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From pepper-loaded curries to aromatic coffee: Coorg is the land of unique and versatile flavours

One of the most revered and aromatic coffees in the world is found in this region.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: May 18, 2019, 10.40 AM IST
ET's dualpane - 2019-05-18T103226.370
Cut off from their neighbours for centuries and endowed with nature’s goodies, the Kodava kitchen is unique and versatile.

Some random, innocent question by my comicscrazy young one started this whole thing.

Where do you think Obelix would like to go if he visits India? Well based on his rustic taste buds and love of wild boar, I believe he will love Nagaland but if he goes down South I definitely know where to put him.

Today extremely popular among the tourists, a small Kodagu (Coorg) district is gifted with nature’s bounty of indigenous spices, fruits, wild fowl and wild pigs.

Some believe that the Kodavas entered India during the Mohenjo Daro period. Others believe that they were descendants of the army of Alexender the Great who entered India in 326 BC. With their unique geographical position in the Kodaga hills and forests and fierce warrior qualities they were independent and cut off from their naighbours for a long time. This helped them develop a cuisine very unique and versatile. Coorgis emphasize on less oil and slow cooking with a lot of usage of pepper, garlic and ginger. They prefer using green chillies than the red chillies. - Reetu Uday Kugaji, chef and Culinary Expert.

When the British came in 1834, they immediately were impressed with the dense forest and lush valleys and hence the highland got the title ‘Scotland of India’.


Fancy a wild boar hunt and then some flavourful coffee, Robert?
One of the most revered and aromatic coffees in the world is found in this region. Coffee reached Coorg with the advent of islamic traders and flourished here in no time. The Amitabh Bachchan of the Coorg kitchen is definitely the tangy, spicy Pandi Curry. Originally it used to be made with hunted wild boar but today farm bred porkers are used to cook Pandi curry. The slow cooked succulent spicy and tangy curry is prepared with pork cubes with fat . A souring agent called Kachampuli (vinegar made from the extract of a fruit called Garcinia Gummi Gutta) brings in a beautiful tangy taste in the dish.

Pandi curry
1 Pork cubes with fat arerubbed with little red chilli powder, salt & turmeric.
2 Put in heated pan with paste made of golden brown fried onion, ginger, garlic, chopped cilantro spiced with green chillies with the aromatic freshly roasted hand-pounded Coorg spices.
3 The Coorg masala / Coorg spice-mix consists of coriander seeds,cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, cloves, whole chilles, curry leaves and a little raw rice.
4...Once the pork is tender Kachumpuli (Coorgi vinegar) is added.
5 Add water as per the desired consistency. Then salt to taste and a garnish of fresh cilantro and the dish is ready.
No additional oil is required as the pork cooks in its own fat.

Kodavas love rice. Fragrant rice called Sannaki is very popular. Rice is consumed in various forms and shapes. These range from Akki roti which are rice chapatis, to a variety of puttus (steamed rice dishes ) to pulaus.

Akki Roti: – Akki is rice in Kannada. Akki roti is flat breads prepared with rice flour. The popular breakfast dish is often enjoyed with Ellu Pajji (Sesame seeds chutney).


Kadambuttu or steamed rice dumplings: Soft steamed balls made with rice flour and often enjoyed with Pandi Curry or Koli saaru or chicken curry. Baimbale Kari or the Bamboo Shoot curry is an extremely popular dish. Fresh young bamboo shoots are collected in the beginning of monsoons when they are tender, delicate and fresh so that they does not harden. The young shoots are fermented and then cooked in a scrumptious coconut curry with an addition of tamarind pulp.

Kaad Maange curry is made from wild jungle mangoes that have a unique peppery-tart flavour unlike the regular sweet mangoes. Few other popular curries are Chekke curry (prepared with raw jackfruit, Kemb curry(made from the colocasia plant), or the Kumm curry made from wild mushrooms.

Nool puttu: Noodle-like steamed rice dish is extremely popular as a brilliant breakfast dish.
Kulae Puttu is a jackfruit cake cooked with steam wrapped in banana skin.

Say Yes To Water, No To Coffee: How To Keep Your Stomach Healthy This Summer

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24 Mar, 2018
Summer brings along various digestive issues. Not only do the high temperatures make us sweat more, they also reduce our immunity, so make sure you eat properly this season. Kirti Chadha, Head of Global Reference laboratories, Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. says, "Summer brings a majority of digestion related illnesses. Considering the rise in temperature every year, it is very important to manage our food habits to avoid stomach illnesses." Here are a few tips by Chadha to keep your stomach healthy this summer:

And at the end people have a little liquor or Soma (Kudi). These are usually homemade wines prepared from locally grown fruits such as oranges, grapes, betel nuts and paddy are very famous (hik!).
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