“Pancha Phutana” or “Paanch Phoran” is a colourful blend of five flavourful spices which is used extensively in Odia cuisine and the neighbouring states of Bengal and the North Eastern States. It comprises of Cumin, Mustard, Fenugreek, Nigella and Aniseed in equal quantities. It gives a unique flavour when added to mustard oil while cooking as is generally done in Odia cuisine. Apart from imparting a subtle and unique flavour, a distinct aroma and delectable taste the Pancha Phutana has immense health benefits too. The spice blend helps to bring forward the flavours of fish, vegetables and lentils. It is sometimes roasted and ground coarsely and used for marinades, soups and stews.
Chatu Ambula Besara is a tangy and spicy curry, very common to my home state Odisha. Locally grown mushrooms or Pala Chatu as known in Odisha cooked in a mustard paste called Besara with dried raw mangoes or Ambula with a tempering of Pancha Phutana. The ground mustard paste with garlic imparts a little pungency to the curry, the dried raw mango pieces or Ambula gives a nice tanginess and the red chillies make it fiery and spicy making the curry not meant for the faint hearted. A bowl of steaming hot rice to go with it and it’s comfort food for us.
This tart, spicy, flavourful authentic Odiya curry goes as an entry for the 44th Foodie Monday Bloghop. The theme this time for the Bloghop being #Indianspicesorted I decided to use the five blend spice ” Paanch Phoran “ as the entry.