Special Fried Garnishes

Fried garnishes in Indian kitchen are as important as a list of spices!!! Most of the times, it comes to be an integral part of preparing the dish itself… 
Two very popular ways of doing it are:
  • Tempering
  • Fried Onions
Generally, these garnishes shape up the dish with a distinct aroma. But at times, they are specifically used for giving a special taste and texture to the delicacy prepared. 
Also known as vaghar, tadka, chhaunka etc. etc. Generally used for flavoring dal, yogurt, chutneys, main or side veggie dishes and much more… Definitely, it’s something that can’t be avoided when you are making a dal preparation! 
Process to follow — Heat oil / butter / clarified butter (ghee) in a tadka pan (shown here), but not to the smoking point. Add whole spices first and saute it for a few sec (time varies depending upon the spices you use). Turn off the heat and add powdered spices. Immediately pour this tadka over your serving dish and double the flavors!!! 
A combination of various spices are used to infuse the flavors in dish, but different dishes have got their different style of tempering. 
Ex. For a North-Indian dal – Whole spices like cumin seeds, red chillies, cloves, bayleaf etc. are used! For South-Indian dishes – Use of mustard seeds is unavoidable! In mughlai cuisine, dry fruits are too a part of tadka at times :)
Other possible ingredients are: asafoetida (hing), curry leaves, shahjeera (black cumin seeds), carom seeds, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds… and the list goes on!  
It’s not as famous as tempering, but personally my favorite way of garnishing rice varieties in crumbled, ground or whole form! It’s also called “Bhoone pyaaz ke lachche” in North-Indian or Moghal cuisine… 
Process to follow Slice the onions into thin shreds. Heat some oil (it required as much as you prefer for shallow-fry) and add onions in it. Keep stirring it all the time and saute it till they turn into golden-brown color. Transfer it to paper-towels and keep it aside for 5 mins to make it crunchy. Add a pinch of salt while sauteing it will make it crunchy faster! 
You can store it in air-tight container for a day or two! But keeping it with open surface will make them soggy quickly. 
When you fry onions, it releases a sweet internal flavor that works so perfect for biryani or pulao dishes!
A light version of fried onions is ‘Caramelized Onions’, recipe for the same:

So…. what are you waiting for??!!! Try these desi-techniques in your next dish and gimme a feedback… :)