December 1, 2008

Announcing Think Spice with Masala Arbi Fries

There are loads of spices on my kitchen shelves. Spices, herbs, condiments, spice mixes, the list is endless. But I tend to stick to the same old tried and tested spices while cooking. For ages, I've had a bottle with small packets of different spices: ajwain, shahjeera, anardana and kalonji. This bottle traveled with me from Hyderabad to Bangalore to Gurgaon. I hardly used the contents of this bottle until sometime last year. No prizes for guessing what brought that about.

I now use these different spices in my cooking and have gone beyond the usual cinnamon-clove-cardamom routine. Sometime last year, Sunita started the Think Spice event and I think I tried to participate in each edition until Kaykat chose Wasabi. Sometime around then was also when we went on vacation and my blog suffered a bit as a result of that. A few months ago (or was it a year ago?) I signed up to guest host the December edition of Think Spice. So, here I am. And my choice of spice this month is Carom.

Also known as Ajwain/Omam/Owa/Vaamu, this spice is used in many dishes. I've seen it used most with ingredients that are likely to cause flatulence as this, quite like asafoetida. So, while I've seen it being used in Oma Podi in Madras, in Gurgaon, this spice goes into pakodas and parathas. I use it in some side dishes with vegetables like potatoes or colocasia, and at times temper dal with it. So get ready to cook with carom this month.

  • Post a recipe of any kind, using the chosen spice, also, in any form you desire (seeds, powder, bark, etc). Feel free to share all your thoughts and information on the chosen spice.
  • Include a link back to this post for the benefit of your readers and future references.
  • Email me your entry with your name, a picture of your dish and the permalink of your recipe by or before the announced deadline to with the subject -Think Spice...Think Carom.
  • Non -Bloggers are also welcome to participate. Just e-mail me your entry with a picture to
  • The round ups will be posted during the first week of January.
  • Feel free to use the logo.

Here's an easy dish to get you started. This is perfect finger food. Indian style fries if you may!

1/4 kg Colocasia, peeled and quartered lengthwise

1-2 tbsp Oil, for shallow frying

1 tsp Carom seeds

1 tsp Cumin-Coriander Powder

1 tsp Chilli Powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/4 tsp Garam Masala

2 tsp Oil

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the colocasia pieces until lightly browned. Drain on absorbent paper.

Heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in the same pan. Add the carom seeds and fry for a minute. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, and cumin-coriander powder and fry for a minute or so. Add the fried colocasia pieces and toss well. Add the salt and the garam masala. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

Enjoy this as a snack with tea, or as finger food with drinks. It is a hit either way. Now let me enjoy this plate of fries while I start waiting for your entries to come in.


Curry Leaf said...

Thanks R for the info on Carom.I was thinking ajwain is oregano.Some sites it is writeten like that.Will try to pitch in.Like you I too live to send items to think spice.Love the event,though always short of recipes.

sunita said...

Thanks for hosting, Raaga. Nice choice of spice.

Sig said...

I am slowly getting back into the groove, so I will try and make this one... Those arbi fries look spicy and delicious!

Vaidehi said...

Hi Raaga,
nice event and fries looks jst amazing :P

Kitchen Flavours said...

Wow flvourful spice. Nice choice. Recipe to kick start looks spicy and yum.

Priya said...

Nice Event..will try to send something soon..;Arbi fry looks spicy n yummy..

Uma said...

Nice spice for the event. Arbi fries look so crispy and yummy!

Aparna said...

Ok, so Think Spice is here this month. Good idea. Brings back omappodi to mind.:)
Let me see what I can come up with. This is one of my favourite events.

Soma said...

I have never participated in this event. Let me see if I can come up with something...

i love ajwain.

aquadaze said...

Hi Raaga,

Just sent you my entry...this is such a lovely choice of spice!!
I make masala arbi in much the same way, except that I use chilli sauce in it. Will try and post that as well.
You have a lovely blog, must admit to lurking around here...

Gayathri said...

Nice event and its different, let me try something.

Preety said...

Hi raaga, just sent you my entry plz chk ..thanks

Aparna said...

Just sent you my entry. :D

Soma said...

Just mailed u my entry.

Navita said...

Heres' what I made

Sanghi said...

hi, first time here, i'm a spice lover and this event is lovely.
Omam, i use very rarely, but its very good for health-digestion.
Will try some. do check my blog.