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ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru

Blogs

The Flavours of the Rains at ITC Gardenia

Posted by: Prateekthakker On Saturday, September 24, 2016

Source: http://www.prateekthakker.com/2016/09/the-flavours-of-rains-at-itc-gardenia.html

Tags: Dining

Malnadu, pronounced as Male (Rain) Nadu (State), is part of our glorious state comprising of cities like Chikmagalur, Hassan, Shivamogga, Coorg, the whole belt of rain forests. This region usually has rain through out the year and which is why it is called Male- Nadu.

I was invited to the Malnadu festival that is on right now at The Cubbon Pavilion in ITC Gardenia. Curated by Chef Mohan Rao from Shivamogga, it has been on since 19th September until 25th September.The festival showcases some of the best dishes that are prepared in this region, both vegetarian and Non-vegetarian. The Malnadu region is famous for its use of spices that bring in heat into your body like Pepper, Cardamom, extensive use of Bamboo shoots, sprouts, beans, Raw Banana etc.

The festival has a rotating menu and so has different dishes everyday. The first day of the festival had Raggi Mudde and Bas saaru alomg with others (drool). When we went, we had a special dish made with mini bamboo shoots and sprouted horsegram. Only if I had mudde then too.

Starting off, we were served vadas and bhajjis tasting just like the ones you get on the roadside while you are traveling there. First came in the Balekai and kalu (dal) vade served with tangy pudina chutney, followed by a suprisingly tasty Hurali Kaai (beans) & Iruli (Onion) bhajji. A special mention for this as it was a heavenly combination.

For main course, we had dishes like Bamboo shoots and horsegram saaru (Kalale Molaku Kalu Saaru), Thadni Kalu Palya , Avarekai gojju, Basale Massoppu (Denta leaves, Lentil flavoured with mustard & coconut) , Anabe Sagu (Mushroom cooked with coconut & tamarind). The highlight of the evening were the Kalale Molaku Kalu Saaru & Avarekai Gojju. Infact, there was nothing that did not make the cut. However it were these two that had me salivating for a Raggi Mudde in my dreams too.

Being a local and having tried these flavours, I know how satisfying it was to get the same taste here. Chef Mohan Rao deserves all the appreciation for this.

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