'Karunadu Swada' saw over 6,000 people

'Karunadu Swada' saw over 6,000 people

More than 70 home chefs dished out old recipes at the fete.

The two-day MTR Foods Karnataka Food Festival, ‘Karunadu Swada’ at St John’s Auditorium, offering sumptuous traditional food from six regions of the state, came to an end on Sunday. The second edition of the festival also introduced 25 new dishes.

The dishes that were present at the fete were unheard of by many but that didn’t stop food lovers in the city from exploring them. 

The festival provided an opportunity to revisit forgotten ethnic dishes from Bidar, Kodagu, Belgaum, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Udupi. Though the organisers expected around 6,000 people over two days, the numbers increased on the second day.

The ‘Mirchi Bajji’ and ‘Girmit Mandakki (puffed rice tossed with seasoning) — a Belgaum specialty — was a good way to start the food trail; followed by ‘Jolada Rotti’ (sorghum roti), ‘Hasi Menasinakai Chutney’ (green chilli chutney) and curd. The combination of the chutney and the curd was lip-smacking.

‘Mirchi Bajji’ from the ‘Belgaum-Dharwar-Bijapur’ stall.

The well-curated menu also had dishes like ‘Khotte Kadubu’ (idlies steamed in jackfruit leaf basket) served with ‘Togari Bele Chutney’ (toor dal chutney), ‘Ondelaga Chutney’ (Brahmi leaf chutney) and ‘Amtekai Uppinakai’ (hog plum pickle) from Udupi district.  

From the Bengaluru-Mysuru region, we tried the ‘Ragi Roti’ (finger millet roti) topped with ‘Gurellu Chutney’ (Niger seed chutney). We couldn’t imagine ragi roti to be so
delectable. While in Mysuru, a little portion of white rice with Sandige Huli (steamed balls of lentil in gravy) was a must-try, and we are glad we did so. As a side dish, the ‘Menthe Matvadi Palya’ (fenugreek leaves stir-fried with coconut and lentil) was quite unusual.

Kodagu district had its signature ‘Akki Ooti’ and we loved how it tasted different with the yellow pumpkin curry and stir-fried cucumber. The ‘Nei Kool’ (Coorg-style ghee rice) with ‘Kooru Curry’ (Coorg style rajma) and bamboo shoot pickle was quite interesting and filling.  

We had to take a break before we continued to explore the other two districts, so we took the chance to watch a group of dancers performing ‘dollu kunitha’. The experience made it a complete amalgamation of food and dance under one roof. 

We next headed to the Mangaluru food counter and relished the three different kinds of chutneys there — Adgai (tender jackfruit and mango pickle), Kuvale Salli Kismuri and Valai Hoovina Chutney (banana flower chutney). A personal favourite was the tender jackfruit and mango pickle. Pova Chutney (crisply roasted poha tossed with special spice mix) was another must-have from the Mangaluru district. 

We relished the Sajje roti (pearl millet) and ‘Tomato Kayi’ chutney from Bidar district. The Und Kadabu (steamed shorgum balls) with Pundi Playa (sorel leaf and lentil palya) was surreal.  Though quite stuffed by the end of it, how could we give up on dessert?

We headed to the dessert counter and had the ‘Dink Undi’ (dry fruit laddoo), Appi Payasam and Baale Nuruk (Banana fritters). The desserts were delicious and we couldn’t help but take a second serving.