Cauliflower cooked in Five Spices

Let me start by explaining a little bit about Five Spices. It’s a mix of five whole spices in equal parts: Fenugreek, Nigella Seed, Cumin Seed, Radhuni and Fennel Seed. This spice mix is commonly used in eastern part of India and is called Panch Phoron. Literal translation: Panch is Five and Phoron is tempering. I really like how the kitchen smells when these spice mix sizzles in hot oil. I am not sure if you guys have heard of Chinese Five Spices.They also use five whole spices, which they grind to fine powder and the spices they use are: Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Cloves, Chinese Cassia Bark and Sichuan Black Peppercorns.

The Cauliflower/Gobi with five spices is one of my Mom’s recipe. However, the daal/lentil recipe is something that I discovered recently. I always used to put cilantro in my daal/lentils, but off-late, I started using curry leaves and they tasted so yummy and tangy and the smell .. mmm .. mmm .. mmm ! πŸ™‚

I have a shout out for you guys before I move on to my recipe. I was recently contacted by about their Wiki Project. They’re looking for contributors, so where ever you are around the world, you can log in and post your local dishes. I had a look at their site and I must say that the concept is really amazing. MyCityCuisine is an open project and so, they encourage everyone to contribute to it.

Ingredients for Gobi with Panch Phoron:

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 tbs panch phoron
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt
  • oil


In a deep pan, boil some water, add salt and boil the florets. You should boil them for just 4 minutes as you don’t want them to get soggy.

Take them out and dip them in ice cold water to stop the cooking. Drain them and keep them paper towel to drain the excess water.

In a wok or a deep pan, heat some oil and panch phoron.

Once they start to splatter, add turmeric powder and then, add the cauliflowers.

Cook in low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve them with some daal and roti/rice.

Ingredients for Tarka Daal

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tsp panch phoron
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • handful of curry leaves
  • salt
  • oil
  • turmeric
  • 1 dry red chilly

Directions :

Boil the lentils with some salt in microwave or in a pressure cooker.

In a sauce pan, heat 2tsp oil.

And the panch phoron and 1 dry red chilly.

Once they start to splatter, add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt.

Saute them till they are cooked. I like them a little bit burnt.

Now, add the curry leaves and cook it.

Once the curry leaves are also cooked, add the whole thing to the boiled lentils.

Serve it hot with roti or rice.

Sharing the dish with Lets Do Brunch

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Nishi says:

I have never tried anything with panch phoran. This curry looks very interesting. I loved the way you shot it. I will try this curry of yours soon πŸ™‚

This post is making me hungry! What a tasty way to prepare cauliflower; I can’t wait to try it.

Priti says:

I have cabbage with panch phoron in my blog and this looks yum ….nice clicks your phoron box

I made a cauliflower and lentil soup last night, it was SO amazing — but yours looks even better! I love how spices brighten things up. Cheers!

sonia says:

Wonderful gobi, its looking so yummy and delicious, loved the addition of panch phoron… !

Vimitha says:

Thats a simple and yummy looking dish…

Priya says:

Very elegant and delicious curry, love panch phoron in stir fries..

This looks great! A neat idea to spice up cauliflower.

You have seriously made cauliflower 5 star! Wow! β™₯- K

nisha says:

hellow …first time on your blog….foodgawker brought me here..ur pictures are all amazing πŸ™‚

Manu says:

Cauliflower is one f my favorite “winter” vegetables. I am looking forward to some cold weather down here and I will definitely give this (and obviously the delicious daal) a go! πŸ™‚

aipi says:

Panch phoran is actually one of my favorite spices , very nicely used in a fabulous recipe..everything looks great n really appetizing!

US Masala

briarrose says:

Wonderful side dish. I bet this spice mix smelled amazing.

Just by your description, I began to smell five spice in my house… that dish is beautiful!!

This looks wonderful..I love the flavors and spices!

i love spiced cauliflower, I usually make it with garam masala but with 5 spices sounds really tempting. Thanks for sharing. Wonderful photos

Meghna says:

Sounds Very Interesting!! … I have never tried cooking with panch phoran… Where can buy this from??? I would like to making this recipe. BTW I love the way you pictured it πŸ™‚

Kankana says:

You should find it in any Indian store, i emailed you πŸ™‚

Joyti says:

Being Indian-American, I am ashamed to admit that when I read ‘five spice’, I thought of the Chinese blend of five spices, because that’s what American grocery stores sell.
I’ve never heard of the Indian version! But it, and this cauliflower dish – look and sound delicious.

Medeja says:

I love spiced cauliflower :)it looks delicious

Oh my gosh, this looks so good. Such deep, rich color and flavors throughout. Plus, I just love cauliflower πŸ˜€

Corina says:

I love discovering new spice mixes. I’ve never heard of Radhuni though. Would I be able to substitute another spice if I cannot find it?

Kankana says:

I emailed you πŸ™‚

Oh this looks so beautiful and really delicious! Love your photos, and thanks for sharing good info about 5 spices!

Never tried this spice but the way you’ve presented those dishes look mouthwatering …..

Gosh do I love this.

And you and I must both have cauliflower on the brain!

Thank you so much for the amazing post. By the way, your photography is absolutely gorgeous!!

tigerfish says:

I love cauliflower and some of the spices you are using here are new to me. I usually use cumin and fennel seeds and red pepper, turmeric, curry powder to cook cauliflower. I know I am going to like your cauliflower dish.

Both of these dishes are making my mouth water. Thanks for sharing and your photos are great.

Oh man…I make Cauliflower with panchphoron all the time. It is amazing how few spices make everything taste so good. very nice photos! I am glad i stumbled on ur blog via seriouseats.

I’m sure you kitchen smells amazing all the time! This would be no exception. Adam get enough of cauliflower so I’m looking forward to filling my own kitchen with these wonderful aromas!

I have always cooked cauliflower the lebanese way, first because I like it, then because I did not know what else to do with it; this recipe is going to expand my horizons and I am looking forward to trying it real soon, thanks a bunch!

daksha says:

This is so flavorful,quick and easy …..i can’t wait… i’ll try today:)

This sounds lovely – I can just smell those wonderful spices cooking! Thank you for explaining about your five spice mix, which sounds delicious. Also, thank you for linking it to Let’s Do Brunch and I hope you will come along and link up again today πŸ™‚

shanthi says:

This is my favourite and with panchphoran sure would have tasted good