Roasted Hubbard with Yogurt and Bengali Five Spice

By Chef Rasul Welch

Photos by Barry Jarvis


Tadka is the Hindi word for tempering whole or ground spices in oil or ghee. It’s also the word for the infused oil itself. Gently toast ground spices in a little oil to make a thick paste as a base for curries. Or toast whole spices in a lot of oil, then spoon the warm, fragrant oil over roasted meats or vegetables.


Bengali Five Spice or Panch Puran is equal parts fennel, mustard, cumin, fenugreek, and nigella seeds. It is infused into oil or ghee to add depth of flavor to many Indian dishes. Heat your oil to about 200°F. If you don’t have an infrared thermometer, just put a little water in a pan over medium heat. Once the water evaporates, add oil and reduce heat to low. Add your Five Spice and cook until it starts to foam and becomes fragrant. Spoon the hot oil and seeds over the roasted squash. Top with coarse salt, yogurt, and a little Asian or tulsi basil.