As they say in psychology, a person who enjoys food enjoys life. That certainly rings true for my. I always escape into ecstasy while eating. For me, the real joy of food is in discovering different cuisines, an experience that can turn into an adventure too.
The Coorgi cuisine has been my most recent decadent discovery – the food tickled my taste buds and blew away my mind. It is certainly the most exotic of the south Indian cuisines.
What makes this cuisine exotic is a unique blend of spices and flavouring agents such as the little fiery chilli, known as the gandhari mirchi locally, pulineer made by fermenting fruit and Kodava vinegar used as a special souring agent that add a distinct taste to food from this land.
When in Coorg, I’m always up for a sumptuous breakfast that includes a variety of soft-on-the-inside-and-crispy-on-the-outside rice rotis, also known as Ottis or Akki Rotis, accompanied either by roasted jackfruit seed chutney or local green chutney, which add just the right hit of spice to those modest rotis.
Another all-time favourite for me is the Nool Puttu, strings of steamed rice made by painstakingly a pressing wooden machine by hand. These are best eaten with a thick nutty chicken curry. The feeling of Nool Puttus melting in your mouth and the flavour of chicken curry lingering on is like tasting a slice of heaven. The vegetarians have it with Kodava Potato Curry, which is equally tasty.
I’m also totally in love with the Coorgi rice dumplings, Kadam Puttu, that resemble the pristine Bengali rasgullas but are a stark contrast to the spongy, sweet delights in terms of texture and flavour. These are a typical accompaniment for the delish Coorgi pork curry called Pandhi Curry and often eaten for breakfast.
If you want to taste the authentic flavours of Coorg on your holiday there, choose a homestay over a hotel or just make friends with a local who’d invite you home for a taste bud stirring meal. And don’t forget to carry some coffee and fresh vanilla pods back home.