Panch Pooran, Indian Five Spice Mix
Also known as Panch Phoran, this is a mix of five whole spices, used for tempering or 'tarka' of various dishes, specially in Bengal and Bihar regions of India and Bangladesh. North Indians are more likely to use it in making pickles. The fragrance of the dishes cooked with it is quite different from the traditional North Indian dishes, cooked using any one of these spices on their own. Make a small quantity, until you get familiar with the falvour.
(Panch=5, Phoran=the things that crackle/jump/break)
1 tsp. cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp. black mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp. fennel seeds (sonf/sauf)
1 tsp. nigella seeds/kalaunji/kalonji (nigella sativa)
1 tsp. fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
Mix together whole, and store in an airtight jar.
To use it in a recipe, heat oil, add spice mix, with or without asafoetida (hing) powder. When seeds splutter, add other ingredients like onions or vegetables or whatever your recipe requires.
Fenugreek seeds are a litle bitter. Therefore, you can reduce the quantity if you like.
Kalonji can be spelled as Kalowunji on some packets.