Experience Authentic Malenadu Cuisine from the Western Ghats: ITC Gardenia, Cubbon Pavilion

It’s a very common notion amongst people from the North and other parts of India to think of South Indian food as ‘idli’, ‘dosa’ and ‘sambhar’. This myth holds good only till you experience South Indian cuisines, understand food patterns, and observe the influence of regional flavors.

Malenadu is one such region in South India which is known for some of its unique delicacies like ‘Mavinakai Sigdi Saru’, ‘Meen Hulli’, ‘Kalale Molake Kalu Saru’. The cuisine has its history rooted back to the time where Coorg & Manglorean cuisine united to create the “Malenadu” cuisine. This cuisine is highly influenced with several variants of fruits and vegetables, unique spices, huge portion of cashew nuts, bamboo shoot, colocasia, turmeric and raw jack fruit as primary ingredients. They prefer steaming the concoction over any other form of cooking for infusing the spices right in the soul of the dish.

While speaking to Chef Mohan, to understand the spread better, we came across the exotic variety of spices and ingredients used, some of which have been assimilated from inner forest lands of Malenadu region to keep the authenticity of the flavours intact.

Seer Fish was cooked to utmost perfection. Basically, it is slow cooked with flavoursome spices, tamarind accompanied by tomato & fennel as the key ingredients. This masterpiece is named as “Meen  Hulli”. The next one which tantalised my senses to another level was “Naati Koli”. Country style chicken made with the right amalgam of aromatic spices. This was the best treat to my palate as the chicken was delectable & tender enough to make me crave more for it.

The Malenadu Pulao was cooked with authentic village style small grained rice & distinct flavours which instantly gave an uplift to the chicken added in it. The succulent chunks of chicken in the pulao had a mild yet hard-hitting flavour which makes an imprint on your taste buds forever.

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