Jul 19, 2011

Indian Tempering / Thadka / Taalimpu / Popu

I am writing this post specifically for my dear foreign friends who asked me several times How all of our Savory Indian Dishes gets the nice flavor and aroma? And my short and simple Answer is 'Thadka' and they looked at me perplexed. Obviously!!!!! :-) And some of them asked me about the details like 'what is the right amount of time to make this wonderful 'Thadka' and 'how much quantities to use' etc with the interest of practicing this in their kitchens.

Indian Tempering ( Thadka / Talimpu )
First of all Kudos to you for your deep interest in Indian cooking and I am dedicating this post to all my foreign friends out there. Of Course, Freshers and Beginners Don't be shy and take advantage of this while beginning your journey in the Kitchen. :-)

'Thadka' is Hindi Word and 'Popu' and 'Taalimpu' are Telugu equivalent words for the Tempering,  we make for almost any/every curry, fry, gravy or stew in our Indian Cooking. The basic concept is adding all these ingredients to oil infuses the flavors into oil and later spreads that into your curry.

Red Chilies - 2
Chana Dal - 1 Tbsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds -  1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 8 to 10
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Ingredients for Indian Tempering
 How to Make It:
1. Heat the Oil for 1 min. (Keep the falme in medium)
2. Add the Red Chillies ( break them into half) to the Oil, once you see the bubbles in the oil, then add the Chana Dal and Urad Dal.
3. Once you see them turning color to light brown or golden ( 1 min), add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds
4. Mustard (30 sec) will splutter then add the curry leaves, followed by turmeric powder.
5. At this point you should get nice aroma in your kitchen.
Take a Close look at this....!!!
That's it !!! The Flavorful Indian Tempering (Thadka) is ready now. This would be the base for any of your curries. Now by following your recipe finish of the any vegetable curry.

  • This is mostly done as the base for the Vegetable Curries.
  • Keeping the flame in medium is very critical. and always focus when making this, don't go anywhere ( not even 2 steps). This can turn easily into roasted in few min, so keep your eye on it. 
  • If you have turned this into little more roasted and brown, (don't be panic, I have done that couple of times) it's best idea to throw it away and start again. Because that makes your whole curry taste bitter. 
  • some times when the curry leaves splutters, you can get some oil into eyes. so be careful and drop all of these into oil slowly and carefully.
  • The adequately done thadka always adds lot of flavor and color to your curries.

Happy Cooking Until we meet again


  1. Loved this post. The colours are lovely.
    Happy New Year Mythreyi!!

  2. An article on tadka??!! Good one..Never thought of writing on this..One technique we cannot do without in our indian kitchen...

    Happy new year to u and your family..;)

    Prathima Rao'
    Prats Corner



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