Born and brought up in Sri Lanka with an Australian mother, Nimmi came to India to do a degree at Stella Maris College, Chennai, where she met Biddanda Viju Chengapa, and got married to him around 35 years ago.

 From being a Director of a Company in Sri Lanka to a Vice Principal of a British School – Edinburgh Hall in Riyadh Saudi Arabia, to running a girls hostel in Mangalore, Nimmi finally ended up running her own homestay Elephant Corridor Coorg in Sidapur.

 Nimmi says: “Cooking being a passion, it is a pleasure to see my guests enjoy the meals conjured up by me.”

 Here is a crab curry prepared with her own twist.  The main recipe belongs to her mother-in-law, the late Dotty Chinnappa.  A great teacher, she passed on all her culinary secrets to Nimmi along the way.

 “There are many varieties of crabs, fresh water and salt water.  In Coorg we get the paddy field crabs called the ‘Kechi Nyanda’ and the larger variety called ‘Kakkale Nyanda’.  Then of course the saltwater crabs or the sea crabs which are bluish in colour and the lagoon crabs which are much larger and blackish but turn pink on cooking.”

 “My mother-in-law had five sons to feed and so when the crabs came in during the rainy season caught by one of her sons, she would make it go a long way by making little rice otti (rice roti) balls to drop into the curry which would take on the flavour of the crab and thus everybody got enough.”

 INGREIDENTS: balls dropped into the curry

 1 kg crabs (I have removed all the legs and made a soup with it)

½ a coconut grated

4tbs chilli powder

3tbs coriander powder

2 tomatoes

3tbs jeera

A marble size ball of tamarind

Curry leaves

2 onions

15 peppercorns

8 cloves garlic

½ inch piece ginger

 All the above is roasted in a tbs of oil till well roasted and golden colour.  Then it is blended really fine in a blender.  Put aside.


 In about 4tbs oil, splutter 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds, 4 green chillies ½ an onion, 4 cloves garlic crushed and some curry leaves.  Add the crab bodies and roast up well in the oil.

 Once the crab is nice and roasted, add in the ground coconut mix.

 Leave to boil and then simmer.  When well-cooked, add the rice balls which are made with cooked rice and rice powder (flour).

 Once the curry is done and when the oil comes to the surface, drizzle a tbs of coconut oil over the curry. Nimmi says that her Sri Lankan twist is to add a few drumstick leaves.  This is just optional.

 Crab curry goes well with rice/akki otti (rice roti).






Aad Kaal Soup (Goat Leg Soup)

Aad Kaal Soup (Goat Leg Soup)

Swaroop Achaya Devaiah is a multifaceted personality. A dancer of repute from Madikeri, Swaroop has attained Vidwath in Bharatanatyam with a state rank. She dabbles in various dance forms. Founder director of ‘Priyadarshini Montessori House of Children’, she pioneered the Montessori-method of educating children in Mangalore. Her interests include yoga, cooking, reading, gardening and travelling.

According to Swaroop, there are two ways of preparing this soup. One is the easy way, by procuring dressed aadkaal from the butcher. And the other is by dressing the aadkaal at home,which is slightly laborious. The advantage in the latter is that the skin and the nutrient dense layers, would be intact, as opposed to the former, where the bone would be stripped clean of the skin by the butcher.


 1…6 goat legs

 2…2 medium sized onions…cut into quarters

 3…16 cloves garlic…crushed

 4…1 tsp cumin seeds

 5…1 tsp pepper corns

 6…1/2 ” ginger …crushed

 7…optional, 2 tomatoes….cut into quarters

 8…2 cloves (lavang)


 1.     Rub salt over the aadkaal and keep aside for about 20 minutes

 2. Hold over flame and with a sharp knife, scrape  the charred hair from the leg. Repeat this process, until all the goat hair is removed and the hoof falls.  It happens easily.

3. Wash the goat leg well and chop it into medium sized pieces.

 4. Put it into a pressure cooker along with all the ingredients. Add about 8 tumblers of water and cook over a low flame for about 4 to 6 hours.

 5. Strain the soup (approximately 6 tumblers of stock)… keep in the fridge.. a layer of fat will settle on top.. It is prudent to remove this artery clogging fat. Now use as much of the stock as is needed. The rest can be stored in the fridge to be used as required.

 6. Chop a large onion fine.

 7. Heat a tbsp of oil in a heavy bottomed vessel.

 8. Add the onion, and caramelise.

 9. Add the stock(about 4 tumblers)add salt and pepper to taste(1 tsp)

 10. If tomato has not been used, 1 tsp of lemon juice may be added. Bring to boil.

 Serve piping hot!!! Good to go by itself or with toast.

 Benefits:soup pix

 Mutton paya soup is fine for persons suffering from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease of bone and it can lead to an increased risk of fracture. When bone mineral density or BMD reduces, it is a sign of osteoporosis. Bone micro architecture is disturbed, and the amount of non-collagenous proteins in bone is altered. Osteoporosis as defined by the World Health Organization in women is bone mineral density 2.5 standard deviations below peak bone mass measured at the age of 20 years. Mutton Paya is considered to be a highly nutritious recipe rich in essential minerals.




Shyamala Madappa has been inspired in her cooking by chef Vikas Khanna. Chef Khanna is one of the Indian chefs who have made it big in the Big Apple. He’s got a Michelin star to his name; his restaurant Junoon in New York’s Madison Square Park was certified with the coveted star in 2011. What is more, he has been proclaimed as one of the sexiest man alive by People Magazine!

A Coorg delicacy is often spicy and gives an intense flavour to the soft shrimps. There’s one thing that I strive to do, it would be to cook food with fresh ingredients. One of the main things about cooking seafood is that it takes very less time. I have opted for thick coconut milk in the recipe, which still lends that creamy flavour to the curry and balances the dish nicely.


10 dried red chillies

8-9 cloves garlic peeled

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1 fresh lime (or) ½ tbsp kachimpuli

1 tbsp salt (or as required)

2 whole onion (big size), peeled & coarsely chopped

2 inch long piece of ginger, pounded to a paste 750gms prawn 4 tbsp of vegetable oil 400ml coconut milk 80ml water 2 slit green chillies (deseeded if you prefer it mild); one pinch of sugar; chopped tomatoes; 2 cashew nut;1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

For the powdered spices; 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds 3 peppercorns 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds

METHODshrimp picture

1. Heat oil in a heavy pan and add chopped onions, curry leaves and cook till they turn golden brown. 2. Add turmeric powder, ginger, garlic paste and the ground mixture. (Ground mixture-fry half of the onion, garlic, cashew, red chillies tomatoes and (6 to 7 prawns) with little oil. Combine all fried ingredients and then grind them to a coarse paste in a mixer-grinder). Add coriander powder, pepper powder, cumin powder and cook till oil oozes out. 3. Add thick coconut milk and add shrimp, cook for 10-15mins. Then add pinch of sugar. Reduce the heat to low, add 1 cup of water and let it simmer for at least 10 minutes or till the prawn is cooked through. Add green chillies. 4. Finish off with coriander leaves. Enjoy with a bowl of rice or akki roti.


MEEN KARI (Fish Curry)

Today, if we crave a fish curry, many of us just go to the local supermarket or cold storage, pick up our fish of choice, and we’re ready. But in the days before refrigeration and easy road transportation from the coast of Mangalore or Kerala, it was the Mapilla traders who supplied fresh fish to homes and to the weekly shandy (market) held in small towns and villages in Coorg.

They brought with them a taste of the coast, in the form of sea fish like sardines, mackerel and dried fish and shrimp. Locals eagerly looked forward to the arrival of the “Meen Mapille” with his baskets of fish, and the preparation of a delicious, spicy fish curry paired with akki otti that was sure to follow! Hemalatha Nachappa shares her ‘Meen Kari’ recipe.




½ kg Fish
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
½ tsp Cumin
2 Red Chillies
1 inch Ginger
3 pods Garlic
1 medium size Onion
5-6 tbsp Coconut (grated)
8 grains Fenugreek
1 pinch Mustard
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
1/2 tbsp Kachampuli
Salt to taste

For tempering:


1 tbsp oil

1 pinch Mustard

½ small Onion, finely chopped or sliced

1 small sprig Curry Leaves

To finish:Fissh Curry

A few drops of Kachampuli

1 large Green Chilli


Clean and wash the fish. Marinate the fish with salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and kachampuli. Keep aside for half an hour.

Heat a little oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds, cumin, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, onion, red chilli, mustard, coconut and fry. Turn off the stove when the spices become slightly brown. Take care not to burn it. Let it cool and then grind to a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard. When it splutters add the curry leaves and onion. When the onion turns slightly brown, add the ground masala and water. When it starts boiling add the marinated fish. Add salt and kachampuli (3-4 drops) to taste. Slit a green chilli length wise and add to the curry just before turning off the stove.


Chekké Pappada (Spicy Ripe Jackfruit Wafers)

Chekké Pappada (Spicy Ripe Jackfruit Wafers) deepa


Ballachanda Deepa Chengappa, who works for IBM in Bangalore, has this fetish for reading recipe books with tempting food pictures. 

 For Deepa, cooking is a stress-buster. She says: “I switch off all the other thoughts while cooking. I grind, chop and mince all the unwanted thoughts when I cook.”

 Deepa likes variety in food, and loves the Coorg cuisine the best. “I believe the aroma of the food is the key to good food. It should never be too strong or too pungent. Coorg cuisine has a very distinct flavour.”

 She recalls that as a kid, she enjoyed the summer vacation in Coorg, which involved playing in the stream, catching small fish, etc.

 Deepa’s cousin, Chandra akka, would pamper her by preparing Koovale  puttu and Chekke pappada.  Chekke pappada was Deepa’s all-time favourite snack.

 Ingredients: papad

 One kg half ripe jackfruit bulbs de-seeded.

Salt to taste.

1 spoon coriander seed fried and crushed.

6 green chillies (parangi malu) or red dry chillies.


 Steam the jackfruit bulbs in pressure cooker without using the weight. Drain the excess water. Coarsely grind the jackfruit bulbs with the above ingredients.  Knead it into a dough make small balls. Take two plastic sheets, place the ball between the sheets and press it in hand to make round thin pappadas. You could also use the roti press machine to make thin pappadas.  

Spread it on a neat cloth/ plastic sheet and dry in the Sun by turning it on both sides. When it has dried completely, store them in air tight jars.        Deep fry them in oil and enjoy the crispy pappadas.  

Tip: While Sun drying pappadas, you can cover them with old baby mosquito nets to protect from birds/ ants nibbling into it.










Choute Pachchadi (Cucumber in spiced curd/Cucumber chutney)

Choute Pachchadi  (Cucumber in spiced curd/Cucumber chutney)saroja (141x250)

Palanganda Saroja Annaiah is a homemaker from Bangalore. She says Choute Pachchadi  is a traditional Kodagu dish which is served with palav or ghee rice. Choute Pachchadi can also be eaten with plain white rice and pandi curry (Kodagu pork curry).

Ingredients :

1.     ½ Coconut – grated.

2.     Garlic – 7 to 8 cloves

3.     Green chillies –   7 to 8

4.     Salt to taste

5.     Medium size cucumber*

6.     Curd 1 small cup.


Lemon juice 2 table spoons.

For tempering:

1.     Cooking oil 2 tbsp

2.     Coriander leaves

3.     Mustard seeds ¼ tsp

4.     Dry red chillies (deseeded and broken into large pieces) 2

5.     A few curry leaves chowte pacchadi

METHOD: Grind coconut, garlic, green chillies and salt to fine paste. Cut cucumber into small pieces and grind it. Mix together the coconut paste, cucumber, and lemon juice if using. Transfer the Pacchadi /chutney into a serving bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add mustard. Allow it to splutter. Add curry leaves, red chilli and coriander leaves. Then pour it on the pacchadi in the serving bowl. In the end, add curd to the pacchadi and mix well using a spoon.

*Choute is a type of field cucumber, with less moisture and tougher flesh than most commercially grown varieties. If using the latter, finely grate the cucumber, and squeeze out a little of the liquid before using.

Mutton Pulav: Kodava Style

Mutton Pulav: Kodava Stylesmitha

Smitha Kuttayya Boppanda is based in Chennai and runs a home bakery called BAKED DELIGHTSS since 2007. She was involved in hosting a Kodava food festival at the Taj Fisherman Cove in 2006. Smitha also conducts workshops in cooking and baking which are very popular in Chennai.

She says: “My recipes are always a combination of recipes given to me by my grand-mother, aunts, cousins, relatives and anyone I consider a good cook. I feel cooking is more an instinct than having the ‘best’ or the ‘most authentic’ recipe. For that matter, wood-fire cooked food tastes better than any other. ‘But is it practical nowadays?’ So I have learnt to innovate within the boundaries of that cuisine and to suit the people I cook for.”

“This recipe for pulav is a combination of about 4 recipes I have. The basics are the same in almost all of them. This is the combination of ingredients and flavours that works best for me.”

Since the typical Chingri akki (a very special variety of small grained rice available in Coorg) is not readily available everywhere, I opted for the Jeera rice, which is more readily available. Since it is very delicate, it has to be handled very gently while frying and mixing.

Please go through the recipe fully before you start on it. It is not difficult if you keep the ingredients ready and have an idea of the sequence and process.


Jeera rice: ½ kg

Mutton pieces (with bones as bones lend a lot of flavour to the dish): ¾ kg

Onions: 4 medium whole and peeled

Onions chopped: 2

Coconut grated: ½ cup

Garlic one whole,  peeled and cleaned

Ginger cleaned: 2 to 3 inches

Green chillies: 4-5

Cloves: 5-6

Cinnamon: 3”

Green Cardamom: 4 whole

Poppy seeds: 1 tsp

Coriander seeds: 2 tsp

Cumin seeds: 3tsp

Black pepper: 2 tsp

Turmeric powder: 1tsp

Chilli powder: 1 tsp

Salt   to taste

Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tbsp

Coriander leaves 1 bunch cleaned and finely chopped

Oil for frying and water for cooking.



  1. 1.     Clean and wash the mutton, drain out all the water, add salt, turmeric, chilli powder and 4 or 5 pods of crushed garlic. Mix well and leave to marinate for about half an hour.
  2. 2.     Wash the rice and put it to drain
  3. 3.     Take some oil in a pressure cooker and fry one chopped onion, the crushed garlic, crushed ginger. Fry till the onions are golden. Now put in the mutton and stir till most of the water is dried up. Add half a cup of water and slightly cook the mutton (I cook for about one whistle).
  4. 4.     Now take the ghee in a thick bottomed pan and heat it. Add 2 cloves, a small bit of cinnamon and about 4tbsp of the chopped onions and fry till golden. Add the washed and drained rice and fry. Be very careful while frying the rice as it will be brittle and can break easily.
  5. 5.     While this is happening, put a whole peeled onions (one by one) on the flame of the gas burner directly and allow to burn on slow flame till the outer layers get tender and transparent.
  6. 6.     Now fry the cumin, coriander, poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, green chillies and grated coconut with about 1 tbsp oil for about 5 minutes on high flame stirring continuously.
  7. 7.     Put the fried coconut etc in the blender along with the whole onions. Blend. This need not be a smooth paste but coarse like a chutney.
  8. 8.     Now drain out the water from the cooked mutton and measure it. Add more water to this measured quantity to make it a total on 2 cups. Bring these 2 cups of liquid to a boil and add it to the fried rice. Add the mutton and the ground masala to it. Carefully stir and add the chopped coriander.
  9. 9.     When it starts boiling, turn the flame to minimum and close with a tight lid. Check in about 8 minutes. Slowly turn the rice and mutton so that the top and bottom layers get mixed. Close again and cook till done… about 20 minutes. (You can also put the vessel on a thava and allow to cook on even and low heat for 30 to 35 minutes)

If you are short on patience, you can skip steps 5, 6 and 7. Combine all the ingredients in these steps in the blender and use it in step 8. There is a difference in taste but both methods turn out a good Kodava style mutton pulav.

Serve this with cucumber raitha or sweet tamarind chutney.










Pulinje Pajji (Tamarind Chutney)

Kuppanamada Indu Poovaiahindu

Kuppanamada Indu Poovaiah, who loves fast bikes and cars, says that cooking is a stress-buster for her. She loves music and reading.

Pulinje Pajji (Tamarind Chutney)


1 coconut

1 handful tamarind (soaked in 1 cup of drinking water)

1/2 inch ginger

1 clove garlic

Pudina (mint) leaves – 10-12

Coriander leaves – 5-10 strands

pulinje (250x188)

Green chilies or Urimalu (Coorg red raw chilies) – 5-10 depending on the intensity that you preferpulinje

One medium white onion – chopped into cubes

Salt to taste


Grate 1 whole coconut; add the tamarind pulp, chilies, ginger, garlic, salt, pudina and coriander leaves to it.

You may use the traditional grinder (rubbo kallu) or the mixie and make all these ingredients to a smooth paste.

Dish it out and add the chopped raw onions into the chutney and mix it.

Garnish it with some coriander and pudina leaves.

Pulinje Pajji is ready to serve.

Can be eaten with any rice dish.



Prawn Curry

Madanda Veena Arun Belliappaveena arun



2 cups medium sized prawns (cleaned and de-veined)
¼ cup beaten curds
Salt to taste
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp of oil
1tsp of garam masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Grind 50 gms cashew nuts
25 gms sesame seeds
25 gms poppy seeds
6 green chillies.


Mix prawn into curds, salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder.
Set aside for ½-an-hour.
Heat oil and fry ground ingredients.
Add prawns with curds and stir till gravy becomes thick.
Add garam masala
Garnish with coriander leaves on the top.