India may be known for the heat and spice of its cuisine, but what’s not commonly understood is how flavours, textures and tastes change region by region. With Karma Royal Resorts and Karma Retreats in the north and south of the country, let us take you on the briefest of culinary journeys…
Jaipur and Rajasthan
India’s northwest is known for heat – both on and off the plate! The desert and arid vistas of Rajasthan have imbued the region’s cuisine with a heat all their own. No visit to Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, would be complete without sampling Laal Maas – a fiery slow-cooked lamb stewed with hot red chilies and whole spices.
Another famous Rajasthani dish is Ker Sangri, a local berry stewed with the hardiest of desert beans, sangri. Historically in times of drought sangri was a staple; the long bean thrives where other vegetables fail. It’s also packed with protein, making it a reliable source of nutrition.
India owes much of its modern culinary variety to Goa. The state’s position along the Arabian Sea saw Goa flourish as a hub of trade, in particular with the Portuguese, whose cultural influence deeply impacted the Goan way of life and can still be seen today.
As traders between Asia, the New World and the old, the Portuguese introduced potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, cashews and – perhaps most importantly – the chilli pepper to Goa, which then spread this fiery little pepper to the rest of the continent. Today, it would be impossible to think of Goan – or indian- cuisine without these ingredients!
Goa is also known for its seafood and much of the State’s most famous dishes come from the sea. A must try is the Goan prawn curry – a heady slow-cooked curry which uses tamarind, chilli powder, cumin, coriander and garlic to compliment the sweetness of fresh prawns from the Arabian Sea.
With its history as a melting pot of different religions (all with their own rules), it’s no wonder that Kerala’s cuisine leans towards vegetarian fare, along with some fish and chicken. But oh what flavour! Take the time to try a traditional Keralan Sadya – a vegetarian banquet consisting of between 24-28 dishes as standard, with some festive Sadyas consisting of 64 dishes served in a single course!