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Bangalore to Mangalore - A culinary adventure

Last Friday, the wonderful chefs from JW Marriott led by Chef Jolly, Director of F&B embarked on a culinary trip to Mangalore and surrounding south western coast of India. The idea was to explore the unique cuisines of the region and learn the tricks from the natives. I was lucky to join the adventure. Here's what my camera captured... 


The plan was to travel by road, halting at interesting places. The three main destinations were Mangalore, Udupi and Coorg (Madikeri). A total distance of around 600 km...


Early morning, I had some snacks from JW Kitchen...


Shapely cut tender coconut were pouting at me...


I went for the coffee...


Soon the cars arrived and we set out...
 

It was still dark at 5:30 AM and we were cruising along the National Highway 48...    

 Daylight brought us closer to our first pit stop...

At Hassan, we saw street food vendors along the highway and decided to halt for breakfast...
 



 Dosa was being made with skill...

 The crepes were very tasty...

 Puri...
    

 A man was selling green chickpeas...

 We resumed our journey after having the most satisfying breakfast...
  
Our next stop was at Sakleshpur, where we ventured inside a restaurant that specializes in Akki Roti (bread made of cooked rice). Cooked rice is kneaded into a dough without adding water... 
 
 
 The dough is then pressed...
 

Flame puffs up the roti...
 

Here's the simple Akki Roti with the right amount of char...  


After some more coffee we continued our journey to Mangalore...


I found Mangalore to be pleasant...


 It was time for lunch, and we headed straight to Foodlands to try some authentic Shetty cuisine...
 


 Pomfret masala fry...
 

 Kane Rawa fry - Lady fish marinated in red chili paste, coated in semolina and fried...
 

 Kori rotti -  A crispy rice bread...


Ashish, the owner of Foodlands explaining the nuances of Mangalorean cuisine. Chef Jolly is all ears...



Next, we headed north along the coast to Udupi...
 

 Deep in interior Udupi we halted...



The place was covered with coconut trees...
 

 We were here to experience the traditional Udupi Brahmin spread from Mr Bhat who is quite accomplished in Udupi Brahmin cuisine...

  

The Bhat family greeted us with smiles...
 


 They served simple vegetarian dishes. Gula Huli is a sour eggplant dish...



 Kosambari - Lentil and vegetable salad...
 

They demonstrated the making of Holigae, a sweet bread made by stuffing lentils...
 


 

Holigae turned out to be really good with its mild sweetness and flavours...
 

 Mr Bhat is good at drums and soon we have his young son performing the tiger dance. And our good chef joins with his own version of tiger dance...



We call it a day and head back to our hotel rooms in Mangalore. We plan to go to the Mangalore Jetty to buy some fresh fish. Early morning is the right time as the fishing boats are unloaded. It was still dark at 5:30 AM. Here's my shadow at the Jetty...



There were a variety of fishes...
 

 The large one got the chefs excited...
 


I liked the patterns on these...
 

This is me with a big one...



I took a time-lapse video of the commotion at the fish market...
A video posted by Shiju Sugunan (@shijuvenate) on


A slow motion video of a man crushing ice...
A video posted by Shiju Sugunan (@shijuvenate) on



More commotion at the fish market...
A video posted by Shiju Sugunan (@shijuvenate) on



With the fish we sailed to a small island to do the cooking...

Mangrove around the island...
As the chefs started setting up for the cookout with the native expert, I walked around the island for some photography inspiration...
  



 I liked the pattern on the dry leaves...
 



Pomfret fry...
 
  
 Prawn curry...

An impromptu return gift from chef Jolly. On an abandoned terracotta tile he found on the island, he lays marinated tiger prawns on a bed of cilantro leaves...
 

As the prawns sizzle, he pours his special spicy glaze...

It turned out to be a masterpiece with amazing flavors...

After the cookout we returned to the mainland. Saw a couple of fishermen trying their luck...
  

In the evening we went to the famous ice cream joint, Pabba's...

 Gadbad ice cream...
 


Pabba's special ice cream...

Dinner was had  at Tandoor...
 

 It was a great selection from the Mangalorean cuisine. I liked the Mutton Ghee Roast best...
 

 The third day saw us heading south to Coorg...

The early morning drive was comfortable...
 

We stopped at a small hotel on the highway for breakfast...


We found this unique cake from Kasargod called Kalathappam. It is a delicious rice cake made of ground rice, water, coconut oil, jaggery, fried onions or shallots and coconut flakes...
  
Some Betel nut trees around the hotel...



The hills became prominent as we were nearing Coorg, which is a hill station...

We reached Coorg well before noon...
The market at Coorg sold spices, coffee and Coorg chocolates...


We were hosted by a Kodava couple at their beautiful home...
 
As the chefs and the host got busy with cooking the traditional Kodava lunch, I decided to explore the views in their backyard...



Manilkara Zapota tree...


Hydrangea flowers...






Ornamental strawberry...
 

 Lunch was ready.
Kumbla curry made from pumpkin...
 

Koli Curry...


Kadambuttu rice balls...
My favorite of the day, Pandi curry - pork curry...

Overall it was a pleasant experience. I am eager to see how Chef Jolly and his team will incorporate the learning from this trip in their delectable menu at JW Marriott.

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