Always wanted to take a foodcation where one gets to travel to a city and try out their local food, but due to lack of time I could not really plan one, but all thanks to Hyatt Regency Pune for inviting me to this incredible journey of flavours with their Coorg Festival which happened at “The Cafe” where I celebrated the best of Kodava cuisine and tasted delicacies which were relished by the Royals of Kodava.
Coorg, a hill station in Karnataka is also known as the Scotland of India because of its exotic scenery and lush greenery. The hills are majorly covered with spices and coffee plantations, which brings the different and unique flavours to its food. This time we took a very closer look at the Kodava cuisine and got to know more about the people, culture, and their delicacies from Chef Anirban Dasgupta.
What we had :-
We started off with something light and very special, Sev Puri Dahi Puri Chaat and a Coorg special refreshing drink – Mojito. The chaat had the same amazing street side taste but was definitely more hygienic by the way it was made. The drink was just the need of the hour, as it was very hot outside.
Coorg Style Steamed Fish – This dish had a very theatrical entrance to the table. The fish was wrapped in a leaf, which made me more curious about its taste. And kid you not, this was one of the best fish I have had so far. The flavours are mild and the soft texture of the fish completely steals the show. Every bite of the fish melts in the mouth.
Roasted Mushrooms – This was an impressive dish and totally mouthwatering. If you’re not a big fan of mushrooms, you’ll surely become one. Its strong flavours and impeccable taste will definitely leave you wanting for more.
Spicy Pineapple – Another dish that made a dramatic entrance to the table was this Spicy Pineapple. It was served in a big bowl filled with ice cubes and pieces of pineapple on a stick. The ice cubes kept the pineapple chilled, and that’s what the secret was behind this dish.
Special Coorg Thali – This thali is a roller coaster ride of different and very unique flavours, where each curry had an interesting story to tell. Chef Fancy Muthamma, a well-known chef from Coorg, explained about the different spices and flavours of the Kodava cuisine. Most of the spices were used in its raw/natural form to give the traditional flavour to the thali. The thali has got very strong flavours, with four different types of pickles adding to its charm; four different types of curries including chicken and fish which was made traditionally, ghee rice, akki roti (roti made of rice) and Coorg sticky rice. The different flavours of the thali were well balanced and blended perfectly well to my taste.
The experience of a meal is incomplete without desserts. And these were not just normal desserts, it had Coorg’s essence in it.
We had, Rice Payasam which tasted incredibly delicious, next on the table was the Egg Custard with a very soft texture and Cream Pot which had a bit of jeera flavour because of the classic jeera biscuits used and had lots of fresh cream topped with litchi which added the sweetness to the dessert.
The meal ended with nice filter coffee as Coorg is known for its coffee plantations, which gave a happy ending to the entire experience! Would like to thank Chef Anirban Dasgupta and Chef Fancy Muthamma for making me acquainted with the culinary treasures of Kodava.