In the southern part of India, the addition of coconut and jaggery are tasty, transformative ingredients used to create a sweet and luxurious flavor profile to the curry dish. In the southwestern region, most dishes include shredded coconut, or coconut milk, to balance the aromatic sharpness from the onions and mustard seeds, as well as the tantalizing spiciness of the sliced red chilies. In the southeastern coast, cuisine is usually on the spicier side of the heat scale; the use of black pepper power and red hot chili peppers provide a revitalizing heat that complements the use of staple savory curries spices: coriander, cumin, curry leaves and turmeric. In the southern coastal regions, a large variety of curries are made mostly with vegetables, rather than with meat, and served over rice, since most of India's rice production comes from its southern region.
Hundreds of kilometers north, yogurt is graciously stirred into curries to counteract the scrumptious aromatic and acidic notes found with the addition of garlic, ginger, onions and tomatoes. The spiciness of curries from the northern region vary, but possess a strong star anise essence and are typically enjoyed with roti, a thin jowar flour based flatbread.
Leaving India and jetting over the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka, curries resemble those of southern India, yet include the use of rosewater and poppy seeds to create unique complex and delicate flavor dimensions.The next stop on our journey... luscious Thailand!