This is the Agoli Manjanna Vanas for ₹399 from Simbly South Mangaluru, and is a major throwback to 2018.
Aati, the month where traditionally, the rains turn so torrential, they spell disaster for crops, enabling the dominance of pestilence & disease, & calling for the folk of Tulunadu to stay inside. In such times, Aati Kalenja, a friendly spirit, comes to the rescue in human form, & making a footward journey, blessed homes & fields. The natural produce & subsequent recipes blossoming in this hardship are unique, just like the time frame & festival.
Clockwise from top:
Kori Ajaddina: Delightfully medium spicy chicken Sukka with the right amount of coconut & tender chunks.
Kadle salai payasam: The rustic sweetness of jaggery with the proteinacious presence of split chickpea. Well nuanced.
Sambhar: Deep red, sweet with juicy Patrode shoots, this is advised in moderation for those who claim Sambhar orthodoxy.
Thouthe Thetla Pelathari: Chopped jackfruit seed is mixed with Pathrode stem & cucumber- a sobering thin curry.
Thojank Pelathari: Creamy firm jackfruit seed meets zesty Tora leaves in grated coconut & spice.
Bangude Pulimunchi: Mackerel in tamarind & chilli gravy, mildly sweet, slightly spicier & really good.
Uppad Pachil: Raw brined jackfruit, which pairs with the twang of coconut & salt.
Kadle Baliyar Ajaddina: A dry prep of chickpeas, grated coconut & dehydrated shark fish. This offers a pleasant cut through of the chickpeas by the pungency of the shark.
Metheda Ganji: Rice porridge with soaked fenugreek seeds, jaggery & salt. Bitter, native & the humblest dessert of the lot.
Kori Ressa: Chicken in red gravy. On point.
Pathrode: Spiced steamed colacasia leaves are seasoned with coconut.
Babbangai Manni: Easily the most balanced dessert of the day, firm jelly-like with finely mixed Bonda.
Ragi Manni: The pudding has a few cumin seeds thrown in, for the better.
Aritha Addya (rice breads) Clockwise from top
Pelakaida Gatti: Firm & crumbly with the grainy texture of rice & the mature sweetness of jackfruit, steamed between densely aromatic teak leaves, this ‘cake’ is best eaten hot.
Moode: rice Idli steamed in screw pine(Pandan) leaves.
Kottige: Rice Idli steamed in stitched jackfruit leaf cups.
Manjalda iretha gatti: Long rice dumplings with a scrumptious stuffing of coconut & jaggery, steamed in turmeric leaves, that impart a zest.
Pundi (centre): Steamed red rice balls, best chowed with clam curries.
Chutneys clockwise from top left
Kudtha chutney: Horse gram chutney, familiar to any son-of-the-salt Mangalorean.
Thimare chutney: Leafy, sweetish & thick, this Brahmi leaf concentrate is ideal with Moode & Kotte, or to lick up.
Ambadeda Uppad: Hog Plum is customarily used as a souring agent in curries of Tulunad, & can replace Tamarind in this aspect, once the rind is crushed to release the flavour. Resembles a Mango pickle on first glance but lacks the tang of a raw mango. Exciting.
Kai Kukku chutney: Green mango & coconut mixed delightfully, this is an old favourite.
Kanile(Bamboo shoot) soup
A smoky thin brew, with several crunchy & fibrous Bamboo pieces at the bottom, this unassuming liquid can give any soup a run for its money.