Food is one of the key things that forms and defines a culture, region or country. What better way to learn about a region’s history than through food. If you are a food enthusiast who hasn’t tried Sankethi cuisine, believe us when we say you are missing out! Read on to get acquainted with this niche and unique cuisine. As for you Adukale loyalists read on to get to know more about our origins.
The Sankethi community has a rich and delectable history and its food is a reflection of this. It is believed that hundreds of years ago a group of people moved out of a place called Sengottai (on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border), following a woman called Nacharamma and settled across various parts of Karnataka, and thus the ‘Sankethi’ community or ‘Sanghas’ was born. People of this community are spread across various places like Kaushika near Hassan, Karnataka, and Bettadapura in Mysuru district.
Sankethis flourished in the areas they settled in through cultivation, music and food. Staying true to their origin and by imbibing the local cuisine, early Sankethis created a unique culinary amalgamation of Tamil, Kannada and Kerala cuisine. What truly defines our food is the usage of select spices, masalas and style of preparation that gives a subtle yet refreshing twist to popular recipes.
Music and food loving folks
Every family in our community is bound to have at least one Carnatic or classical music lover. Most often our music performances and discussions are enjoyed over strong filter coffee together with crunchy delights like Kodubales. One doesn’t have to be an expert to have a lengthy conversation about the intricacies of cooking, a true-blue Sankethi always knows a thing or two about cooking. In fact, Sankethi cooks will tell you what type of curry leaves and exactly how much as well when to add them to enhance the flavour of Rasam. Most of our recipes have been passed down generations, often acquired while cooking under the apprenticeship of an elder. By following one’s grandmother or grand aunt’s recipe is a way of bonding with their elders and makes both cooking as well as eating a heart-warming experience.
Appealing to the senses
Sankethi cuisine appeals to all the five senses of sight, smell, sound, touch and most importantly the taste. Even the everyday staple like Sambar has a tantalizing twist. While regular snacks are transformed into works of art with focus not only on the taste but also its texture and crunchiness. Right from Chakkalis to Kodubales or Nippatus, to qualify as a Sankethi snack it not only needs to taste and smell perfect, it also needs to make the right sound when broken. Every ingredient is carefully chosen, measured and added. But the true game-changer in our food is the time spent roasting each ingredient separately to the right colour and aroma.
Serving it up Sankethi style
Here are some of the must-try dishes if you are looking for an immersive Sankethi experience:
- Chomai or Ottu Shavige (Kannada), a rice vermicelli dish, is a Sankethi classic
- Gojju Avallaki
- Majjige Huli
There is a term in Kannada called “Hitha” which can be literally translated to warmth and a sense of contentment. We at Adukale want to spread the joy that Sankethi food offers in every bite. Join us in our mission to revive the Sankethi culture through food!
Adukale literally translates to ‘kitchen’ in the Sankethi language. We started Adukale as a passion project to revive and spread the joy of Sankethi cuisine. From a small kitchen project to what we have become today we hope to keep spreading this joy through every spoon full of through our food!