The last time we visited Dakshin was for the Syrian Christian Community Cuisine, which was part of its “Community Kitchens” series. That was when we decided to follow the Community Kitchens trail as we felt there was something new to look forward to. This weekend we headed to Dakshin to enjoy the quintessential Mangalorean flavour reflected through its Community Kitchens festival “Mangalore Medleys.”
Being a coastal belt, Mangalore broadly is known for dishing up fish delicacies. But then when we tried the food, we realized that there’s more to Mangalorean cuisine than just bajjis or Mangalore curry. Many of the dishes were moderately tempered and felt almost like home food. We then got to know that Mangalorean Cuisine brings together the ‘Tulu Nadu’ region which includes the food of the Mogaveeras, Billavas, Bunts, Vokkaliga Gowdas, Saraswat Brahmins, Mangalorean Catholics and Bearys.
We tried the kadale curry and paired it with Rotti or thin flakes of rice flour cooked on hot plate. The kadale curry was a faint reminder of the north Indian channa masala, while the Rotti was so light, we treated ourselves to a second one. This time, we paired it with a mildly spiced brinjal gravy, which was enjoyable.
My co-diner settled for Istew, served with wholesome sannas. These sannas are fermented and steamed rice and lentil cakes. Like food from the other parts of the South, Mangalore cuisine also uses coconut, curry leaves, ginger, garlic and chilli.
You can sink your teeth into a bowlful of delicious sabbakki payasa, a thick dessert made of sago and garnished with nuts and pistachios. Of course there was the traditional Holige or jaggery-coconut stuffed thin bread, but we were too satiated to have a second dessert.
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