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Cardomom BIRIYANI anyone?

The Taj is hosting a Mapilla Food Festival that's worth checking out



Ummi Abdullah (right) is an authority on Mapilla cuisine.

FOR THE gourmets of Mangalore, things appear to happen when they least expect them. And when they do, they do so in flamboyance, colour and aroma. This time it is the turn of Taj Manjuran to surprise connoisseurs of food with a new-look restaurant named fondly — Cardamom.

What's with the name? Just a stone's throw away from this new restaurant was the place in 17th Century Mangalore from where spice merchants exported cardamom and black pepper. Even today, stroll through the backyard of the great colonial mansions, chances are you'll come across a lot of cardamom. Cardamom bushes. But that is not the only reason for the restaurant to sport the name of this fragrant spice. Indian cuisine, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and sweet dishes as well, carry cardamom rather generously, and Mangaloreans like nothing better than cuisine that is spicy and aromatic, says Vinod Valson, General Manager, Taj Manjuran.

True to the aroma of the cardamom, the hotel has organised a Mapilla Food Festival on till February 20. Ummi Abdullah, who is well known in Kerala and Tamil Nadu for her artistry and writing on the Mapilla cuisine, says the food is very special being cooked with local ingredients.

A number of dishes also use South Indian vegetable items that are spicy. Those who like spicy non-vegetarian dishes will also like the Mapilla vegetarian dishes.

Ummi Abdullah, who is always on the move, says Mangalore is a hot spot for Mapilla cuisine just like in Kerala and on the Malabar coast.

M.R.

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