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Essential to Indian cuisine, the tempering of spices in oil is one of the simplest & profoundly aromatic methods to enhance & release the flavor of certain spices.  

WHAT TO KNOW:

Not all spices can be popped. A pop is usually done with oil or ghee & whole spices such as mustards seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds & fenugreek seeds.

Heat up a given quantity of oil or ghee in a shallow frying pan. When the oil begins to get a shiny surface and starts to shimmer, gently drop the spices in.

If the oil is at the right temperature, the spices will begin to pop & sizzle. The oil will sputter a bit so be careful to not burn yourself!

Turn the heat off immediately & let the sizzling stop usually lasts no more than 3 to 5 seconds.

If the seeds don't sizzle instantly when you drop the seeds in, wait until they do & turn the heat off.  No pop, no flavor.
Timing is critical – otherwise you may end up with a mess.  The spices will not only burn, but might fly around the kitchen! 

 
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 affects cook time, texture & flavor profile

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