Smitha Iyanna, is based in Ethiopia, where her husband manages a rose farm. They have a daughter, Renaa Muthappa.
Smitha is an entrepreneur who runs an Indian food catering service in Ethiopia, and also offers classes in Indian cooking.
She says that finding the right spices and ingredients in Ethiopia is a challenge. Hence, travelling back from Kodagu her baggage is usually filled with packets of Kappu Masala (pork masala) and bottles of Kachampuli.
She says, “I enjoy spreading the taste of India, particularly that of Coorg, in Africa”.
Smitha believes in living in style and has contributed two recipes – Mulberry wine for charging up your appetite, followed by her signature style chicken curry.
The Mulberry fruit can be found in the estates in Coorg. The ripe purple fruit has a nice sweet tangy taste and makes a delicious wine.
- 1kg ripe purple mulberry fruit
- ¾ kg white sugar
- fist full of raisins
- 4 cloves
- 1 level tsp of dry active yeast.
- 1tbsp honey
Wash the berries in water and drain the water completely. Boil the sugar in a cup of water until completely dissolved. Let it cool a bit. Add the berries to the sugar syrup. Now add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Store it in a glass or ceramic air tight container for a month. Keep in a cool dry place. Stir occasionally to make sure it is well incorporated. After a month, drain the berries from the liquid. Taste to check if it is sour. If it is sour add some more sugar syrup to suit your taste. Serve chilled.
KOLI CURRY WITH A TWIST
Smithasays “this chicken curry is a favourite among my friends. It combines the nutty flavour of peanuts with coconut milk. It is not very spicy and kids will love it.”
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 large tomato skinned and finely chopped
- 1tsp ginger and garlic paste
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 1tsp each of salt, chilli, turmeric, coriander, cumin powders
- 1 tspkappu masala ( Coorg pork masala)
- 500gms boneless chicken chopped into bite size pieces and marinated in a tsp of salt, chilli and turmeric
- ½ can coconut milk
- 1tbsp peanut butter
- 1tsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and fry for a bit. Now add the dry spices. Stir well and add the ginger garlic paste followed by the tomatoes. Put in the chicken pieces and cook till lightly browned (10 mins) on a low flame.
Now, add some warm water, followed by coconut milk and the peanut butter. When the chicken is cooked add the tamarind paste as well as the coriander leaves.
Serve over hot steamed rice.