Mangaluru: When one notices how the community of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins (GSB) have kept the memory of their migration from the north to the south alive through food (for example daali toy, a gravy central to their cuisine) it can be seen how food is central to the culture and life of this community. The history of migration and difficulties involved in the long journey is reflected in the ways the community, for its survival, made roots, shoots and fruits a part of their food culture. Most of these preparations involve minimum ingredients and this fact tells us the story of the hardships faced by the community during their migration, a period of time where one wouldn’t have had the luxury of access to a variety of ingredients to cook.
History confirms that any community which has had to migrate, develops a strong survival instinct. Food being one of the most basic necessities of survival, the community in transit not just learns to survive in extreme conditions of the shifting landscape but also to survive differing weather conditions. It is not just the availability of different vegetables, fruits and leaves during various seasons which make different cuisines possible. The compulsion to nurture and safeguard the body and health in varying and various weather conditions, also prompts the communities in transit to develop different cuisines for different seasons, so that the changing weather doesn’t fail their health.
This is the history that has given birth to the culinary heritage of the GSB community, which in the rainy season nourishes itself with taikilo, gudgudu alumbe (thunder mushroom) paghil and kirlu (bamboo), warms itself up during winters with kook, avalo (gooseberry), ambuli (raw mango), duddi (pumkin) and kuvale, and nurtures itself during spring with matti gulla, kadgi (raw jack) and jeev khadgi (bread fruit). When summer comes, which is the harshest of all seasons, the GSB community beats the heat savouring ambo (mango), bibbe (cashew), pachponos and ponos (jackfruit).
In celebration of this rich cultural heritage and in honour of the history remembered through food, the renowned Maharaja Multi Cuisine Restaurant is organising a Cashew Carnival, a first-of-its-kind, where the summer special cashew will be taking the centre stage of a food festival.
Curated by Chef Vidya, the Cashew Carnival will bring to the food lovers of Mangaluru and nearby places, a variety of items prepared out of cashew which includes the sweet bibbe upkari and spicy items such as bibbe panna upkari, bibbe ghee roast, bibbe alle piyavo gashi, bibbe hinagaudda, cashew green roast, cashew biryani, kaju masala, cashew chilly, cashew pakoda and Kaju Hyderabadi.
Chef Vidya, who has an experience of over a quarter century in the profession, played a key role in turning Maharaja, the most sought after place in Mangaluru, for GSB cuisine. Cashew Carnival is a continuation of her dedicated effort towards promoting and popularising traditional GSB cuisine.