So many people have asked me where they can eat really good food outside of a home in Coorg, and I have hesitated to give recommendations, so far. That was until I visited the whimsically named “Papera” restaurant in Gonikoppa, where you can sample an entire range of delicious Coorg dishes served up in classic combinations. What I also love it that the restaurant is a living museum of traditional artefacts, lovingly collected by Adengada Rajesh Achaiah, over two decades. Rajesh can go deep into the details of each of them. You can browse through basket-weave fish traps, rice measures, puttu presses and steamers of every description, and much more that was used in food production and preparation some decades ago. It is interesting to see how much we have changed —the way we live, farm, and cook and eat. But we still love to eat many of the dishes that have been part of our cuisine for centuries. Rajesh serves up the best onak erachi barthad (smoked and dried pork, a carry-over from the days when most meat was wild game, and hunted during a specific season) that I have eaten in a long time. Don’t miss this dish, or the full-of-flavour koli curry with noolputtus. If you need any further encouragement, just look out for the number of local people eating here, and carrying away packages of food. This unique restaurant is a wonderful addition to the way we eat today.

All Food Styling: Kaveri Ponnapa
Photo Credits: Nithin Sagi

Do look out for the recipes of all the food featured here in my upcoming cookbook.

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Kaveri Ponnapa

Kaveri Ponnapa is an author and widely published independent writer on heritage, food and wine. She is the author of The Vanishing Kodavas, an acclaimed cultural study of the Kodava people, and a collection of Kodava poems, A Place Apart, Poems from Kodagu. Kaveri is an acknowledged authority on Kodava culture, history and food traditions.

  1. Binny P says:

    Thank u for writing about this place, was not aware such a place existed in Gonikoppal, but after reading your beautiful post visited Papera, loved the kodava delicacies served there and the ambiance too:)

    1. Kaveri Ponnapa says:

      Hello Binny, we loved Papera too, all the food we ate was delicious and so well prepared. It was a treat to browse through the collection of old implements and vessels. The whole experience was very enjoyable, and I’m so glad that you visited too. Warm wishes.Kaveri

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