Follow the strategically placed signboards along an adventurous 2-km stretch of winding mud roads and you reach your weekend getaway spot: Our Native Village in Hessarghatta.
The organic resort is completely devoid of grand embellishments, save for the greenery all around. Rooms are built of mud bricks and pavements are laid with stone.
“We are here more to please Mother Nature than the guests,” says general manager Vijay Neelakantan.
At the entrance, we were greeted by a member of the staff dressed in a traditional dhoti and kurta, bearing a glass of organic ‘panaka'. Made of ginger, jaggery and tamarind, it was refreshing after the ride we took.
Open only to guests staying at the resort, the restaurant serves what they call “compassionate food”, using biogas as fuel. “Flavours emerge only when the food is cooked slowly and this is accomplished by our biogas cooking,” states Vijay.
Fruits and vegetables they use are grown within the premises by farmers from nearby villages and food is prepared in limited quantities.
“Our menu depends on what our farmers have on that particular day,” says the manager.
Lunch and dinner are served buffet style in earthen containers. All dishes are stored in the pots for only 20 minutes after which a fresh batch is put in.
The food prepared is also completely vegan friendly. Coconut milk serves as the base in most dishes instead of cow's milk.
A classic lunch menu here consists of soup, two varieties of salad, roti, rice, dal, three cooked vegetable dishes and one dessert.
The akki roti made of red rice with ‘gojju' had a novel taste. The pumpkin ‘kosambari' and papaya salad were also different takes on common dishes. The steamed red rice and pumpkin ‘ambat' were gentle on the palate, without losing out on the flavouring.
We ended the meal with cooling peanut curd rice.
The ‘lauki' or bottle gourd phirni for dessert reminded me of the warm, adequately sweetened ‘gasgase payasa' during festivals.
After a hot cup of herbal ginger tea and millet biscuits in the evening, we were ready to head back to the city.
But how does one consciously adopt an organic lifestyle, apart from occasional visits to resorts such as these? “We understand that our customers might need some guidance to do that. So, we share our recipes for them to try out at home themselves. None of our recipes are really ‘secret',” says Vijay.
Call 9880900024 or 28446616 for details and reservation.