The Roots

Hi, I am Samanaa and I hail from Shivamogga, which is right at the foothills of the picturesque region of Malenadu. Having been born and bred in the same city for 18 years, I have experienced and practiced the culture pretty closely. Through my blog, I intend to reconnect with Malenadu and relive my memories. I currently reside in Noida with my hubster (the driving force behind this venture) and li'l S.

Malenadu literally translates to “land of the hills”. Though Malenadu is a small strip on the geographical map of Karnataka, it almost covers the entire western part of state, from north Karnataka to south Karnataka, hence making it unique. Rainfall is experienced in abundance, hence making the region rich in flora and fauna.

The fondest of my memories are associated with the rainfall. Monsoon used to hit the Ghats on June 5 every year like clockwork. Getting up in the morning to get ready to school, dreading getting drenched on the way (yes, I was and still am someone who hates that!), tiptoeing on the roads avoiding the muddy puddles, curiously looking at the Tunga river on the way to school to see how much of water had filled under the bridge and wondering when the river would overflow and school would declare holiday! And then on the way back home, it would still be raining and it would rain all night long and then some! There seemed no end to it, but that was the driving factor behind all the cultural and geographical diversities of the Malenadu. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say that all the Malenadu kids have some strong memories of rain that will remain with them throughout their lives, no matter where they settle down in future and will always end up comparing the rains to that of Malenadu. I do that and miss Shimoga dearly.

Malenadu Food:

Malenadu food, is the least to say, non-pretentious. What I mean to say is, you pick up the herb that grows in your backyard and make “tambli” out of it, to be eaten with rice and that would be your meal. That said, the food is as complicated as preparing Patrode (a delicacy made from colocasia leaves). Since geographically Malenadu covers both the northern and southern parts of Karnataka, the cuisine is equally diverse and very interesting. As in any tropical geography, there is an abundance and variety of the ingredients found and the cooking heavily depends on seasonal availability of ingredients, along with a wide variety of seasonally prepared condiments, preserves and, pickles that are used throughout the year. Steaming is the most preferred method of cooking as against frying, so the food is bound to be healthy.

About the blog:

The idea behind the blog is to preserve and revive the traditional vegetarian Malenadu food, which is becoming a rarity outside its geographical boundary and fading within. That said, you will find an array of famous Karnataka cuisine, and other random recipes as well, including some tried and tested bakes.

The dishes prepared vary from one household to another, making all the recipes on my blog to be a little different from what you might know it as or tasted. There are some recipes that have come as far as 7 generations and are not to be found elsewhere, so it would be safe to say that some of these delicacies are basically extinct.

A huge thanks to Amma for helping me with the recipes!! She has preserved paper snips and documented hundreds of recipes in her journal and the absolutely over-helpful person that she is, she searched through a sea of papers to find many recipes for me ❤

I learnt it the hard way that using measuring cups is a game changer when it comes to cooking. So please ensure that you use standard measuring cups and spoons for the best results.