Tadka Maar Ke - The Correct Tadka To Use For Your Dishes
Image Credit: Indian food is incomplete without tadka | Unsplash

Indian food is famous for being rich and spicy. The true flavours of Indian food come out only when it is full of tongue numbing spices. The gravies, rice, parathe and snacks – all of our food is incomplete without spices. But here is the catch – just because most of our food is spicy, does not mean that any spice combination can be used to cook any dish. Cooking is an art and Indian cooking is an art that you take years to master. The delicately flavoured curries and gravies are results of years of trial and error or centuries long heirloom recipes. So, it is important to get the spices right and not just create any amalgamation.

One of the most important parts of adding flavours to Indian food is tadka or tempering. It truly sets the flavour and final taste of any dish. It is very important to get the tempering right, because it is the most identifiable flavour in any food item. So much so, that people often associate a dish with the kind of tadka that is put in it. So, if you are confused about what kind of tadka to put in your gravy, here is a basic guide for you. Read on to find the answers to your queries. 

Tomato and turmeric tadka – This is one of the most commonly used tadkas and is especially used to give a zing to dal and lentil-based dishes. It gives a wonderful reddish colour and tangy taste to the dal. 

Jeera tadka – One of the other common types of tadka is the jeera or cumin seeds tadka. It tastes amazing when added to chicken gravies, potato gravies or dry fried potato. 

Ghee and red chilli powder – If your dish has turned out delicious but it just does not look that way due to unattractive color or appearance of the dish, this tadka is a one-minute life saver. All you have to do is heat up a tablespoon of ghee and add a pinch of red chilli powder. As soon as it splutters, transfer it to the gravy. This tadka is more for colouring rather than flavouring. 

Methi tadka – Fenugreek or methi has a very strong taste. So, it is important that we see what dishes we are using it in and in what quantity. The best way to make optimum use of methi tadka is put powdered methi in a spoon full of hot mustard oil, pour it over the gravy and cover the lid. 

Paanch-phoron – This is a mixture of 5 different whole spices and is very famous in Bengali and Assamese cuisine. It is used extensively in the cuisines to cook authentic dishes like chocchori and posto. It goes amazingly well with mustard or poppy seed based gravies.

Red chilli tadka | Picture credit - Unsplash

When talking about tadka, red chillies are unmissable. They add the spice, the flavour and the colour to your regular food. Just a disclaimer, if you food is spicy , interms of the ingredients used, tone down the red chilli tadka.

Curry leaves tadka – Dried or fresh curry leaves are responsible for making some amazing lemon rice, curd rice, poha and sambar. The flavours curry leaves bring out in especially cuisines from down South is unmatched.

Garam masala – The premium mix of all aromatic masalas makes up the world renowned garam masala. Although it elevates anything it is put into, garam masala brings out the flavours of meat-based dishes, pulao and biryani the best. It truly is the magic ingredient.

These tadka combinations will give a new look and taste to your regular food. They will also make your daily food look and taste better. Try using these tadkas and enjoy your newly face-lifted food!