sharadaManavattira Sharada Mandana, a leading social worker of Coorg, is a culinary expert, especially of Kodava cuisine.

What is special about Kodava/Coorg cuisine is the way in which the various masalas are blended. The Kodava way of preparation is different from that of the other South Indian dishes. Certain dishes are very unique to the Kodavas or Coorgs. Some of the typical Kodava dishes are the Pandhi Curry (Pork Curry), Bamboo Shoot Curry, Jungle Mango Curry and Rice Roti or Otti as they are known in the local Kodava dialect. The usage of a black vinegar made out of a wild black fruit called Kachampuli, provides a distinct taste to the Pandhi Curry and other meat dishes like mutton. It is also interesting to note the process which goes into the curing/seasoning of the bamboo shoot prior to the actual preparation of the Bamboo Shoot Curry.

Day 1: The shoots are sliced very thin and soaked in water over night.

Day 2: The shoots are rinsed thoroughly, the old water discarded. Then the shoots are put into another vessel with just enough water to cover the shoots. Cover the vessel with a muslin cloth and keep in a warm place.

Day 3: Taste the water, it should have turned sour with a distinct tang. If you fail to get the necessary tang keep the shoots for a few hours longer. Then cook the bamboo shoots in the same water with salt and turmeric. It is now ready for use.