A quick dry veggie side today. The spice mix used for this turnip preparation is called Panch Phoran. is a spice blend used in Bangladesh and Eastern India, especially in Mithila, Bengali, Assamese and Oriya cuisine. The name literally means “five spices”. The spices typically used are fenugreek seed, Nigella seed, cumin seed, radhuni and fennel seed in equal parts. Celery seed sometimes is used in place of radhuni. I usually substitute mustard seeds for radhuni. Usually this spice is mix has whole spices and is used as is, sometimes I coarsely grind the mix for a more mixed up flavor. This spice mix is fantastic both ways. If you are not a fan of the heat in garam masala or the bland in the yellow curry powder, give this mix a try in dry veggie subzis.
You can find the mix in an Indian store or make your own with the whole spices in equal quantities.
To make your own paanch phoran, mix 1 tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds and fenigreek seeds and use.
This spice blend can be used to make any dry vegetable side dish. Try it with cauliflower, belleppers and potatoes, just potatoes, or any not too sweet chunky vegetable. The nigella seeds have a distinctive onion-garlic-pickle kind of taste, so its not necessary to add garlic or other strong flavors. Fenugreek gives the bitter and fennel and cumin the fresh taste.
Panch phoran– Mix equal quantities of Fennel, Fenugreek, brown mustard, Nigella and Cumin seeds.
Directions: Serves 1
In a medium pan, add a teaspoon of organic canola, coconut or safflower oil and heat at medium.
When the oil is hot, add 1-2 teaspoons of coarsely ground Paanch phoran. Start with 1 teaspoon, you can add more later to taste. The spices have quite a strong individual taste.
Mix for a half a minute till the spices start to give out an aroma.
Add 1/4 cup chopped onion and mix well.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and mix.
Add 1 cup peeled and chopped/cubed Turnip, 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste and chili flakes or black pepper to taste.
Mix well, cook covered on low heat for 10-12 minute, or until tender(depends on the size of the cubes) Stir occasionally in between. Also, taste test when just about done and adjust salt and spice mix.
Serve hot as a side.