Bengali Style Green Beans


Panch Puran (pronounced “Phoron”) is one of the quintessential Bengali spice mixes. It is a mixture of five different spice seeds.  “Panch” means five and “Phoron” loosely translated means to put over high heat.  Each one of the spice seeds when toasted on a hot, dry skillet begins to jump and skip across the pan.  The flavor is fantastic.  In colloquial language that jumping and skipping of spices on a hot pan is also used to describe people in dicey situations!  A great visual don’t you think?  When life gets hot, we do tend to do a bit of jumping and skipping!

This is simple yet delicious recipe very common in everyday Bengali cuisine.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Five seeds are: Mustard, Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek and Kalonji

Serves 2-4

1 16oz package frozen French cut green beans

1 tsp salt

2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp Panch Phoron (Bengali 5 spice)

4 tbsp oil

½ onion, chopped

1 serrano chili seeded and chopped

In a  frying pan heat oil and add panch phoron and salt and stir fry until the seeds begin crackling, jumping and skipping (you can enjoy the show for about 2 minutes).  Add onions and green Serrano chili and stir fry until onions are soft and translucent.  Add turmeric and stir fry a few more minutes so flavors meld together.  Add green beans and stir fry until beans look well coated.  Cover and let cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until green beans are tender.  Serve warm with rice.


2 responses »

    • You can buy them locally at several of the ethnic stores. There’s two in Sandy, three in WVC and 3 by Avenues and University. Which is closer to you right now and I’ll email you the address.

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