Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vegetables with Panch Phoron (Panch Phoron Chorchori)

Last week, I had one of those days – I did not feel like cooking anything.  It happens once in a while.  I was getting bored with all the regular stuff that I normally make and also did not feel like getting food from outside.

I kept opening my fridge to see what I had – and for inspiration to strike.  I had a little bit of cauliflower, some carrots, one capsicum, couple of white eggplants from my garden, and a handful of beans, also from my garden – not exactly inspiring stuff.

Vegetables with Panch Phoron

I then realized, I had all the ingredients to make Panch Phoron Chorchori – the recipe that introduced me to the Bengali five-spice blend! (See my post on Dal with Panch Phoron, for more information.) I hadn’t made it in ages, and now seemed like the perfect time.  I also got to use up a lot of the left-over vegetables in my fridge! A delicious dinner was ready in just a few minutes.

Note 1: The original recipe calls for red pumpkin and peas.  I did not have either of those at home.  I think you can add any combination of vegetable you have, and it will work well.

Note 2:  The original recipe also asks you to add sugar, but I don’t.  I have included it in the recipe as an optional ingredient.


Here is what you need (recipe adapted from Festival Cookbook by Vimala Patil and Monisha Bharadwaj):

(easily serves 3 - 4 people)
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1½ tsp. panch phoron (fenugreek seed, onion or nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 green chilies, split lengthwise
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, cubed
  • 10 - 12 cauliflower florets
  • 1 capsicum, seeded and diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced diagonally into ovals
  • 5 – 6 beans, cut
  • 1 small eggplant, cubed
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. sugar (optional)
  • cilantro for garnish

Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat oil.  Add panch phoron, bay leaf, and red chilies.
  2. When the mustard seeds sputter, add the green chilies and turmeric.
  3. Add the chopped veggies, salt, and sugar (if you are using).
  4. Add a cup or so of water, cover and cook on medium-low heat till the veggies are cooked.
  5. Garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with rotis or luchis (pooris made with all purpose flour).

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