Panch Pooran (Whole Mixed Spices)
This wonderfully aromatic mix of five popular spices is particularly common in Bengal and Eastern India, because it can be used in a variety of ways. It can be fried in hot oil or ghee which will start the seeds popping very quickly, releasing their incredible flavours and oils. This is known as a baghar (tempering), and is often used to coat various vegetables or meat when cooking. Once the seeds have been roasted, Panch Pooran can also be sprinkled, whole or crushed, into a number of dishes. It works particularly well in stews, dhals, and even in bread and pickles.