Panch Puran

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Last Updated on May 20, 2015 by Chef Mireille

Happy Holidays!!
Christmas is just a few days away and here is a way to put that WOW factor in simple mashed potatoes.
Indian food has been very popular for several years now. While there are some that do not like it, the majority of people I encounter on a daily basis love Indian food.
My secret ingredient to revitalize your mashed potatoes is Panch Puran. Panch puran is a 5 spice mixture that you can get at Indian and sometimes Middle Eastern markets. It is a Bengali mixture of spices (panch is how you say 5 in Hindi), however if you cannot find this, you can simply purchase the spices individually:
cumin seed, coriander seed, fenugreek seed, fennel seed and nigella seeds (aka onion seed) .
Roasting the spices gives the food that smoky flavor that you cannot get from just adding ground spices. In a dry pan (cast iron is best), simply heat the spices to roast them, using equal amounts of each spice. Once you start to smell the spices, roast for just 1-2 minutes more while stirring to avoid burning the spices. Let them cool. Once cool, grind the spices to a fine powder, using a coffee grinder. You have now made your own Panch Puran.
And now here are my Christmas Mashed Potatoes:
6 medium potatoes, peeled
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon mustard oil (you can use vegetable oil or olive oil if you cannot find mustard)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 small chili peppers, minced
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground panch puran
Boil potatoes until cooked through; about 45 minutes.
While potatoes are boiling, sauté the vegetables. Place the mustard oil in a skillet and sauté the celery, scallions and chili peppers until vegetables are softened; about 3-5 minutes.
Using a food processor or electric mixer, whip the potatoes with the butter and the chicken broth. (You can add more or less chicken broth, depending on how loose you like your mashed potatoes).
Add vegetables, nutmeg, salt to taste and about 2 teaspoons of the freshly ground panch puran.
Place in a bowl to serve and garnish with more panch puran.
Guaranteed crowd pleaser!!
You can also purchase Panch Puran online if you prefer at these sources:

Chef Mireille
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