Lets Talk About Panch Puran

Panch Puran

Panch Puran, Panch phoron, Panch masala, Padkaune masala or Panch phutana is a blend of 5 aromatic spices.

Panch puran, masala or panch puran is one of the most important spice mix that has unforgettable contribution to the Bengali cuisine. This spice mix and the ground panch puran powder is vastly used in the subcontinents of East India and Bangladesh. 

Whole seeds

Five spice mixture is one of the essential spice blends used in Bengali cuisine, there are many Bengali recipes in which its used. Panch puran is a very quick and easy DIY recipe with the help of which, all 5 spices together, it creates an outstanding aroma and can enhance the flavour of your food.

It’s hard to nail down the history and origin of panch puran, but like Chinese five-spice powder, some speculate it has deep roots in Eastern medicine such as Ayurveda, or that it may have some correlation to the significance of the number five in ancient Indian rituals and mythology, such as the five elements or senses.

Panch Puran with its mild anise notes, a slight sweetness and a little warmth and pungency from the mustard, is incredibly versatile.
In Bengali cuisine, it’s commonly added to vegetable stews, sauces, potatoes, lentils and fish. It’s even sometimes kept in a small bowl at the dinner table to eat at the end of the meal as a palate cleanser. If you’re looking to mix it up, you can also use it as an addition to pickling liquid instead of the typical coriander or dill, as a crust on pork or other meat of your choice, as a seasoning for hardy, roasted vegetables, or as a way to make plain rice a little more interesting.

The term five and ‘phoron’ means tempering. So the five aromatic spices are fried in oil till they splutter or pop. This technique of tempering spices in oil is also known as sambash, tadka, chaunk or vaghar in hindi language. The frying of these spices releases strong aroma and flavours in the oil.
Unlike, garam masala where the spices are powdered, in panch puran, the spices are not powdered but used whole. 
Of course, Garam masala makes use of different and more extensive spices other than the ones used in panch puran.

You could easily make your own panch puran at home using these five spices – cumin seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
Usually for panch puran recipe, you will find that equal quantities of these five spices need to be mixed but in many Bengali family recipes a slight different ratio for the fenugreek seeds and nigella are used.
I think that it may be because fenugreek seeds are bitter and why they have smaller proportion of fenugreek seeds.

I tend to add more nigella seeds in my panch puran spice blend as I like the frangrant aroma of this combination.
You can add the same proportion of each or adjust as per your taste.

Historically, Panch puran was the amalgamation of five different whole spices. The Panch puran ingredients are Cumin seeds (Jeera), Fennel seeds (Saunf), Nigella seeds (Kalounji), Fenugreek seeds (Methi) and last but not the least wild Celery seeds (Radhuni) which is often replaced by Mustard seeds (Sarso).

Panch Puran
Radhuni Seeds/Celery seeds

Wild celery seeds or Radhuni are not very easily available outside West Bengal. So, in most of the places outside West Bengal, it is replaced by Mustard seeds in the panch puran spice mix. I’m very lucky to have got some from India and its very similar to a type of wild celery/ajwain type seed from a herb Bengali’s call Ambali Bahor. A more citrusy seed. It adds a beautiful nuance to dal or fish curries. I have a panch puran blend using the authentic Radhuni seeds.

The original and authentic Panch Puran blend with Radhuni seeds
Radhuni seeds
Really small seeds similar to Ajwain/carom


In Bengali cuisine, Panch puran masala has occupied an important part in flavouring food. It is not only used in savouries but also used in condiments, flat breads and beverages as well. I know its surprising for many of you who are not very familiar with this spice mix.

I am a Bengali and I have seen huge usage of panch puran in different vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes since my childhood.
The most common spices that I have seen my mom use are ‘methi’ and ‘Panch puran’. Most of the time, she used to temper fish curries and dals with whole Panch Puran spices when making a macher jhol or niramish.

For me I use it extensively for chutneys, achar, bhaji and many other Bengali snack recipes. For me panch puran is one of the top priority spices of any Bengali kitchen pantry.

How to make Panch Puran:

Now a days, online purchase is a great way to meet that necessity. You can get quality ready made Panch Puran from if its easier for you from The Herb and Spice Emporium.

For the Panch puran masala powder, I have used equal portions of the whole spices Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Nigella seeds and Mustard seeds. But reduced quantity of Fenugreek seeds in the mixture due to its bitter taste.

For the whole spice Panch Puran  I have provided the ratios I use but you can use equal amounts of each.

To make Panch Puran powder mix, firstly use a heavy bottom pan to dry roast the panch puran spices. That will reduce the chances of the spices getting burnt.

Roast the spices in medium low flame.
Take your time, use due diligence and let them slowly roast to perfection.

After roasting the spice mix, it’s important to transfer them to a separate plate. If you keep the spice mix in the hot pan, then there is the tendency the spices will either get over roasted or burnt.

Ensure whilst preparing the panch puran powder that the spice mix comes to room temperature before grinding it. If you grind the warm spice mixture, then the panch puran powder will become damp. The life of the spice powder will reduce and lumps will likely occur.

Lastly grind the Panch puran masala 
mixture to a fine dust. This way it both tastes and flavours better.

Panch Puran Whole Spice Mix

Whole Spice Mix


1 tablespoon whole Cumin seeds (Jeera)
2 tablespoon whole Nigella seeds (Kalonji)
1 tablespoon whole Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
1 tablespoon whole Fennel seeds (Saunf)
1 tablespoon whole Celery seeds (Radhuni) or Mustard seeds (Sarso).

Mix well and store in airtight container

Panch Puran whole spice mix

Panch Puran Masala Powder

Panch Puran Powder mix


1 tablespoon whole Cumin seeds (Jeera)
1 tablespoon whole Nigella seeds (Kalonji)
2/3rd tablespoon whole Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
1 tablespoon whole Fennel seeds (Saunf)
1 tablespoon whole Celery seeds (Radhuni) or Mustard seeds (Sarso)

Panch Puran ready for dry frying


Take a pan on flame and put the flame in medium low.

Let the pan become completely dry.

Add Cumin seeds, Nigella seeds, Fenugreek seeds, Fennel seeds and Mustard seeds one by one into the pan and give a nice mix.

Dry roast the whole spices in medium low flame for 3-4 minutes until the spice mix changes colour slightly. Stir the whole spices continuously with the help of a wooden spatula.

Dry fry on low stirring frequently

The spices need to be roasted on lower heat or else it may burn.

Wait till you get a beautiful aroma and slight colour change

When the spice mix is done, you will get a nice redolent flavour from it. Switch off the flame and transfer the Panch Puran on a dry plate.

Spread the Panch Puran spice on a plate and let it rest until the spice mix cools down completely to room temperature.

Let the spices cool

Transfer the Panch Puran spices into a small jar of the grinder and grind it till dust for a minute.

A very aromatic spice used sparingly due to bitter notes
When ground store in air tight container

Transfer the powder in an airtight container and keep it with your kitchen essentials.

After grinding the Panch puran powder, you can keep it in an airtight container. Glass container would be the best. Keep the spice in a cool and dry place which is always away from direct sunlight. Always use dry spoon for the spice. If you follow all these things, then you can store the spice for 6 months.

Sprinkle on salads or curries

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