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:
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!