This fragrant sauce from chef Raghavan Iyer is great with dosas, the fermented lentil and rice crêpes common in south India. It's dead simple to make, using just a few vibrant ingredients to deliver big flavor: Fresh curry leaves form the base, with sweetness from jaggery, spice from ginger, and sourness from tamarind. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2014 special India issue with Mari Uyehara's story Supporting Cast.
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 cups tightly packed fresh curry leaves
- 1 tbsp. roughly chopped jaggery or packed brown sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. tamarind paste
- 1 1" pieces ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt, to taste
Heat a 10” skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sesame seeds until reddish-brown, 1 to 2 minutes and transfer to a blender. Add curry leaves, jaggery, tamarind paste, ginger, salt, and ½ cup water; purée until smooth.