I am delighted to share a link to The Storied Recipe Podcast, a collection of food stories from guests across the globe, hosted by the wonderful Becky Hadeed. The conversation is built around one of my favourite Kodava dishes, Kumme Curry (mushroom curry). But this iconic dish becomes, as Becky writes on her website (https://thestoriedrecipe.com/story-about-food/) a springboard from which we deep dive into the guest’s life story, and we cover a wide range of subjects which are all held within that single recipe.

Our conversation, which begins with Becky’s interest in my collection of handloom saris, and shared on my Instagram handle (@kaverikamb), goes on into the geography, history cooking and way of life of the Kodava people, through the story of my book, The Vanishing Kodavas, and how it was written.

While sharing some of my personal life stories which feature women who influenced my way of thinking, and shaped the way I cook and think about food, a beautiful sentence from her introduction to the podcasts kept running through my mind, about how we “all become better cooks, more grateful for the gifts of food, and we honour those that have loved us through their cooking”, as we listen to our own stories, and many others from across the world.

In a world constantly rushed and pressed for time, this episode lasts for a little over an hour and twenty minutes as we exchange thoughts and ideas, both of us learning as we go along. The research and background reading that Becky has put into the episode is evident as she delves into the subject with questions that lead to the history, and culture of the Kodavas, and expands into the economy, politics, and geography of the region.

Food brings people together in the most remarkable ways. In this instance, I am so grateful for the empathy, interest and understanding, the desire to learn about my homeland, my people, who we are, our way of life and our food that Becky has brought to the episode. Please look out for the stunning images of mushrooms and Kumme Curry on the website.

You can listen to the podcast here:



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.

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