This is from Susan Jacksons' "Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen" blog. In some places this spice mix is spelled 'phoran', and in others 'phoron', Zaar seems to prefer 'phoron', so that's what I've used. "I know it doesn't look like much, a little lumpy and gloppy and overly orange, but this combination of red lentils and cauliflower tastes out of this world, all because of panch phoran." If you can't find this blend of Indian spices in the shops, here is an excellent recipe for making your own, from SueL, Panch Phoron - Indian 5-Spice.
- 1 1⁄2 cups masoor dal or 1 1⁄2 cups red lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon canola oil or 1⁄8 teaspoon canola oil cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon panch phoron
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste or 1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
- 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1⁄2 cup water
- Pick over and rinse the lentils and add them to a pot with the water and turmeric.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the dal is tender, about 20 to 35 minutes. When done, add salt and set aside.
- While the dal is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
- Heat a large, deep skillet, preferably non-stick. When hot, add the canola oil and shake it to spread it around. Add the panch phoran and stir. (You may instead use oil spray; spray before and after adding the panch phoran.).
- When the first seed pops, immediately add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes, and ginger paste. Stir and cook until the onion softens, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, cauliflower, and water, and stir. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes.
- When the dal and cauliflower are both done, add the dal to the cauliflower mixture. Stir well, and check seasoning, adding more salt if needed.
- Simmer gently for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve hot, over rice if desired.