Most Viewed

Antique Iron Talimpu Garite – Tadka Ladle

Talimpu garite
Talimpu garite

Andhra food is very spicy, hot, pungent and aromatic. It is well known that Andhras take the hottest food in India. Within Andhra each region has its own flavours. The most distinct factor in Andhra food is its Talimpu technique of seasoning the dishes which gives spicy flavour to the dish. Talimpu is also called as Popu. My mother used to create wonderful spicy flavours with the Talimpu technique by selectively chosen spices for frying. She has a special iron Garite with long handle (ladle) in which she is to fry the spices for Talimpu by keeping the Garite in the fire wood flame and dipping the hot Garite in the main dish to flavour the main dish. I am going to tell you the story of this antique Popula Gatite and the mystery of creating tongue tickling spicy hot food with Talimpu art of cooking.

popula garite for thalimpu
heating the popula garite for thalimpu

Talimpu Garite 

The  Talimpu Garite or Popula Garite is made out of iron. We also used to call  it Inapa Garite, meaning lron laddle. This Garite is exclusively designed and made  only for Talimpu particularly for liquid dishes like Rasam and Pulusu. I know that my mother was using this Garite since 1950 .She told us that the Garite was there in the house before she took charge of the kitchen implying that the Garite has been used by her earlier generations. It will be easily over 100 years old.

talimpu ready for dipping in the main dish

What is Talimpu ?

Talimpu is a cooking technique  in which whole spices seeds and other spicy items are fried in ghee or oil to liberate essential elements from the spices and thereby  enhances their flavours .The fried spices are poured over the prepared main dish  along with the ghee or oil. Other ingredients like ginger ,onions, green chillies and garlic  are the add on items  as per the taste preference. This kind of coking is used mainly in India and mostly in South India. The most distinct quality of Andhra food is its Talimpu also called as Popu. Talimpu is called Chaunk or Tarka or Tadka or Bagar in Hindi, Thaalithal in Tamil,Vaghaar in Gujarati,Phoron in Bengali,Fodni in Marathi,Oggarane in Kannada , Baghara in Oriya and Baghaar in Urdu.

There are two ways of Talimpu preparation. One way is to first prepare the Talimpu in a frying pan and then add the main dish to it cook the dish for some time along with the Talimpu.The second way is to cook the main dish first then add Talimpu to it just before serving the dish. Talimpu gariti is used for the second method of seasoning the main dish.

talimpu seeds and spices.
variety of talimpu seeds and spices.

Items requied for Talimpu

Dry red chillies (yendu mirapa kayalu )

Cumin seeds ( jeela karra )

Mustard seeds (Aavalu  )

Chana dal (sanaga pappu  )

Urad dal (minapa pappu)

Oil or ghee for frying (nooni or Neyya)

Curry leaves ( Karivepaku )

Coriander leaves (kothimeeri)

Turmeric powder (pasupu podi )

fenugreek seeds (menthlu )

asafetida (Inguva )           

Salt (uppu )

Fennel seeds

Optional items                        

Zinger (Allam )

Garlic (velli ulli payalu )

Green chillie (pachhi mirapakayalu)

Onions (ulli payalu )

hot popu garite
hot popu garite with fried spices dipped in main dish splintering a splashing the Majjiga pulusu dish.

Talimpu-my nostalgic journey

My mother used to create wonderful flavours with this Talimpu garite. She would hold the tail of the Garite and put the cup part in the fire. When it is hot she used to  pour ghee in the cup and wait till the ghee is hot. Then she used to pour  aavalu (mustard seeds ) first and wait till they crackle and then add  other ingredients of the Talimpu one by one according to the order of their frying time .The main secret of the taste and flavour of the Talimpu is to know the order in which the Talimpu ginjalu are to be added to the oil for roasting so that each seed is perfectly roasted to get the best flavour .She would then stir them dexterously by jerking the handle of the ladle with brisk wrist movement so that the ingredients in the cup were moved up and down so that nothing is over fried .Her remote stirring is so perfect that not even a single seed would fall into the fire. When the entire Popu is done with she will take out the cup from the fire and dip the entire cup of the Garite along with the Popu contents into pulusu or rasam .The  immersion of the hot iron cup create big sizzling  sound along with the crackling in the liquid and the surrounding areas were spread with hot spicy air. The  spicy flavours in the air used to tickle our senses such as  tears in the eyes, light cough from the lungs, saliva in the mouth, and sneezing or water  drops from the nose. Such was the spectacular effect of my mother’s Popu on our senses. It creates the right stimulant for getting ready for the lunch or dinner.

popu garite eminates spicy fumes
hot popu garite eminates spicy fumes when dipped in main dish

The popu varies according to the item. This Gariti is used mainly for the liquid dishes so that the cup along with the Popu can be dipped in the liquid for a better effect of the taste. Further the hot iron addle when dipped in the liquid item will get some iron nutrients which is good for the health. The spices in the Talimpu help in digesting the food. The same goodness you will not get with a stainless steel ladle though it looks trendy to use.

My mother used to use the Inapa garite very effectively for preparing popu particularly for liquid dishes like Rasam and pulusu. Pulusu is a very special dish in Andhra meal which is not found in the rest of Indian culinary items. It is Talimpu that gives the Andhra food the very special pungent punch. To know more about Andhra food, Pulusu, and Popu please follow the link  http://ykantiques.com/2012/07/antique-brass-serving-pots.html  written by the same author .

Majjiga pulusu
The main dish-Majjiga pulusu-after adding popu.

If we need large quantities of Talimpu for items such as chutneys, pulihara or other varieties of rice dishes , my mother used to use mookudu (large frying pan ) for preparing the Talimpu.

Dal fry or Dal Bagar is a special dish of North India where Talimpu is added to the cooked dal.If the Bagar is first prepared and dal is added to that and cooked again it is called Dal fry.If the Dal is cooked and then Bagar is garnished on that then it is called Dal Bagar.

3 thoughts on “Antique Iron Talimpu Garite – Tadka Ladle

    1. Hello. Thank you for writing to us. We do not have any leads for antique iron ladles up for sale. But these might help:

      1. Iron Tadka Ladle – Zishta (click to open)

      2. Cast Iron Karandi – Naati Grains (click to open)

      3. Iron Tadka Handle – Essential Traditions (click to open)

      4. Iron Tadka Vessel – Chakradhari (click to open)

      Note – We do not endorse or have any tie-up with the brands listed above. We had come across the products as part of our own research on cast iron products available online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *