Tag Archives: Recipes

The monsoon delicacies of Coorg

So stuck up with my professional life.. I am finding little / No time to visit my native, where my basics belong to.. Politics, emotions, manners, education- on the whole the basics of every aspect of the human that I am today 🙂

Nostalgia fills my heart as I hear of heavy rains in the recent weeks- little villages have turned into islands, water levels are atleast 2 feet above bridges, waterlogged paddy fields now look like a never ending stretch of the river itself.. WOWwww…. An amazing picture of a rain fed rather filled-green COORG flashes infront of me.. And what my heart is craving for at the moment is some AWESOME Coorgie food.. And what my taste buds are asking for are the lesser known typical monsoon delicacies native to Coorg and cannot match their original taste if tried to re-create in any part of this wide world even by the greatest chef ever born..!! So here goes the list..

VEGETARIAN:

1. Therme thoppu palya (Fern salad)

2. Kembu suli curry ( Colocasia shoots)

3. Baimbale curry (Bamboo shoot curry)

These are varieties found only on river banks.

4. Kaad maange curry (Wild mango curry)

5. Kummu curry (Mushroom curry) especially the wild varieties- Aalandi kummu, Nucchi kummu, kaatola kummu.

The above stuffs taste deadly when combined with hot Akki Otti(Rice rotis) prepared on mud ovens lit with firewood 😉

6. Chutta chekke kuru (Roasted seeds of ripe jackfruit smeared with red soil and dried in the sun and preserved especially for the monsoon)

NON-VEGETARIAN:

7. Njend curry / Chutta njend (Fresh water crab curry /Roasted crabs)

8. Chutta yarchi (Barbecued meat)

9. Onak yarchi fry (Since Coorgs hunted regularly, venison, wild boar, barking deer and several other kinds of wild game formed part of their diet. These meats were also sliced, rubbed with salt and turmeric, strung or skewered and sun-dried or hung from the rafters in smoky, wood fired kitchens)

10. Koile meen curry (Used to be in abundance where bamboo traps were laid in cold, swift flowing streams and the flooded paddy fields were full of these tiny freshwater eels)

SWEET DISHES:

11. Kuvale putt (Prepared with ripe Kuvale chekke (a variety of jackfruit, locally called Kuvale) wrapped in Kuvale ele (Leaf from a local plant found on riverbanks) and steam cooked.

12. Baale nurk / nurk putt ( Bananas fritters)

13. Maddh paaysa/ Maddh putt (Porridge /cake made of an aromatic herb, which is expected to have 18 types of medicine available only during the month of kakkada or aadi)

And last but definitely not the least – A peg of Nell-kall (vodka made of paddy) and some homemade wine…. Or a cup of steaming hot ‘Bellatha Kaapi’ for the teetotalers .. 🙂

People often complain about my eating habits and how choosy I get about what I eat and the little quantity that I peck onto.. Treat me with a platter filled with the above stuffs and see how I can binge on… This city food is CRAP.. and not what I savour…Not even the 6-course expensive meal cooked by the executive chef de cuisine of the costliest restaurant in the world…!!

Kuvaleputt , Nurkputt & Kummu
Kuvaleputt , Nurkputt & Kummu

The best of Trivandrum in a day…

May be the coconut trees lining the coastal line abundantly and the rhythmic beats of the infamous drums resonating in the air…. And maybe the SUVs & MUVs that underwent the brutal checkup by me during my so called ‘Business trip’….. These surely made my visit to this little silent capital city an AWESOME one 🙂

A city of Trees & Vans & Drums put together…… Trivandrum it is..!!

A morning flight from Bangalore landed at Trivandrum airport by 09.30 a.m. The car was waiting for us outside which drove us past a fishing hamlet enroute to our workplace..  Fishing dories anchored, fishermen carrying their day’s catch, the blue sea water reaching to the horizon and a lovely lady’s figurine sculptured by the Shangamughan beach.. Further, as we crossed the toll road and drove across a bridge through the by-pass road, we were greeted by the backwaters dotted by the houseboats..  Such a warm welcome to the city..:)

And ofcourse, we began working without wasting much time… And definitely did not miss a chance to drive around the city as a part of the check-up routine 😉 In the evening was the much anticipated part of the trip- Tagged as the richest temple in the country – Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple visit it was .. For all the hype and media space grabbed by this temple, I had expected a BIG crowd of tourists(Not Pilgrims), fussy Godmen, lot of petty shops dotting the walkway selling pooja items etc.- A common sight at any of the famous temples in India.. But, totally contrary to it- This is one of the BEST temples I have EVER been to.. According to me- ‘A temple is a place where one has to feel GOD with PEACE’. And this place stands out for just that..!! A strict dress code and prohibited entry for non-hindus, a stringent adherence to the temple rules, limited crowd, silent ambience, an eyeful of the darshan of the massive idol lit by mere oil fed lamps- The place has not given up its sanctity to all the attention its hidden wealth has grabbed.. I’m really not a pious or a temple person- But this place is truly commendable 🙂

Main gate - Padmanabhaswamy temple
Main gate – Padmanabhaswamy temple

Later, we visited the old wooden museum inside the Puthenmalika / Kuthiramalika Palace just outside the temple premises.. This was built by the erstwhile Travancore kings.. A damn nice place for the art lovers 🙂

Day 2 : We started work early hoping to finish it early so that we can do a little bit of city trotting before we board our return flight.. And as per schedule, we were done with work by afternoon.. We shopped for some local crafts at SMSM institute crafts emporium.. We walked through the narrow lanes to one of the biggest shops that is all for ‘CHIPS’ – ‘The Mahachips store’.. Edible chips of different varieties made to order and packed just then.. I picked up about 10kgs of banana chips & jackfruit chips- something that will be much awaited for back home in Bangalore, even more than my safe return 😉

SMSM institute crafts emporium
A wooden piece of art @ SMSM institute crafts emporium

Just before sunset, we reached Covalam beach.. We walked upto the Vizhinjam lighthouse for a good view of the beach- it turned out to be a treat to the senses 🙂

View from the Vizinjam lighthouse
The view from the Vizinjam lighthouse

A stroll along the crowded beach, beautiful view of the sunset, some yummy local chaats to munch on.. Indeed an awesome end to an eventful business trip 🙂

Kovalam beach @ sunset
Kovalam beach @ sunset
Don’t miss to try 3 things while you are in Trivandrum:
1. Fresh banana & jackfruit chips and halwa
2. Hot palam puri with a cup of burning hot Kerala tea
3. Frog thigh fry (available only in select places)

If not a business trip, one could cover all these places in a day and combine it with a day trip to Kanyakumari- the southern-most tip of mainland India.

Bath- o- Baat..!!

<01-Dec-12>

Its 1st of December.. At 10a.m.; an e-mail was delivered to my inbox from the canteen dept. “Monthly menu”- the subject head read. My immediate action was to click on the trash button which straight away dumped my unread mail in the trash bin. This action was not unique to me alone.. At least ten others in my office would have done the same.. And another ten would have just opened the mail and then trashed it.. Nobody usually expects anything unusual in the menu. But just incase, some fresher bumps into you with a humble intension to make a conversation and brings up the topic of breakfast menu:

“Hey ! You know what’s for breakfast for this month?”

The poor fellow is bound to get an equivalent reaction: “Aiyya…!! Looks like you have not had enough of a bath in the canteen..!!”

The oldies all know the menu by-heart. So what’s in a bath?? Read on…

  • Tuesday: green- bath (Methi bath)
  • Wednesday: red- bath (Vaangi bath)
  • Thursday: Deadly-oil bath (Darshini Pulav)
  • Friday: mixed colour- bath (Chow-Chow bath)
  • Saturday: brown- bath (bisi-bele bath)
  • Sunday: yellow- bath (rice bath)

If I missed out on Monday in the list: that’s the 1st working day of the week; so the company tries to give us some motivation / morale boost up. That’s the “Have no Bath”-day. It’s the only day when Idly-Vada-Sambar-Chutney is served.

Now: How do the employees identify what’s fir breakfast without actually entering the canteen or reading the menu? It comes with experience. Just a month’s time is enough..!!

Well, a Monday’s menu barely changes; so you know what is there: you go or don’t go depends on how bored or excited you are to get away with the Monday morning blues..!!

And the other days.. Usually standing at a distance and a small peep into someone’s plate is enough. By the colour you know what it is.. and then, do an about turn and walk towards office.!!

But, a special mention needs to be made about Wednesdays.. The day being the mid-week and you would already have lost the motivation to work; the day greets you by serving a deadly bath on your platter. This is the original “Darshini Pulav”. I prefer to call it the deadly bath. It’s because you don’t need to walk till the canteen door on that day. The strong smell of fried bread cubes doused in dalda oil and mixed with a weird coloured deadly preparation hits your nostrils instantly at the time you alight at the bus bay. So, you directly walk away to your office without wanting to even get closer to the source of smell.

Friday’s are special because not one, but two baths are given on a single platter. Chow-Chow-bath: as the name suggests it is a combo of Rava bath and Kesari bath…!!

Oh.. Are you wondering why we even go near the canteen door every morning huh? It’s just out of curiosity and nothing else.. The curiosity to know how a bath can be had in different forms and in different colours- and every time taste the same even with different names..!! For example: Vegetable bath, green peas bath were served a couple of times instead of the deadly oil bath… This was just a colour variant: the smell and taste is forever the same..!

Occasionally, Pongal, lemon rice, puliyogare, khara bath, tomato bath are served too.. but considering these are still different colour forms of the same rice dish: it is an array of Bath-o-baat..!! And it is highly impossible for a normal person to eat rice 3 times a day; seven days a week..!! I agree that we are South Indians who usually are associated with these baths, but nowhere in the peninsular India, would you find a Southie eat so much rice a day.. We have other better forms: dosa, poori, chapathi, akki-rotti, ragi-rotti, jola rotti, puttu, appam etc etc… Why the hell on earth are we forced to have this bath every morning..!!

This is a serious allegation coming from a deeply disturbed rice hater who has stopped taking a bath just because of the traumatising “bath-o-phobia”..!! No.. no.. This is not the “Ablutophobia”..!! Time the management does something about this one..!! I’m skipping my breakfast every day and my girth size is increasing rapidly owing to frequent starvation..!!

Coked-Chicken Salad

<Date: 11-Mar-2009>

Now you’re wondering what it means.!!

My mum who was bent on me learning to cook (so that she can get me married soon.?!!) insisted on me preparing the lunch for everyone when I had planned to have a peaceful lunch out with Jazz 😥 and that too.. this time: she wanted me to learn some non-veg dish. But she did not forget to include a pacifier to keep my anger at bay.. I was permitted to experiment with any ingredient available at the nearest supermarket and she would buy them all herself.. I am bugged of eating the usual and anyway had the liberty to try something new.. So here goes my invention for the day….

Serves for two:

  • 250gms  : Chicken boneless
  • 400 ml    : Coke
  • 1 big        : green capsicum
  • 100gms   : Sweet corn-boiled
  • 100gms   : Carrot-chopped into long strips
  • 50gms     : fresh beans
  • 2 tbspn    : Lime juice
  • 1 tbspn    : Chilli flakes
  • To taste   : Salt
  • Cloves      : 3-4
  1. Take Chicken in an open vessel and prick the cloves to the chicken randomly and pour Coke to it.
  2. Add not more than a pinch of salt. Place it on the stove and stir it immediately for about 2 mins. Leave it open for about 15min or till the liquid evaporates completely.
  3. Cut the beans into long strips and roast it in a dry pan inorder to make it dry but not lose its colour.
  4. Mix all the cut vegetables, with chilli flakes.
  5. Separate the chicken to strips and mix it with the vegetables.
  6. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.
  7. Serve it on a bowl 😛

The coke adds a subtle sweetness to the chicken and the cloves give it a light fragrance.

No oil used and all fresh vegetables. So, it fills your tummy quite fast as there is a lot of water content in it. A simple dish that was ready in 20mins. 🙂 my first experiment was an instant hit 🙂

Coked-Chicken Salad (1)

My Doodle recipe is a part of Easy Doodle Recipe contest at BlogAdda.com in association with TastyKhana.com