A Hunting Legacy

by Kaveri Ponnapa

Since Coorgs hunted regularly, venison, wild boar, barking deer and several other kinds of wild game formed part of their diet. These meats were also sliced, rubbed with salt and turmeric, strung or skewered and sun-dried, or hung from the rafters in smoky, wood fired kitchens, where they acquired a special flavour of their own. Another generation recalls that this was also where gunpowder was stored, as the kitchen was the driest room – old Coorg lived dangerously! Dried meat was prized during the monsoon, when there was no hunting. Smoky, chewy, it slowly releases its concentrated flavours, set off by the tang of lime. Dried meat is rich and earthy, served as a snack. It is also curried, but somehow that version never endeared itself to my palate. It's easy to imagine how it kept the hardworking Coorgs warm and happy during the rains, eaten with a warming drink, made from germinated paddy.

Thank you for visiting this page. If you read something that you enjoy, or see an image that you like, please take a moment to write a response. Do look out for the recipes of all the food featured here in my upcoming cookbook.

Image Credits: Nithin Sagi
All Food Styling: Kaveri Ponnapa

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