Pradeep Rao and Anjali Ganapathy
This week, treat your taste buds to an array of rich and authentic Coorgi delicacies — the food of the Kodavas. The Coorg cuisine’s origin can be traced back to a bygone era in the Western Ghats, where native warriors satiated their love for fresh meat by hunting down their preys, and rustled up a gamut of distinctly flavoured offerings. Despite the meat options having amassed immense popularity, the Kodava cuisine offers enough room for vegetarians too. For instance, the vegetarian delicacy, Kumbla Curry, and steamed rice balls — Kadambuttu are a must have from the Coorg menu.
The most popular dish from this region is the Pandi (pork) curry, which is natively crafted from wild boars. This spicy and flavourful curry is an instant hit among meat lovers, as a gamut of spices are thrown in to bring forth a distinct flavour, which this signature dish is known for.
For instance, Kachumpulli with its enigmatic flavour is a native alternative to vinegar/kokum, which is used by the locals in the preparation of this delicacy. Other such local infused exotic ingredients are wild mangoes, tender bamboo shoots, wild mushrooms and more. Get your hands on these exotic ingredients or use their alternatives to prepare these three exotic recipes from this distinctive community.
KADAMBUTTU (steamed rice balls)
- 1 cup rice rava
- 2 cups of water
- A pinch of salt
Mix all three ingredients and set aside for 20 minutes.
Place on medium flame and stir continuously, until the mixture becomes thick, like a khichdi or that of the wet dough’s consistency.
Remove from flame.
Make round lemon size balls with the dough.
Place in a steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes.
Marinate for 15-20 minutes
Mangalore cucumber (remove seeds and chop with skin into three inch pieces)
Rai (Mustard seeds)
Heat oil i a pan, and add mustard seeds as per the prescribed quantities. Now, throw in chopped onions. When golden, add curry leaves and fry.
Add Mangalore cucumber. Stir.
Add jaggery syrup and cook for 10 minutes or until tender.
When tender, add wet paste, stir and remove.
Marinate and set aside
Dry mix - Roast and Grind
Wet mix - Grind
Add the dry roasted mix to meat and set aside.
Heat some oil.
Fry wet mix till oil separates from the mix.
Add pork and seal meat. Cook in high flame.
Add 3-4 cups of warm/hot water. Now, allow it come to a boil.
Lower the flame. Cover and allow it to cook until the pork is tender and gravy is thick.
Add Kachampulli vinegar, allow to boil on high flame for a minute and remove.
Salt to taste.