Curry Leaf Tarka,
or Seasoned Ghee
by Kate Heyhoe
Makes about 1 cup
Ghee is clarified butter. Make your own, or buy it at Indian markets. You can substitute vegetable oil, but it won't be as flavorful. If you don't have curry leaves, replace them with 1 tablespoon cumin seeds when you add the garlic; the flavor will be different but good.
1 cup ghee (or vegetable oil)
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
50 curry leaves (about 4 sprigs), coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
In a saucepan with a lid, heat the ghee on high until hot but not smoking. All at once, and quickly, add the mustard seeds and immediately cover with the lid. Turn the heat to medium-low and swirl the pan to completely immerse the seeds. When the mustard seeds stop popping (about 1 minute), uncover and carefully dump in the curry leaves—cover quickly as they will splatter. Turn the heat to low. When the curry leaves stop splattering (a few seconds), add the garlic and ginger and cover again. After they stop sputtering, take off the lid. As soon as the garlic starts to show signs of browning, remove the pan from the heat. Let the ingredients cool in the hot ghee.
When the ghee is cool enough to handle, pour it through into a glass jar. Seal and refrigerate up to 3 weeks.
Tip: Pre-measure the mustard seeds and curry leaves and place in small bowl so you can add them all at once to the pan and cover instantly; they pop furiously as soon as they hit the heat.
Kate's Global Kitchen for October 2002:
10/04/02 Ukrainian Mushroom Feasts
10/11/02 Tarka, Ghee and Me: Quick Warm Ups with Indian Spices
10/18/02 New Zealand Spinach, or Bushy Warrigal Greens
10/25/02 Taking the Pumpkin Out of the Pie
Copyright © 2002, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page created October 2002