This is the most significant taste element. Salt is the catalyst that lets you taste everything else. Of course you can over salt something, and that can be downer which makes me want to get back on that soapbox of mine, preaching the viruses of balance in the world of Indian curries. Two main ingredients in Indian curries bring forth the salty taste: salt and back salt.
In the world of Indian curries, ingredients that infuse sweetness in a sauce tone down its bitter and hot tastes. This is especially true in curries from the eastern regions, where folks love bitter things. Each region has its sweetener of choice, some more complex-tasting than others.
A multitude of ingredients sweeten our curries. Jaggery, white granulated sugar, and both dried and fresh fruits sweeten the pot, while spices like fennel, nutmeg, and mace start by sweetly tempering the oil.
White granulated sugar imparts a one dimensional sweetness to curries, and that’s fine when you want a nonassertive sweetness to sit on the sidelines while bolder flavors bask in the limelight. Jaggery, which also comes from sugarcane but more closely resembles brown sugar, imparts a more complex flavor.