April 29, 2008

All About Tadka/ Tadka Recipes

A simple tadka can give flavor to the food. Preparing tadka is a not a big deal when you know when to add the ingredients in the hot oil.

I learnt this from my husband :D (He claims that he is a better cook than i am :)) He has done a lot of cooking when he came to US as a student. He gives me a lot of useful tips when im stuck with something. Thats very nice of him. Poor guy, he had been away from Ghar ka Khana for almost 10 years. Though he knew cooking, he found it boring after coming home from work. No one enjoys burgers and pizzas daily, right?? After a certain period of time, a person tends to get bored of them and starts craving for home made food. More over, there aren't many options for the vegans. He keep telling me how difficult the bachelor's life is esp if he is away from home. Now, I feel good to cook for him his favourite dishes. (I hope he doesnt read this :)) Haha!

Tadka includes basic ingredients like:

Mustard seeds
Chana Dal/split chick peas
Urad dal/split black gram
Cumin seeds
Curry leaves
Turmeric powder
Green chilis/Dry stuffed chili/Red chilis

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, drop a single mustard seed to check whether the oil is hot. If the seed floats on the oil, it means its not hot. If hot, the seed will splutters. Now, add 1 tsp mustard seeds.

2. If you are using chana dal, add 2 tsp at this moment. Chana Dal starts changing its color to light brown.

3. Add 1 tsp urad dal. Urad dal too changes its color to light brown. The color should get too dark. Add the next ingredient before it does.

4. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and a pinch of asafetida.

5. Add 3-4 curry leaves. Once they sizzle, add 1/2 tbsp peanuts. Peanuts pop and turn red with dark spots.Then they are done. Reduce the heat before they turn dark brown.

6. Add turmeric and let it blend in the oil.

7. Add 1 chili broken into half. Since chilis are hot, they have to be added in the later stage. Finely chopped chilis emit strong flavour.

Other items:

1. Garlic Ginger paste can be added before chilis.
2. Carom seeds can be added after cumin seeds.
3.Cashewnuts can be added along with peanut and be fried till they turn light brown.
4. Chopped veggies can be add in the end and sauted.

Simple tadka recipes (these recipes do not require all the tempering items mentionad above). They are very easy to make and require very less time.

1. Poha/Vaggarne Avalakki

Main ingredients:
2 cups Thick flattened rice/ Poha (I use Bhavani brand), 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice and tadka items (1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ginger paste, 1 green chili finely chopped, 1 tbsp peanuts, 4 curry leaves, 1 tsp Urad dal/, split black grams, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder)

Wash flattened rice/poha with water and let it soak for 5 mins. Add salt, sugar and lemon juice to it after 5 mins. Heat oil in pan, add the above tempering items in the mentioned manner. Add soaked poha in the pan and mix well till the yellow color of the turmeric blends with poha. Garnish it with coriander leaves.

1. you can also add 1 tbsp onions and tomatoes (finely chopped) to the tadka to make it more tasty :)
2. If Poha becomes oily, Add a tsp of menthedhittu or dry chutney powder/ chutney pudi to it, it will absorb all the excess oil and enhances its flavor.

2. Tadka Rice/Yellow Rice/Vagarne Anna:

Isnt the above recipe simple? Now, here's one more similar recipe. All you have to do is follow the same procedure and ingredients, only the main ingredient is different i.e. Rice instead of Poha. My dad calls this dish as Chitra anna and for my mom its Vaggarne Anna :)

You will need 2 cups of cooked rice. I generally use sona masoori rice for this recipe. Rest all the ingredients are same as above. Left over rice will do.

Prepare tadka in a pan and add rice to it. Garnish it with coriander leaves and lime juice.

3. Dry n crisp poha/Hacchid avalakki

You will need: Thin Or Thick flatten rice , tadka ingredients (oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida, peanuts, green chilis), salt and sugar.

Heat oil in a wok and add the tadka ingredients, add poha and mix well till the color of the turmeric blends with poha. Keep mixing and stirring continuously on the medium flame till they become crisp. Serve after till cools down.

Tips: If you dont want to eat this poha crisp, then sprinkle buttermilk on poha, add finely chopped onions and add 1 tsp of lemon juice. This make poha soft and more tasty :)

4. Tadka for any kind of raita

I prefer tadka over raita too. A simple tadka makes the raita more interesting and delicious.
Like i have posted Carrot raita on my blog.
You will need: Grated carrots, yogurt, salt and tadka(oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and asafetida)

Prepare Raita in a bowl (ie mix carrots, yogurt and salt) and then prepare tadka in a steel or copper bottomed ladle and pour over the Raita.

5. Tadka over Chutney

Coconut chutney with Tadka is incomplete (my hubby says so :)) Tadka enhances Chutney's flavour. Its True !!!

6. Simple Dal/Tavvi

Simplest side dish for rice. Times requires for cooking dal, rest is all just hassle free. You need Tur dal, lemon juice, garlic & ginger paste (optional), salt and tadka (oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafetida, turmeric powder)

Preparation: Cook dal in cooker. Heat oil in a pan, add tempering ingredients, ginger garlic paste.
Add cooked dal, salt and lemon juice. You are done!

7.Dry Potato Bhaji

You will need: 2 mashed boiled potatoes, Salt, lemon juice and tadka(oil, mustard seeds, asafetida, urad dal, cumin seeds, green chili, ginger garlic-optional, curry leaves)

Heat oil in pan, add tadka items, add mashed potatoes and mix well till it gets the yellow color, add salt and lemon juice and garnish it with coriander leaves.

8. Coconut side dish for chapatis:

This is also a stuffing for coconut paratha. When i have it in excess after making coconut parathas, i prefer having it as a side dish with chapatis/rotis.
Its very easy to make.

Ingredients needed:1 cup Frozen/fresh grated coconut, 2 green chilis finely chopped, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp clarified butter/ghee, salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp lemon juice

In a pan, heat butter, add cumin seeds, chilis, turmeric and turn off the heat.Then add coconut (Thaw the frozen coconut before using)
and mix well, add lemon juice and salt in the end.

9. Bread upma

I have made bread upma after i started my blog, so i dont have the picture. You can see the picture here. This used to be my regular item for my breakfast. I love the sweet and tangy taste of this upma :)

You need 1 loaf of Bread (leftover prefered) broken into pieces of 1 inches, lemon juice, salt, sugar and tadka items (oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, green chilis, asafetida and peanuts)

Preparation: Heat oil in pan, prepare tadka, add bread pieces and mix well till they get the yellow color of the turmeric. Add salt , sugar and lemon juice and mix again.You can add chopped onions to the tadka if you want.

10. Tadka/tempered idlis:

You will need: Idli batter and tadka. Vegetbles are optional.

Prepare tadka and pour it in the idli batter, add finely chopped veggies and make idlis as usual.

Here are few more easy and quick recipes from other bloggers:

1. Vineela's Curd Rice/Mosaruanna
2. Priya's Tadka/Tempered Dosa