A revival of traditional Karnataka fare


Ele kadubu, surli holige, akki-godi chiroti...the Club for Traditional Cookery in JP Nagar gets together every month to revive these forgotten dishes

In spite of being busy professionals, a group of JP Nagar Dollars Colony residents has been making time to discuss old and lost recipes every month. The Club for Traditional Cookery (CTC) led by RK Kulkarni, a software products consultant, meets every month in informal sessions. With 45 to 50 participants, CTC does not confine itself to members from nearby residences. The sessions is open to all wanting to revive traditional dishes.

Many take notes as a recorded version of the method is screened on the television at Kulkarni’s house. “We save time this way,” says Kulkarni, who manages the club along with his mother-in-law Pushpa Kanekal. “Preparing dishes during the meet gets cumbersome. We bring the dishes for everyone to taste. I go over to the participant’s house and record the recipe as it is being prepared. The video is followed with discussions.”

Kulkarni, who holds a PhD in computer science from IISc, is a foodie who always wanted to do something to preserve traditional Indian cuisine. His mother who cooked the traditional way has been his earliest influence. “My neighbours and friends were very supportive of my idea to start the recipe club. In our five meets so far, we have recorded nearly 30 traditional dishes. We will eventually share them digitally,” says Kulkarni.

Traditional fare

In CTC’s fifth gathering, 81-year-old Lalitha Korwar was at her jovial best as she came down heavily on “machines that have taken over traditional handmade preparations.” The octogenarian migrated to Dharwad more than six decades ago after marriage. Reared in a family that made everything, even shavige from scratch at home in Bagalkot, she says she was surprised when her son, Hemant Korwar, asked her to cook traditional recipes for the CTC.

“I asked, ‘Are there people interested in eating them, let alone knowing about them?’” the bubbly lady says with laugh. She made khantole, a rava and jaggery sweet, hasiravalakki (flattened rice with green ground masala) and uduru palya, a side dish made of rava, gram flour and fenugreek leaves.

Khantole is made in different ways in the North Karnataka region, we make it with bansi rava, jaggery, khus khus, ghee and cardamom powder. The ingredients are sautéed, cooked and flattened on a plate smeared with dry coconut,” explains Lalitha in the video.

Bhavani Bhat from Belathangady of South Canara district, made pundi, Mangalore rice dumplings with sprouted green gram, seasoned with mustard, black gram lentil, curry leaves and coconut in groundnut oil. “The space created in the centre to hold the spicy fenugreek chutney is typical to the Mangaluru region,” says Bhavani. Some of her other dishes included genesele with coconut and jaggery on turmeric and plantain leaves, folded and steamed; and the popular goli bajji — flour mixed with ginger, green chilli, curry leaves, coconut, coriander leaves and curd, deep fried and served with doddapatre tambuli, Mexican mint with oregano flavour in curd, ground with spices.

Fun and food

The discussions that follow the demonstration are always interesting as members compare other cuisines, discuss equivalents and tweak recipes. While many attend the sessions to collect recipes and tips, others like Sheetal Godkhindi tried out sarson ka saag done the authentic way. “This month’s session of CTC on November 9, will include avarekalu (field bean) recipes of Karnataka, a unique stuffed snake gourd recipe of Andhra, and the Karnataka Iyengar puliyogare from Jayashri Ramesh,” announces Kulkarni while the tasting session takes off.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 7:26:48 PM |

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