Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Bengali Potato and Greens

Bengali Potato and Greens 1

Today’s dish is a simple little production using the Bengali five-spice blend known as Panch Phoron that I posted about not long ago. The blend works very nicely with both greens and potatoes and since I had some kale on hand I thought I would combine the two as a side dish for pork curry leftovers I had planned for supper…

The Ingredients

  • 2 cups potato cut into smallish chunks;
  • 1 tbsp. Besan (or plain flour);
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric;
  • ½ tsp. each Salt and Pepper;
  • 1 cup Kale (pre-blanched and coarsely chopped);
  • 1 ½ tsp. Panch Phoron;
  • 3 tbsp. Cooking Oil or Ghee;

Note: If you like, you can substitute spinach or other greens in place of the kale. In the case of spinach, you will probably want to skip the blanching.

The Method

Bengali Potato and Greens 2

First, mix together the besan, turmeric, salt and pepper. Rinse the potato chunks in cold water and then lightly pat dry. Toss them in a bowl with the besan mixture making sure they are all well-coated.

Bengali Potato and Greens 3

Heat oil for deep-frying and then shake the potato chunks to remove any excess coating mix. Deep-fry the chunks, in batches if necessary, and when they are nicely cooked through drain on paper towels and set aside for the time being.

Bengali Potato and Greens 4

Heat the oil or ghee in a deep pan over a high flame and when the oil begins to shimmer, add the Panch Phoron. When the seed begin to pop, add the greens and toss rapidly until they are wilted and softened but still retain their color. Remove to a separate bowl for the moment.

Bengali Potato and Greens 5

Add the potatoes to the pan and toss until cooked through and then add back the greens for a final few seconds. Sprinkle with a little salt, if desired and then serve.

The Verdict

Bengali Potato and Greens 6

The potato turned out to be a nice complement to the curry, although just a bit more of the five-spice blend would have been alright. I rather though that the dish might be a bit better with spinach rather than the kale but my wife disagreed. Just as well, possibly as there is enough of everything left for her to take to work for lunch tomorrow…



I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

14 thoughts on “Bengali Potato and Greens

  1. This sounds yummy and also a candidate for healthy comfort food. Very nice, I was going to ask if Chinese 5 spice would work but then turned to google and immediately ordered the Panch Phoron and one of it’s ingredients, Kalonji seeds, which I read is a black onion seed with a strong wonderful aroma and flavor.

    My husband and I have a few differing opinions in flavoring and foods, so I think I’ll divide the potatoes into 2 batches and make one with spinach and the other with kale. Also, when it was in season, I became quite fond of swiss chard leaves in place of spinach and kale, you might try that also!

    1. The Chinese 5 spice would give a very different result… and not one I think I would like. Chinese 5 spice is a much more complex blend (the 5 ‘spice’ is actually a mis-translation of the Chinese name ‘5 flavor’ powder). It contains considerable more than 5 spices and is usually very heavy with star-anise which I find okay in sweet things but don’t care for much in savory dishes.

      Swiss chard is very nice and would definitely be good here… I think my wife may be growing some this season 🙂

  2. I’m not a kale fan so I’d use spinach in this. I’m going to try this one. I have all the panch phoron ingredients except for nigella seeds, I’ll see how it works without the nigella first.

    1. No… I must say that I have only been enjoying Kale in the last year or so. I never cared for many sorts of greens before. It certainly pays to experiment 🙂

  3. Next time add fried eggplants cube, cauliflower chunks 🙂 Things will get more intense 🙂
    Happy to see that you’ve celebrated Bengali ‘Panch Foron’ here. We Bengalis are forever in love with that spice blend.

    1. I’ve done Panch Phoron with eggplant before. I’m not 100% sure it would go with potato and greens texturally, but I love the idea of adding cauliflower to the dish 🙂

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