Spicy Coconut Chicken Soup
Food from Sri Lanka, located off the southern tip of India, has flavor combinations not seen in other cuisines because of its position at the intersection of trade routes and cultures, says Kentucky-based chef Samantha Fore, whose family is from the country. This soup exemplifies the essential, mouthwatering combo of sweet, sour and heat; bright acidity from fresh lime juice is balanced by coconut milk, which adds richness without being heavy. Spices grown on the island—like cinnamon, cardamom, coriander and cumin—lend toasty notes to the broth and add a layer of gentle heat behind the fiery dried chile. The Tuk spice blend is one Fore created (named after her pop-up restaurant, Tuk Sri Lankan Bites) and is available online through spicewallabrand.com. "It is basically everything I would put into a chicken curry," she says, including ginger, lemongrass and turmeric.
Popular in Indian cuisine, fenugreek seeds taste maple-y, tangy and nutty. Find them in the spice aisle at well-stocked grocery stores, in Indian markets or online.