Exploring Coorg’s Flavours

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Exploring Coorg’s Flavours

Oxygen-rich air, vast greenery, relative cleanliness and local spices; Coorg is a delight for those who want to escape from the concrete jungles that cities have been converted into. Sometimes, you would want to do nothing but enjoy a weekend spending time looking at the paddy fields and various hues of green and try the local food that’s way different from the usual cuisine served up in cities.

We arrived in Coorg on one such weekend, desiring to spend some time off the daily humdrum and resort to peace, greenery and a gastronomic journey.

The local food of Coorg has often been said to replicate the history and geographical setting of the region. The lush, fertile valley grows an abundant quantity of rice, which makes it a staple element of Coorg cuisine. This rice, called Sannakki, is different from the usual Basmati variety you may be used to, and has a fragrance that will get you drooling.

Coorg can barely boast of posh restaurants and classy ambience. The restaurants and eateries here are  casual and ordinary as far as the décor is concerned. We went to one such restaurants called Hotel Crown on our way from Dubare Elephant Camp located in Kushalnagar. It was late afternoon and we were quite hungry after an entire day spent with the elephants.

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Authentic Coorg Fish Thali

The atmosphere of Crown was decently moderate. What made it remarkable was the Coorg Non-Veg Thali that we had ordered and which our taste-buds find impossible to forget even till today.
The Thali is an assortment of lentil soup, rasam, steamed rice, sauteed onion fry with fish, fish fry, parotta, pulao, fish curry, curd, papad and a dessert.

The river fish taste sweeter and this might be the only non-vegetarian thali that you will ever come across that has proteins in every dish. Rice really is the heart of Kodava cuisine and is processed and cooked in an astonishing number of ways into the perfect foils for the foods that the changing seasons bring. The fish called Katla was soft, delicate and cooked to perfection. The basic ingredients of a traditional gravy for a Coorg Curry, whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian, is coconut, ground with onions, garlic and a selection of other spices. The rasam was comforting, earthy, warm, pepper flavored, seasoned with asafoetida and garnished with fresh coriander. The dessert was called thari payasa, made from sweetened milk and broken rice.

Given our hunger and the delicious taste, we finished an entire Thali in a jiffy, wanting more. It was one of the most scrumptious meals we have eaten in Coorg that will forever stay in our minds and in the tastebuds of memory.

Good food. Good life.

Shramona Poddar

Shramona Poddar

She is a lover of dogs, dance and drama. With a fascination for photography; she has a habit of turning her eye-shot into frames all the time. A sucker for good conversations and good humour, she chooses food over dude any day. A believer of serendipity with an itchy feet, she works hard to make her life brighter than sunshine.