Tadka

Tadka The Secret of Desi Deliciousness

Tadka, Vagar, Chhaunk, Phodni – These words make every desi drool. Generally, if a dal or a curry lacks tadka it is considered as food for the sick and hence Tadkas have become a routine for Indians as breathing is. This art of cooking has been passed from generations to generations, yet through decades tadka hasn’t lost its authenticity and importance. 

Tadka is the art that Indians have aced. The aromas, flavors and the nutritional benefits of each spice suddenly unlock in a Tadka. An interesting fact is that the tadka techniques and ingredients change from region to region across the country, which makes the food of each cuisine so distinct yet flavorful. 

Here are some traditional tadkas from various Indian cuisines you must try. 

1. South-Indian Tadka or Thalipu: Each spice used in the South-Indian tadka adds a distinct flavor to the dish. However, the flavor that stands out is that of coconut oil. South-Indian tadkas also have a crunch of urad dal & chana dal and a punch of dried red chilies. 

Here’s a simple tadka recipe which will give your curries the perfect South-Indian touch. 

Ingredients:
½ tsp – Mustard Seeds
½ tsp – Cumin Seeds
1 whole – Dried Red Chili
1 pinch – Asafetida
4-5 – Curry Leaves
3 tbsp – Coconut Oil
½ tbsp – Urad Dal
½ tbsp – Chana Dal

Method:
Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds; let them crackle. Now, add asafetida, curry leaves, dried red chili, urad dal and chana dal. Fry it for 1 minute. 

Pour this hot tadka on boiled dal, boiled veggies or plain curd rice for that lip-smacking punch. 

2. Gujarati Tadka or Vagaar: Gujarati dal oozes some mouth-watering flavors, doesn’t it?
Ever wondered, what makes these dals so delicious and easy to digest? The special tadka does the magic. 

Moreover, the spices are used keeping in mind the high temperature of the region that makes the food easy to digest. 

Ingredients:
3 tbsp – Groundnut Oil
½ tsp – Mustard Seeds
½ tsp – Cumin Seeds
2-3 – Curry Leaves
1 pinch – Asafetida
2 cloves – Garlic, finely chopped

Method:
Heat groundnut oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds; let them crackle. Now, add asafetida, curry leaves and chopped garlic. Fry it for 1-2 minutes. 

Pour this hot tadka on boiled potatoes, dal, or even khichdi; top it with a dollop of ghee and taste Gujarat on your palate.

3. Maharashtrian Tadka or Phodni: Marathis enjoy their food hot and spicy. This is very evident in their tadkas. Even a simple khichdi or plain boiled veggies get a spicy twist when stir-fried in this tadka. 

Ingredients:
3 tbsp – Sunflower Oil
½ tsp – Mustard Seeds
1 pinch – Asafetida
4-5 – Curry Leaves
1-2 – Green Chilies, finely chopped
½ tsp – Garlic Paste
½ – Onion, finely chopped

Method: 
Heat sunflower oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds; let them crackle. Now, add asafetida, curry leaves and chopped green chilies, garlic paste and onions. Fry it for a minute, pour it on dals and enjoy.

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