Seasoning | Tempering | Tadka | Thalipu

Here is a small non-recipe post about seasoning or tempering or tadka (Hindi) or thalipu (Tamil). Pretty much all the recipes require tempering and without that the dish is not complete at all. When I started cooking, this is what my mom taught me and I am sharing the same here. Basically this post is all about what kind of tempering/tadka/thalipu I use for each and every recipe.

Here is my Anjarai Petti / Spice Box / Grocery Box. Pretty much all the house hold carries this box and here is mine and that is what I have in it,
Mustard Seeds / Rai / Kadugu
Fenugreek Seeds / Methi / Vendiyam
Pepper / Milagu
Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu
Urad Dal / Ulutham Paruppu
Cumin Seeds / Jeera / Jeerakam

Turmeric Powder / Manjal Podi / Haldi

I do add curry leaves (Kadi Pattha) while doing the tempering for kootu, occasionally for sambar and rasam. I pretty much add hing/heeng/asafoetida in all my recipes, at least 1/4 tsp or 1/8 tsp. As asafoetida helps in digestion, I make sure I add them in all my recipes. Like hing, I pretty much add turmeric in all my dishes not only for color but also for its medicinal purpose.

Here is the tempering that I follow for each and every category,
For rasam, I use mustard seeds, jeera and hing. If you temper it with ghee, it adds more taste/flavor. But if you are calorie conscious go with regular oil.  As soon as jeera splutters reduce the heat and add it to the rasam.Sambar:
For sambhar I use mustard seeds, methi (fenugreek) and hing. I dont prefer jeera for sambar. Adding too much of methi seeds adds bitter taste so I usually add at the max 2 tsps but adjust depending upon the quantity.
Vathal Kuzhambu:
For vathal kuzhambu, I use mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and methi seeds for tempering or mustard seeds, red chillies and toor dal along with hing.
For kootu, you can just temper with mustard seeds, jeera and hing like in rasam or with mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal.  I dont add all 4 together. I usually go with either one combination. And when you add curry leaves while tempering (especially) for kootu it adds more flavor.
Ven Pongal:
For ven pongal, I use jeera and pepper corns and usually i temper it with ghee.

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