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What is Panchforan | पंचफोरन

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Panchforan (पंचफोरन) is a very popular term in Indian kitchens since old times. When I was a kid, my mother used to often refer this to me and asked me to bring Panchforan (पंचफोरन) from nearby grocery shop. Once my mother passed away I rarely heard this term again.

Yesterday my wife again referred this term again and said that her mother used Panchforan in her cooking. Suddenly this reminded me again of my mother’s kitchen. As my mother has already passed away long back, I picked up phone and asked my old aunt in the village to detail me about the Panchforan again. Whatever she said, I am sharing that here.

Etymology of Panchforan

Panchforan (पंचफोरन) consists of two words- Panch= Five, Foran=Foran is derived from Hindi word ‘forana/fodana’ ( to break) but foran refers to a powdered form of something. So Panch foran is a mixture of 5 spices from traditional Indian kitchen.

Panchforan Ingredients

This is a Mixture of 5 Indian spices. These 5 panchforan ingredient spices are following:

  1. Jeera ( Cumin)
  2. Saunf (Aniseed)
  3. Methi (Fenugreek seeds)
  4. Managrail/ Kalaunji (Black seed)
  5. Ajawain(Carom) or as an alternative Raai (Black mustard seeds)

How to Prepare Panchforan

These five spices are used separately in different dishes but these are also used together as a powdered mixture. These spices are cleaned and mixed in equal quantity ( the ratio may vary as per the requirement of the dish though). These are gently roasted on tawa (Indian griddle) and then powdered and mixed.

This mixture is called Panchforan (पंचफोरन) and is used in vegetables and different dishes according to the taste.

Grinded Panchforan Spice Mix

Here we give you the properties of these 5 spices separately.

A Derivative Product from Ayurveda

Remember traditionally the spices were called Aushadhis . Ausahdhi also means medicines. As per Ayurveda the traditional Indian housewives were supposed to have a decent knowledge or Ayurveda . Every spice has a certain ayurvedic property and treats the three Dosha Imbalances – Vata, Kafa, and Pitta. According to the season and time of the day, the imbalance levels ( Vata, Kafa and pitta) change and thus the spices used/or their proportion used according to the season or the time of day would vary. Thus the housewife had the secret key to the health of the entire household.

However we will stick to the topic here and elaborate the properties of the spices as stated above:

Properties of the Panchforan (पंचफोरन) Ingredients

Cumin (Jeera)

It is said that Jeera ( Cumin) reduced body fat 3 times faster. It is traditionally used as a weight-loss ingredient. Nowadays the use of cumin has gone down because of unawareness of its health benefits and the high prices . However it enhances the taste and some people can eat it directly as well.

The best way to use this is to soak a teaspoon of Cumin in some water and leave it overnight, In the morning you can drink the water and eat the seeds as well. It will aid your weight loss goals more quickly than you can imagine.

Fenugreek Seed (Methidana )

It is said that one should take the as many number of Methi (Fenugreek seeds) seeds as his age in years and chew them daily slowly at empty stomach. This keeps you healthy and boost your immune system. It protects you from ailments related to cough, cold, diabetes, blood pressure, joint pain, inflammation, and indigestion. It will improve your luster, make you fit and in the long run will improve your life span too.

Anise/Aniseed (Saunf)

This ingredient is a very good antacid. Aspartic acid is present in Saunf and removes the gas . It helps in neuralgic activities as well.

Saunf (Aniseed) is typically mixed with Mishri (Sugar candy) and eaten together.

the active ingredients Vitamin C, Flavonoids, Amino acids, cobalt, and Magnesium present in Saunf improve the health of your eyes.

Mix the powder of saunf with half tea spoon of sugar and candy and take with milk every night . it will improve your eyesight in few months.

Black mustard seeds(Rai)

It is said that if you suffer from nervousness, anxiety, or have unregulated palpitations in heart then you should apply ‘Rai’ oil in your palms and soles of your feet. This improves your blood circulation and elevates your mood.

Rai Him/Rai Fata , when applied on head is said to regrow your hair back.

Rai is taken with Gomutra (re-distilled cow urine) is said to clean the stomach worms.

Black Carway (Mangarail/ Kalaunji)

Managrail/ Kalaunji (Black seed) it is full of minerals. It contains around 15 different types of amino acids. Rich with Iron, Sodium , Calcium , Potassium, fiber, Managarail is used for the treatment of various ailments in Ayurveda and it also provides a great supplement for a mineral a,d vitamin lacking body.

It is also used in treatment in various types of hair regrowth treatments.

Panchforan-Mixed but not powdered
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