Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 18 minutes

Serves: 4 people

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An easy and tasty Bengali-inspired cauliflower that gets its flavour from the five unique spices and their aromas that make Panch Phoran. You don’t need a lot of this 5-mixed-spice to enhance the lovely taste of cauliflower! These motley spices when added together create a super-seasoning punch that gets further leveraged by the mustard oil! Light and easy without too much heat, this is a great healthy vegan addition to any meal!



To make Panch Phoran:



  1. Cut the cauliflower into medium size florets. Soak in hot water with ½ teaspoon salt.
  2. Grind ginger and green chili with a teaspoon of water in a food processor or grinder.
  3. In a pan or wok, heat the oil on medium heat. When oil is hot, add panch phoran to the hot oil. Wait until spices begin to splutter, for about half to one minute, but not brown.
  4. Add asafoetida and green chili-ginger paste to oil, fry for about a minute. Don’t allow the paste to brown.
  5. Remove cauliflower from water and strain.
  6. Now add strained cauliflower, turmeric, ground red chili powder, and remaining salt. Mix well.
  7. Add ¼ cup fresh water and cover. Cook till cauliflower becomes soft for about 8-10 minutes.
  8. Uncover and sauté for 3-4 minutes until dry.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves.


Critical Ingredients: Well the five spices in Panch Phoran make the mix so they are all critical. If I would skip one it would be fenugreek. I prefer cold-pressed mustard oil for enhancing the flavour of the spices, but if you don’t want to invest in more pantry ingredients use any non-flavored oil for cooking.  To get additional mustard punch you can always just pound or grind and add ½ a teaspoon of mustard seeds. No cauliflower, no sweat!  This recipe works well with potatoes, mixed vegetables, or even eggplant! Just adjust the cooking times until your vegetables are cooked through! If you’re using frozen cauliflower, you don’t need to soak it in salt! That’s really something my mom taught me to get rid of the little worms. Actually, worms are good! It means your vegetables are organic and not loaded with pesticides!

Cauliflower Panch Phoran – Light and Tasty


Cauliflower with Five Spices (Panch Phoran) – a great option for lunch or dinner!


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