In a NUtshell:A memorable stay at this old style traditional cottage homestay, a lovely evening spent with conversations with the host and an awesome local food dinner.
Address & other details: Gowri Nivas
Cuisine type : vegetarian and non vegetarian
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Short description- in case u r in a hurry:
As we were planning a trip to Coorg, we started reading blogs and came across this homestay. The blog mentioned this homestay as one of the best in terms of local food, in addition to being a great experience overall.
For the uninitiated, Coorg district (originally Kodagu district, which the phonetically challenged Britishers started calling Coorg) the birthplace of river Cauvery is a hill station famous for its coffee estates, jungle honey, oranges, cardamom, pepper, lovely weather and of course quite a few unique pork dishes (pork pandi curry being the most famous).
The people of Kodagu r the kodavas – historically they were good warriors, who also were good at agriculture. They are a patrilineal society, do not have a concept of a priest – so a father would say the prayers for his daughters marriage, polytheists, worship elements of nature.
We were pleasantly surprised to get a call from the hosts in the morning about our time of arrival and they helped us navigate to the right location without any hassle.
The compound of the home stay has 2 cottages, with parking space, garden and lawns in the rest of the area.
The cottage we stayed in, had a beautiful balcony common to both the rooms. A wooden table and four chairs were kept there for guests to sit and chat, read a book while sipping on a cuppa coffee from the estate nearby. There were beautiful wooden pillars in the balcony.
The cottage had a thatched roof, waterproofed. The tiles were held together by wooden beams from the old house.
There was a bunk bed atop the washroom – one could climb up there thru a wooden staircase and sleep.
Furniture was traditional and seemed to be from the old house.
The vegetation in the garden was intense and hence was home to insects and birds of different kinds. All of them separately and in groups would start communicating to their respective friends and partners and collectively it Wud form a kind of chaotic (at times) symphony. We super enjoyed this ‘living in the nature’. We woke up next morning to high decibel wake up calls by these avian and crustacean neighbours of ours.
On check in day, As we reached in the afternoon, we were offered a cup of locally produced coffee.
We were invited to the host’s cottage for Dinner. There was a buffet of local food which we had requested a day before. The best part of the dinner was not only the food but the chat with the family.
They are a kodava Family of 4 – mother, son, daughter in law and grandson. We started a conversation on the dinner table and I guess we all enjoyed it and then after dinner we moved on from the dining table to the drawing room and had a long, nice and memorable chat. This free flowing chat ranging from Coorg to the kodavas , Coorg food, religious traditions and customs of the kodavas and others, other places, cities of india and many more topics. This amazing evening spent has been the highlight of our trip.
Food was wonderful- great home cooked food.
Detailed description- in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Lovely coffee – full of flavours, yet strong. Sugar separate. Rate it 4.5/5
With this we were served a locally made savoury snack (namkeen) that was outstanding. It was home made by another household. Super crisp, perfectly seasoned and full of nuts, this snack was unique and excellent. 4.75/5
Mixed vegetable curry with kidney beans – the base of the curry was coconut milk with different vegetables which retained their texture along with Rajma. It had a simplicity which only home cooked food can have. We have had this curry at Coorg the Restaurant, indiranagar, Bengaluru, but this one was surely better. Rate it 4.5/5
Pork Pandi curry – also had this at a restaurant but if both were to be blind tasted, anyone could tell which one was homemade and the one from restaurant. Loved the curry to the core. The daanedaar spices, the meat fat floating around, the bite size pieces with a bit of fat with each piece, robust and rustic flavours – added up to a wonder. Rate it 4.75/5
For breakfast we had, among other things, Egg dosa. Something similar that we hv tried in the past is egg appam ( that is usually sunny side up atop an appam). The egg dosa however had beaten egg and the dosa was flipped once b4 serving.
The dosa was thick, soft and had a mildly crisp outer layer. The egg went very well with the dosa. Beauty of the dish is that both egg and dosa made their flavours felt with none trying to outsmart the other. Loved the texture. Rate it4.5/5
Potato filling , accompaniment to the dosa, was served separate.
Tomato chutney was not tomatoeee but captured the flavours of tomato very well while not overshadowing the flavours of coconut. Loved it.
The overall experience was priceless. Needless to say that if again in Coorg, Wud surely get back here.