The flavour of home

The flavour  of home
If you were asked to name some of the authentic dishes of Karnataka, you'll probably falter after naming about five to six of them. While many think that the cuisine limits itself to 'dosa', 'idli', 'raggi mudde' and a few more, the 'MTR Karnataka Food Festival — Karunadu Swada' showcased some of dishes people probably haven't heard of.

Open to the public over the weekend, the food festival comprised of more than 100 dishes from six regions of the State. Various home chefs from different communities spread out their dishes for tasting and feasting. The dishes were from Udupi, Mangaluru, Bidar-Kalaburagi-Gadag, Bijapur-Belgaum-Dharwad, Kodagu, and Mysuru-Bengaluru region. With small stalls for each of these regions, St John's Auditorium was brimming with foodies who walked in to taste the delicious cuisines.

Chef Regi Mathew, the head of ‘Centre of Excellence’ and the curator of the event said, “As part of the course, we had the idea of creating an ethnic recipe database and we went around the state looking for authentic ones. When we realised that we had more than 1000 recipes, we thought such an event would be a great way to share this knowledge with others.”

Through this initiative, the representatives brought in home cooks to make authentic dishes in batches for the visitors. “The cooks were hesitant as they are not used to cooking for a large group. That’s why we decided to help them and prepare only in batches. With about 100 dishes overall, it wasn’t too hectic for them,” he said. As the stalls were divided according to regions, the visitors could see the dishes being prepared and interact with the makers as well. Each region offered about 10 dishes each — from small-eats and main course to sweets.

Some of the popular items from the Belgaum-Dharwad-Bijapur stall were ‘Uddina Dimaka’ (urad dal roti), ‘Mirchi bajji’ and ‘Jhunka Vadi’ (gram flour vada). The Kodagu region offered ‘Paputtu’ (broken rice cakes cooked with milk and coconut), ‘Akki roti’ and ‘Kumbla curry’ (tender cubes of yellow pumpkin curry). From the Bidar-Kalaburagi-Gadag region, the ‘Sajji ellina roti’ (pearl millet and white sesame seed roti) and ‘Mulugai enngai’ (stuffed brinjal in gravy) were a hit.

The visitors also enjoyed ‘Yogi rathna’ (mixed vegetables and tender cashew nuts with coconut milk gravy), ‘Undi’ (rice and coconut dumplings) and ‘Neer dosa’ from the Mangalore region. As Udupi cuisine is relatable to many, the crowd enjoyed ‘Balehannina buns’, ‘Udupi samaaradhane saru’ and ‘Sambarani pallya’. The festival also had a separate dessert counter that offered ‘Halubai’ from Udupi, ‘Yeraippa’ from Mysuru-Bangalore, ‘Godhi Huggi’ from Bidar-Gulbarga-Gadag and so on.

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