The specialty of the Coorg cuisine is the way in which the various masalas are blended with a liberal use of cardamom, cinnamon and pepper. These spices are usually cultivated in Coorg and in the neighboring areas of Kerala.
The Madras Pavilion at the ITC Grand Chola is hosting a Coorgi Food festival, which is curated by Chef Nikhil Merchant and Chef Santosh Shetty.
There was a welcome drink aptly named the ‘Coorg Spice Market’ which had a Rum base mixed with spices. This drink reminded me of the Mulled Wine, and I guess this would be an ideal Core body warmer in the Chilly Hilly Coorgi terrain !!!
- Koli Fry
- Erachi Nallamelagu
- Chilli Prawn fry
- Balle Cutlet (Banana)
- Koomu Masala Fry
- Yam Cutlet
There was also a Live grill which served up, Chicken, Fish and Prawns in authentic Coorgi spice mix. The Prawn in the Live Grill was literally Mind blowing.
- Pandi Kari ( The ubiquitous star of Coorgi cuisine and it totally lived up to its ‘super star’ billing. ) It was undoubtedly the best Pandi Kari I have tasted by miles.
- Kyma Urandai (Called ‘Kaima Unde Saaru’ in Kodava Cuisine, this Meatball Gravy preparation was wonderful)
- Prawn Bafad (Lovely, Though strictly speaking I am assuming the origins are more Manglorean than Coorgi )
- Koomu Masala Kari : (Another Coorgi specialty, incorporation Mushrooms found abundantly around coorg into their Cuisine)
- BeimBale (Bamboo shoot Kari): (The dish was a revelation that the Bamboo shoot could be served up in gravy form with such a lovely taste)
- Mangai Kootu. (A kootu made of Gram and raw mango
These main dishes were accompanied by Kal Dosa and Kottai Kabadu (which is a form of Idly steamed in a leaf)
There was also a ‘Yerachi Pulau’ which I tasted, where again the interplay of the spices took the taste of the dishes to an entirely different level.
There were two desserts
- Khus Khus Payasa
- Jackfruit Halwa
The Festival is on till the 29th of May for dinner. Priced at 2200 plus taxes.