We all know the oh so famous Chettinad Cuisine from Tamil Nadu but do you know that Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of just one city in Tamil Nadu – Karaikudi? And if you think that that’s all there is to Tamil cuisine, you haven’t tried food from Kongunadu.. and its time that you check out the flavorful feast at Savya Rasa at their Kongunadu Food Festival.
Kongunad cuisine is basically a collection of exotic recipes being created by the people residing in the Kongu region in Tamil Nadu. The cuisine is quite extensive for a simple reason that the Kongu region is very vast and consists of 50 towns situated in north western part of Tamil Nadu and includes places like Ooty, Coimbatore, Pollachi, Tiruppur, Udumalpet, Avinashi, Palladam, to Karur, Erode, Aathur, Salem, Palani Mettur and Dharapuram. And the ongoing Kongunadu Food Festival at Savya Rasa in Pune aptly showcases a feast of flavours from this region.
A few aspects to note about the Kongu cuisine are:
- As it is in the arid interiors, Kongunadu’s cuisine is free of the influence of any of the coastal foods. It derives its unique flavours from the extensive use of sesame seeds, groundnuts, dry coconut, dryginger and roasted turmeric.
- The kongu cuisine does not involve marination of any raw material
This festival at Savya Rasa, Pune will be serving an extensive menu with 52 dishes from the region of Kongunadu till 2nd July 2017. Also, a special menu with additional dishes that are called ‘Best Of Savya Rasa’ will also be showcased during the festival.
Neer Moru is the South Indian variant of the spiced buttermilk and forms a refreshing and soothing start to the meal while Paanagam is a sweet drink made with jaggery, a hint of ginger and a dash of lime and the undertone of ground cardamom makes the perfect accompaniment for the upcoming kongu meal that you are about to consume
The Neikkarapatti Narukattu Gola Urundai is double-cooked mutton roundels, mixed with onions and signature spices, bound with natural banana fibers and deep fried. A prepearation that you cannot miss at this festival..the soft meat with a flavor of caramelized onions with a spice blend that will make you go back for seconds. #BellydrivenRecommends
The Kongu Yeral Varuval and Asari Kozhi were prawns and chicken cooked in chili and turmeric spice paste. This preparation will amaze you with its simplicity and make you wonder how is it that such simple spices give rise to such deep flavors?
The Kalan Perattal had stir-fried button mushrooms with green chillies and shallots. Another simple dish but the flavors would wow you with that hit of chilli in the end.
Sola Saapadu Urundai was slow cooked sorghum millet dumplings with butter, buttermilk, sambhar powder and shallots. One of the best vegetarian dished that I had that evening. #BellydrivenRecommends
The Thulasi Vadai was crisp-fried lentil fritters enriched with holy basil resembled the chana dal vadas that we are used to eating. Found then a little under done in the middle though.
Kongu Street Food
Nippatu Settu was a canapé of thattai murukku with toppings of beetroot, carrot, onion and chillies. Another #MustTry here
Karandi Omelette is an egg omelette cooked in a ladle or tadka pan, which is also called as “Karandi or Thalippu Karandi”… So it is named as Karandi Omelette… Available in masala, chicken and mutton variants, we tried the masala karandi omelette. This omelette is thicker, soft in the centre and crisiper outside
The Thakkali Sevai is a popular breakfast in the kongunadu region and here idiyappam is tossed with tangy tomatoes chilli and spices to give it a tempting flavor.
The Viral Meen Kuzhambu / Murrel Fish Curry is a tangy, spicy gravy that will fill up your senses. And you cannot, I mean you cannot come back from Savya Rasa without tasting this one for sure.
Vellai Kozhi Kozhambu had chicken cubes cooked in green chilli, onion and coconut paste. It is called vellai kozhambu because there is no turmeric present in this preparation.
Karipala Kozhumbu made with jackfruit, well they also call it the mock meat curry. The key ingredient in every kongu style curry is coriander powder which is made from coriander seeds, dry chilies, curry leaves and garlic. This gave the dish its distinct identity
Murungakkai Vazhaipoo Kuzhambu – drumsticks and plaintain flowers come together in a coconut gravy in this preparation.
The mains were served with Ragi Kara Roti and Kambu Dosai
Overall a culinary experience that I am going to remember for a long long time
The Kongunadu Food Festival is currently on at Savya Rasa from 22ndJune till 2nd July 2017. For reservations, please call on +91 20 3049 1155.