Dakshin at Welcom Hotel Sheraton New Delhi is hosting an interesting Coorg food promotion

Being a food enthusiast, I am always on the look out for something special and innovative. Though from my experience, I would say small towns and nondescript areas can any day throw up a surprise in terms of a great dish. That way, much of our regional food is yet to be explored. Say in Mughlai food, I would rather go for Rampuri and Bhopali delicacies instead of the more well known Lucknowi fare.

Hoping to exploring something similar but in South Indian cuisine, I recently went to Welcom Hotel Sheraton New Delhi in Saket. It was to taste food at its ongoing Coorg food promotion at the South Indian specialty restaurant Dakshin.

Coorg, also known as Kodagu, is the smallest district of Karnataka. People of Kodagu are considered descendants of Alexander The Great and are mainly non-vegetarians, highly influenced by the region’s geography and culture. Chef Vel Murugan, who extensively travelled through the Coorg region to get authentic delicacies, said, “Coorgs are very cautious about handing over their recipes, they often keep them a secret.”

Well, the curiosity created by the Chef tempted me all the more to go for it. As usual, whenever I dine at Dakshin, I start with a glass of sweet coconut water instead of any colourful mocktail. I did ditto. Before the starters were served, I munched on to the papads which are served to me with some five variants of chutneys. And I tell you, each variant was worth a try.

Without any further delay, my prawns rave fry arrived. Very lightly battered fried, the prawns were not crispy but perfectly crunchy due to a thin layer of semolina. Lacked a bit on seasoning but the chutneys balanced it. Though not a great fan of vegetarian food, I tasted koomu barthad, a spicy stir fried mushroom dish tossed with onion and bell peppers.

Next came the main course. I was served two delicious delicacies, one made of chicken and the other lamb based. Koli mangyepajji was light and smooth having boneless chicken cooked in green chilli and raw mango with drumsticks. But it was yerachye, a mutton delicacy, which was too good. Made with dry pepper, the mutton was tender and flavourful. I ate both the dishes with paaputtu, a bread made with rice and coconut. Paaputtu was spongy and tasty.

To end on a sweeter note, the Chef offered me mangai rasayana, a mango puree and milk dessert but, as always I went for the almond halwa without which my meal at Dakshin would never be complete.

When - June 21 to 30

Meal for two - Rs. 3500 plus taxes

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