Recipes

Recipes from Coorg

A Bittersweet Beauty

A Bittersweet Beauty

In the rush of everyday cooking, it’s often easy to overlook the beauty and individuality of very ordinary ingredients. Take the familiar aubergine, for instance. It comes in so many shapes, sizes and colours – round, large, shiny purple, pale green, white striped and streaked. It grows easily in back gardens and you can see…

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Drinking Partners – Kaima Unde Barthad (Poached and fried meatballs)

Drinking Partners – Kaima Unde Barthad (Poached and fried meatballs)

A small ritual unfolds at sunset in many Coorg homes. There’s a clinking of glasses as they are arranged on trays, followed by the heavier thud of bottles of whiskey, brandy, rum – or homemade wine for the ladies – being brought out of locked cupboards, cabinets or bars and lined up for the evening.…

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Kadambuttus – Steamed Rice Dumplings

There’s not much that can compare with these round, steamed rice puttus, faintly glossy on the outside, firm and moist in texture, piled up neatly and swathed in damp muslin in a traditional steamer. Kadambuttus are a personal favourite, equally good with the classic pandi curry, or with a simple curry of vegetables and dal;…

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The Perfect Puttu

The Perfect Puttu

The beauty of Coorg deepens towards the end of the year, when acre after acre of paddy grows tall, slender stalks, first translucent, then a vivid green, complementing the indigo hills. In late November or December, the crop is harvested and welcomed into homes in the greatest celebration of the year, putari. Rice is everywhere…

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Coorg Chicken Fry – Koli Barthad

Coorg Chicken Fry – Koli Barthad

Celebrity Chicken Fry Koli barthad – quite simply, fried chicken – is one of those unassuming, ordinary sort of dishes that can transform a meal into something special. Easy to rustle up at short notice, since it does not bother with any complicated ingredients or equipment, it was a favourite, when unexpected guests arrived at…

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Rainy Day Blues – Madde Kool

Rainy Day Blues – Madde Kool

Moody, melancholy landscapes, cold, rough weather, and unrelenting rain pounding on rooftops, the outline of the hills watered down under a wash of subdued blue – the beauty of the Coorg monsoon is not the obvious kind, but it is one that the Coorgs love and appreciate. As the rains build up, drowning the valleys…

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Coorg Mutton Chops

Old Spice – Pepper Fried Mutton Chops

It’s raining in Coorg right now. Clouds hang heavy over the hills, and a steady downpour that may last for days has blurred the landscape. Madikeri is all mist, damp and gusts of wind. Fresh, cold cascades of water come tumbling down the hillsides, splashing onto roads. It’s a raw season, and it directs my…

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Golden Grains – Neyi Kool

Golden Grains – Neyi Kool

Rice is the ultimate comfort food: reliable, unpretentious and always present on the table, I could not live without it. Sometimes, it turns into something much more glamorous, with just a few added ingredients. There’s a recipe in the hand-written collection I put together in a book, when I got married, that I return to…

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Mangoes and Memories

Mangoes and Memories

Luscious, sweet, fragrant and seductive – I play out the mango season every year with Langras, Dasheris, Safedas, Chausas, Neelams, Alphonsos and all that the market has to offer, lingering over the individual flavour and character of each, reminded of all the different parts of the country where I once lived. They come flooding in,…

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Bale Muruku – Banana Fritters

Bale Muruku – Banana Fritters

Bale Muruku - Banana Fritters for Grown-ups and Children A small, round version of a banana fritter, bale muruku is something I just love to make. For one thing, it’s so easy, requiring minimum effort, and the results are utterly delicious and quite irresistible. These little treats are slightly crisp on the outside, and velvety soft…

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