Well hello. So I was tired of detailing every local cooking process and spice mixture every time I mentioned them, so I decided to make a separate list for them. First on our list, since I was just writing a recipe with it, is pNaach (or paanch) phoron.
Paanch phoron can be literally translated. Paanch is five, which immediately gives you an elephant-sized clue about the shape of things. Phoron is the spice used for flavouring/tempering oil or ghee in the first stages of curry-making. Soooo I suppose this can be called the five-spices or five-spice-mixture.
Paanch phoron has varieties. The one we use at home is also used in most other Bengali homes I've eaten in, and it is made up of equal parts methi, mouri, kalo jeera, jeera and radhuni. That is, fenugreek seeds, saunf or fennel seeds, nigella seeds, whole cumin, and wild celery seeds. You mix equal amounts of these together (maybe just a leetle more mouri because I love the flavour) in a washed jam-jar or mason jar or similar, and keep it out of direct sunlight. Some people substitute radhuni with black mustard seeds, which I'm sure is just fine too.
Mostly, if you're too tired to be elaborate, paanch phoron is your best friend. Heat ghee or oil, toss in a teaspoon of paanch phoron, toss in chopped vegetables after, mix thoroughly, add salt and sugar, cover and let cook. It's one of the easiest, healthiest, yet tastiest curries you'll ever eat with your white rice.