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The Savoury Cuisine of Coorg, Southwest India


Nicknamed "the Scotland of India," Coorg is known as a land of tranquillity, serenity, and calm. Also known as Kodahu, this bucolic area of southwest India's Karnataka state is known for its stunning landscapes of coffee estates and highland weather. Coorg is also famous for its delicious food, a premier culinary masterpiece that is sought after from all parts of the country and beyond. Coorgi food is in fact, considered one of the most well-balanced cuisines with a flavor profile that is as rich as the biodiversity of the region.

 

The Fundamentals


Every cuisine has a close cultural association with the culture and geography of the place of origin and the Coorgi food is no different. Coorgi food is unique even in Karnataka because the ingredients that are found locally in Coorg are seldom found anywhere else in the state. The local Kodavas are proud people with a long history of patriotism along with close-knit community ties. They enjoy their food and drink and it is not unusual for non-vegetarian food and alcohol to be served at their weddings. The cuisine’s backbone rests on the ingredients found locally, such as bamboo shoots, rice, wild mushrooms, colocasia leaves, raw jackfruit, and turmeric leaves. Almost all meals will have one non-vegetarian dish due to the abundance of game in the area. Black vinegar derived from kokum is a staple used in the cooking of many dishes.


The Stalwarts


While the entire length and breadth of Coorgi cuisine lie outside the scope of this article, there are some dishes that you simply must try when visiting Coorg.

Pandi Curry


No visit to Coorg is complete without tasting the truly delectable Pandi curry or simply pork curry. Made from a host of ingredients and a distinct spice mix, the hero of the dish is the black vinegar that adds the tartness to the dish to cut through the heaviness of the beautifully tender pork. The best way to eat this dish is with akki roti to make the flavors truly sing. There are plenty of Bangalore to Coorg cabs that you can hire to taste this wonderful dish. Trust me, it’s worth the drive.

Bamboo Shoot Curry


This is a dish that has one of the most distinct flavor profiles. Made from bamboo shoots that have to be carefully prepared for over three days, this dish is slightly tangy and sour. The bamboo is sliced thin and submerged in water for three days in order to remove any traces of an ingredient that could be poisonous. This dish is the quintessential Coorgi dish that you must try on your next visit to Coorg. You can, book taxi in Coorg to go restaurant hoping to eat the best on offer. We highly recommend eating at Coorg Cuisine, near the post office in Madikeri.


Coorg is a multifaceted region of Karnataka, and there is much to enjoy apart from the cuisine. Rent a car from Bangalore and make the five-hour drive on your next extended weekend. Savaari car rentals are one of the few options you have to do this for a hassle-free experience.

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