Koli CurryJune 14th, 2012 by Kaveri Ponnapa | 11 Comments »
A Gourmet’s Table In Coorg presents a traditional Koli Curry (Curried Chicken, Coorg Style)
Every Coorg household had, until recently- and many still have - a scattering of home reared chickens running around in the backyard, which were truly free-range. They were only returned to their coops in the late afternoon, or the end of the day. When I married into a very traditional family, I was initially horrified to learn that chicken curry meant actually chasing, killing, feathering and cutting up a chicken, never having done that in my life. So I was vastly relieved when my mother-in law told me that I did not personally have to kill the chicken, there was always someone on hand to do that! Since coffee plantation homes were isolated, in the days when markets were a long way off, chicken was the choice when unexpected guests arrived, which was quite often, in Coorg. The flavour of a free – range chicken, even though smaller and a bit stringier, is far more rich and delicious than the farmed variety. This smooth, toothsome chicken curry is traditionally eaten with nool puttus. This recipe is from my paternal grandmother, and came to me through my aunt. It’s special because even though I’m not such a big fan of chicken, I love this curry, it’s so full of flavour.
Nool Puttu - Steamed thread-puttus
Nool -puttus are a soft –textured treat, pressed out in delicate strands, into a rounded heap, faintly scented with cardamom. They get their name from the thread –like strands of cooked rice. They taste best eaten with chicken or mutton curry. Leftover nool puttus can be spread out on sheets of newspaper, and sundried into crisp strands, deep fried, and eaten as a lovely, crunchy snack, mixed with handfuls of grated coconut and sugar.
They can also be eaten at breakfast with a thin syrup, made by boiling jaggery in water, straining it, and pouring the hot, sweet liquid over the nool puttus, topped with grated coconut and a pinch of cardamom.
Click here for information on set of Ingredients for Coorg Cuisine
Food Photography by Nithin Sagi
This first set of recipes for classic Coorg curries and fries, and a few steamed rice puttus are from my aunt, Sabitha Chengappa, who in addition to her enviable academic record – a Fulbright Scholar and a PhD.- manages her own coffee estate, is a superb cook and gardener, and one of the most generous hostesses I know.