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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