A chaunk is a mixture of whole spices and other seasonings which are sautéed in oil or ghee to release their essence. Our Kerala Chaunk combines ingredients popular in South India and works well in soups and sambars. It is also delicious poured over rice and vegetable dishes just before eating. This is a good way to create different levels of spiciness in one meal to appeal to different palates. Add it to a few tablespoons of hot oil or melted unsalted butter and stir constantly until the seeds begin to sputter and then fold into your dish five minutes before serving. For variety, add fresh ginger, garlic or cilantro to the chaunk.