five seeds - fenugreek, nigella, cumin, black mustard, and fennel in equal parts. This is always used whole and never ground. Because it is used to temper a dish, meaning it is fried in hot oil which makes the seeds pop. The tempering releases a great combination of aroma that makes the dish special. It can be used with any food group, not just vegetables. A little bit goes a long way with this particular mix of spice. 

This is what it looks like in the image above inside the left spice jar. Ethnic grocery stores carry them but so do American grocery stores these days like Whole Foods.

Lets indulge in preparing this dish.

Ingredients,

1/2 tsp of panch phoron                           4/5 whole dried red chili                              1/2 cup oil
1 tsp red chili powder                                 1/4 tsp turmeric powder                              1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder                         7/8 garlic cloves                                              1/2 a cauliflower
7/8 okra                                                            2 red potatoes                                                  5/6 small eggplants
2 tomatoes                                                      1 plantain                                                            1/4 of a green papaya
1/2 onion                                                         salt+pinch of sugar

I used canola oil but mustard oil goes very well with panch phoron and it is often paired together. 

First, cut up all the vegetables in small 1" by 1" cube. This measurement is just to give you an idea of what I mean by "small". Make sure they are cut in similar size so that they cook together at the same time.

Heat oil in a pan. Let it heat up. Throw in the panch phoron and the dried red chili. Break the chilis in half and throw out the seeds before you toss it in the oil. Stand back because the seeds may start popping. Once it does and you start smelling the aroma, toss in chopped garlic. Sauté just for a few seconds and toss in the chopped onions. Once the onions are soft, toss in all the chopped vegetables. Add the salt + red chili  powder + turmeric + cumin + coriander. Mix everything in well.

Cover the pot and fix the temperature to medium low. This will make the vegetables sweat, coming down from hight heat. And they will cook in their own juice. Give five minute intervals to take the cover off and stir the vegetables around. Do this carefully so as not to break the vegetables apart. I usually keep mine a bit crunchy. If you want yours soft then cook it longer till it is. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar right before you take it off the stove. Enjoy this dish as an entrée, side dish or appetizer. Bon appétit! 


4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you mister. Will you be giving it a try?

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    2. I did, bought paachpuran and dried chilli, but only with 3 kinds of veggie and still it was awesomme :)

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