I know I bang on about toasting your own spices all the time. And I’m not apologizing, because if you don’t, you miss out on a fantastic range of flavors. I was very happy to see a fellow blogger find this out on her own recently (Violets and Cardamom) when she went to a Peruvian cooking course. Her own recipes look amazing, and I can’t wait to try a few.
But I digress. The other weekend I was a bit lazy and decided to grab the panch phoron, or “Bengali five-spice”, instead of coming up with my own spice mix. I did still toast those spices to maximize their flavor, but because of the fenugreek I used the coffee grinder (which has now become the dedicated spice grinder).
It was a lovely lazy option, because soon the house filled with a delicious smell as I mixed the spices with grapeseed oil and marinated the butterflied chicken. I also started on my famous roast potatoes (okay, famous among a handful of people, I admit) plus reheating some cumin- and turmeric-roasted cauliflower. A perfect Sunday roast.
Panch phoron is usually for fish and vegetables, and I definitely think that vegetarians and vegans should start using this spice mix on roasted root vegetables, especially potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips, to name a few. You don’t really even have to grind them up, or even pre-toast them, if you’re going to stick the veggies straight in a hot oven. Just cover the veggie selection with olive or grapeseed oil, add the panch phoron and some sea salt, then stir until covered. Add to a metal roasting pan that’s been heating up in the oven and away you go.
For the carnivores out there, you won’t be disappointed by this spice blend on the chicken. Make sure the spices cover as much of the chicken as possible, and marinate it for as long as you can. I only let it sit for about 30 minutes and the result was wonderful. We did ours on the grill, under bricks, but it could easily have just been done in the oven. The Husband was just too eager for it to be done as quickly as possible!
Panch Phoron Roast Chicken
3 Tbs panch phoron spice mix
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 grapeseed or olive oil
Butterfly the chicken, wash and pat dry. Set aside on a clean plate.
Toast the spice mix in a dry frying pan on the stove over low heat until you can smell the spices; about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so that they don’t burn and the mustard seeds don’t pop. If they start popping, take the mix off the stove.
Using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind the seed mix into a powder. Combine with the oil and salt and massage into the chicken. Let sit as long as you can, ideally overnight, but at least a half an hour.
Fire up the grill nice and hot. Place the chicken, skin side down, on the greased grill and lay foil-covered bricks on the top. Close the lid and let the chicken cook for 15-18 minutes. Carefully flip over and grill for another 10 without the bricks. Check internal temperature (165 degrees F) and serve.
For my roast potatoes recipe, click here. I really should make a separate post for this so vegetarians don’t have to read through the pork roast recipe.