Malnad is a region of mountains. Agumbe located in the Sahayadri hills of Karnataka is the centre of Malnad. River Tunga flows quietly from the Sahayadri hills into the arms of Sahayadri. Like the quiet and calm of the region, the cooking of the place has a specialty. The main ingredients are locally available rice, jackfruit, coconut and jaggery. Even turmeric leaves are used in the preparation of food.
Rice is the staple diet and is used in many forms like powdered, flattened and boiled. Flattened rice is used in making many snacks and savouries which are extremely delicious. Guests are treated with great hospitality.
Malnad cuisine is an amalgamation of Mangalorean and Coorgi cuisines. Yet the cuisine has a style of its own which you will become aware when you taste it.
Here are some of the dishes of Malnad that will make you lick your fingers.
Avalakki means flattened rice and this rice is first ground in a mixer. Then soaked in water with a little bit of tamarind. Sambar powder is added to the mixture. The mixture is drained of water and then seasoning of mustard, curry leaves and peanut. Served hot with chutney, this breakfast snack can be eaten just like that.
This beverage made of wild raw mangoes is eaten before lunch or as a beverage at mid day. Raw mangoes are crushed into fine paste and given a unique flavour by adding asaefoetidia.
Patrode is a common dish in the Mangalorean and Malnad cuisines. It is made of colacasia leaves tied into a knot and then baked in steam. It has a strong flavour. In Hassan district a pearl of garlic and turmeric is added before tying the knot. This gives a unique flavour to the dish.
Kayi Sasuve Chitranna
Coconut and Mustard are ground with cumin seeds, dry chillies, coriander and curry leaves. Seasoning is added to the mixture and cooked well over heat. The mixture is stirred with cooked rice.
Thambuli means a preparation of curd. Ginger is added to curd along with coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies paste. Salt is added for taste.
Halubhai is a dessert made of rice, jaggery, and coconut. The mixture is ground into fine paste and heated. When the consistency becomes thick, ghee is added to give flavour to the dish.
This is a specialty for festivals and is made of rice, coconut and jaggery. It is steamed baked. This dessert is made for festivals.
Malnad cuisine is famous for recipes made of jackfruit when the fruit is available in abundance. Use of grains other than rice. Use of coconut and coconut oil is also used in plenty. Rains hamper availability of grains and hence they are stored in large quantities.