From the land of the Kodavas

The Asian Age.  | Anna Neelakanth

Life, Food

Anna Neelkanth is an electrical engineer who runs a software company with her husband Neelkanth.

Coorg Pandi Curry

The Kodagu (Coorg) district that shares its southern borders with Kerala boasts of one of India’s most distinctive cuisines that is predominantly non-vegetarian, owing to the fact that they always ate what was available off the land. This is the reason why rice and rice-based breads are eaten with all the dishes. Coorg might be flanked by regions rich in culture and cuisine but their influence on its cuisine is quite minimal. It might be surprising to many of us that none of the meats in authentic Coorg dishes is cooked using any additional source of oil, except for their own fat. Kachampuli, is an inevitable part of Coorg cuisine, which gives the meat dishes a distinct flavour. The Kodagu version of Balsamic vinegar, it is made from the black kokum fruit. locally called as Kodambuli. The fruit is  placed in baskets over large vessels and as it gradually becomes pulp, the juices drip down and is collected in the vessel. The extract thickens giving a pungent taste and unique flavour. The souring agent is used towards the end of the cooking process and is said to accentuate the flavours of the meat. Anna Neelkanth is an electrical engineer who runs a software company with her husband Neelkanth. Despite being a Malayalee, she has a great inclination towards the Coorg cuisine and says her daughter loves it.

Coorg Pandi Curry

Pork - 1 Kg
Cinnamon- 2-3 sticks
Cloves- 4-5
Red Chilli Power - 2tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1tsp
Coriander Seeds - 4tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
Black Pepper Corns - 2tsp
Small Onions - 1 Cup
Green Chilli - 5 nos
Ginger paste - 1/2tsp
Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Oil -  3tsp
Kachampuli /Vinegar - 1tsp
Salt to Taste

Clean the pork and cut it into medium sized pieces.
Smear them with turmeric, chilly powder and salt.
Dry roast the coriander seeds until they turn dark brown.
Add dry red chillies, piece of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, pepper and mustard seeds.
Keep roasting it for few minutes.
Once the roasted ingredients are cooled down add it into a blender, grind them into a dry powder.
Heat oil in a flat-bottomed vessel  
Add onions, green chillies and ginger- garlic paste.
Once the raw smell subsides add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and grinded spices.
When the spices are cooked add the pork
Add the required amount of salt, Kachmpulli  and little water.
let the pork cook in low flame. You can also pressure cook the pork also.
Once the pork is cooked and water is dried. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Akki Roti or puttu.

Akki Roti

Cooked rice - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water- Enough to make the dough
optional(I have made plain rotis)
Chopped onions- 2 tsp
Chopped dill leaves- 2 tsp
Chopped green chilli- 1 tsp
Chopped coriender leaves- 2 tsp

Grind cooked rice  to make a paste.
Mix the rice flour and the cooked rice in a bowl with salt and little water.
Knead the contents to form a soft dough.
Make small lemon sizedballs from the dough.
Flatten each ball with your hand before rolling. Do not press very hard while rolling as this may result in hard rotis and some times they might also tear
Heat the tava. Place the roti on the tava and cook both the sides.
Serve it hot with Pandi Curry

Koli Nallumalu

Chicken - 1 kg
Green Chilli - 2 nos
Garlic Paste - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Paste - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Corns - 1 tsp
Kachmpulli - 1 tsp
Small Onions - 1 Cup
Oil - 3 tsp
Salt to Taste

Wash and clean the chicken and cut into pieces.
Marinate the chicken pieces with all the ingredients expect the green chillies and small onions.
Marinate the chicken for 1 hr.
Heat oil in a pan and add the green chillies and small onions. Cook till golden brown .
Add the marinated chicken along with the kachmpulli and salt.
Cook at low flame till the chicken is tender and the water is dried.
Garnish with coriander leaves .Serve hot with Akki roti/rice