Bengali Spice Mixes

I have been making my everyday spice mixes for the past few years. Spices are the soul to Indian cooking and the aroma of freshly made spice mix can never be matched by the store bought version. It might add a few extra minutes but I always feel it’s worth tasking that time. Today, I am sharing 3 essential Bengali spice mixes, which very much defines the Bengali cuisine. These simple spice mixes are used in everyday cooking, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, and often prepared fresh at home.

You may wonder if you should make these spices if you don’t cook Bengali food. Well, I say you should try, because all these three spices are earthy, aromatic and works amazing on curries. I have mentioned below how you can use each of these spices in Bengali cooking and non-bengali cooking.

Bengali Spice Mixes – Paanch Phoron (Indian Five Spice)

Paanch Phoron (Indian Five Spice) is the most popular Bengali spice mix. As the name describes, it consists of 5 whole spices – cumin seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and nigella seeds. You use it in the beginning of the cooking to infuse the hot oil and it releases a bittersweet aroma. Sometimes, this is the only spice mix you use in a dish. Apart from the usual Bengali dishes, you can use it as a rub on meat or vegetable for roasting. Also works amazing for pickling vegetables.

3 Essential Bengali Spice Mixes | Playful Cooking #spices #indian #bengali #kolkata 3 Essential Bengali Spice Mixes | Playful Cooking #spices #indian #bengali #kolkata

Bengali Spice Mixes – Bhaaja Moshla

Bhaaja Moshla, literally translating to roasted spice, is a very unique aromatic spice mix. It is prepared with just three whole spices. It is typically used in vegetarian plant based recipes. You can also just sprinkle the spice mix on chaat or chutney to enhance the seasoning. The strong, robust and smoky flavor of bhaja moshla can uplift the flavor of any dish.

3 Essential Bengali Spice Mixes | Playful Cooking #spices #indian #bengali #kolkata 3 Essential Bengali Spice Mixes | Playful Cooking #spices #indian #bengali #kolkata

Bengali Gorom Moshla

Unlike the traditional Indian Garam Masala, Bengali Gorom Moshla includes just three whole spices. It’s not very spicy or hot, instead quite perfumy and smooth to the palate. You use it in any rich curry, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, and always added at the end of the cooking to retain the fresh flavor. As you can notice the color of the Bengali Gorom Moshla is not red because there is no dry red chili added, but if you prefer you can add that for extra heat.

3 Essential Bengali Spice Mixes | Playful Cooking #spices #indian #bengali #kolkata Bengali Bhaaja Moshla | Playful Cooking #spices #indian #bengali #kolkata

The ground spice mixes Bhaaja Moshla and Bengali Gorom Moshla are prepared fresh in every Bengali household. It can however have mild variations based on personal preferences. The recipes I shared here are my Mom’s recipes. I always make them in small batches because with time, the flavor of the spice does go down a notch. Always store in clean air tight jar, preferably glass jars. Now if you want to learn more on Bengali food, do grab a copy of my book – Taste of Eastern India, where I have used these spices in various dishes!

3 Essential Bengali Spice Mixes

Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time3 mins
Total Time5 mins
Author: Kankana Saxena

Ingredients

  • For Paanch Phoron
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon nigella seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds

for Bhaaja Moshla

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

for Bengali Gorom Moshla

  • 20 green cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cinnamon barks

Instructions

  • For Paanch Phoron - Put all the spices in a clean airtight jar and mix it up.
  • For Bhaaja Moshla - Dry roast all the spices at medium heat for about a minute by stirring constantly until the color of the spice changes to a mild darker shade.Let the roasted spice cool down a bit and then, grind it to powder. Store it in an airtight jar.
  • For Bengali Gorom Moshla- Dry roast all the spices at medium heat by stirring constantly for about a minute until you can smell the aroma of the spices. Let the roasted spice cool down a bit and then, grind it to powder. Store it in an airtight jar

Nutrition

Serving: 1Servings

Most common spices used in Bengali cooking spices used in Bengali cooking

I love to see your creation from my blog, so if you make this spice mixes, tag me on social media @playfulcooking.

Learn about the vibrant cuisine of Kolkata – Check out my book Taste of Eastern India and follow the #tasteofeasternindia

You Might Also Like

Comments are closed.

  • Caryn
    Caryn
    November 29, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    5 stars
    The coolest post and such great timing for me. I’m so glad you’re here doing what you do! xx

  • Betty Binon
    Betty Binon
    November 21, 2018 at 6:59 AM

    5 stars
    Kankana Your photography is so beautiful. I’ve added your book to my christmas list to my husband. I look forward to cooking from it. xo Betty

  • 2pots2cook
    2pots2cook
    November 19, 2018 at 9:54 PM

    5 stars
    Beautiful and educational 🙂 Thank you Kankana !

  • Sarah
    Sarah
    March 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    I am into mixing my own spices lately and really like this combination. Thanks for the post and the lovely pictures. I added you to my blogroll because you have such a lovely blog. Kudos

  • Lakshmi
    Lakshmi
    March 22, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    All time favourite!