Dr Seetha Poovaiah, an eminent educationist, is based at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Daughter of Sannuvanda Nanjappa, Seetha is married to Apparanda Col. Poovaiah. They have a son Dr Shoury Kuttappa, and a daughter, Shabri .

Seetha says ‘Therme Thoppu’* is a rare variety of edible fern found near river beds in Coorg. She recalls with fondness her mother-in- law preparing this dish many decades ago.

 Therme Thoppu

Using your hands, break the therme thoppu into small pieces. Wash, then marinate with a little salt, and pounded green chillies, small onions, a little kachampuli (vinegar), and a pinch of turmeric.

  • Set aside for 10 mins.
  • Next, prepare a tempering with onions, garlic, and green chillies. Add the therme thoppu and stir to mix.
  • Cover, and cook on a low flame stirring occasionally.
  • When nearly done, add grated coconut, and a pinch of sugar if desired.
  • Should be done in 30 mins.
  • Scrambling a few eggs into the thereme thoppu at the end of cooking is a delicious addition.
  • Goes well with akki otti.

 * There are several varieties of fern, not all are edible. Use caution and be sure to identify them correctly.


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