Our Celebrated Kosambari: The Heart Of Karnataka's History And Traditions
August 27, 2017  BY  Akashrai A. Kamat

The experience of having fresh Kosambari neatly placed on a stretched out banana leaf is exquisite. A fine mix of ingredients, Kosambari has a coarse texture that is quick to mix into your mouth with the first taste being a joyous citric flavor, and washing off, leaving a pinch of chili at the end. Apart from being a pleasantly tasting dish relished by the people, Kosambari is strongly enrooted into the South Indian traditions and culture where each household essentially prepares this delicacy for sacred ceremonies, weddings and other festivities. It is a mark of their strong ties with the ancestral legacy and a deep sense of respect for immemorial customs.

Every dish served as a part of meals on a banana leaf has a predefined order and position. The servings start off with a wad of salt, followed by pickle and then Kosambari, along with a medley of assortments decorating the banana leaf and the rounds of taste continue as the entire traditional meal is served. It can be said without any doubts that a meal on the banana leaf is incomplete without Kosambari on it.

Legend has it that Kosambari is symbolic of Lord Rama’s conquest of the good over evil and hence, is an essential part of Ram Navami celebrations throughout India. Some saints and scholars even believe that the celebrations following the defeat of Ravana were marked by the consumption of Kosambari which purifies and empowers the soul. You would often find huge platters of Kosambari kept as offerings during worship and then successively distributed amongst the worshippers. Many households customarily have Kosambari with a freshly prepared ‘Panaka’ drink made out of jaggery and the combination is a great source of energy and rejuvenation for the body. Panaka is sometimes substituted by buttermilk which equally delights the people.

Besides this, its omnipresence in households across the country involuntarily unites the various sects of the Hindu religion towards a common form of celebration. Kosambari is a part of Karnataka’s versatile geographical and cultural landscape and is prepared across the state with great fervor. The Udupi Kosambari, plush with coconuts and carrots, spawns in popularity throughout Karnataka. People of Udupi, a city in the coastal region of Karnataka, believe that Kosambari’s origin in Karnataka is attributed to the Udupi region. Owing to the health benefits of Kosambari, it is also eaten as a rich source of nutrition that eases digestion and has a high content of protein making it a unique combination of taste and health.

If versatility with food is to be believed in, South Indian cuisines have it in abundance and Kosambari is one amidst an array of those dishes. A mark of culture, rich in taste, and serving great health benefits, Kosambari easily rounds up all the qualities of good food. It has been a prominent element of South Indian culture and is a mark of piety during religious ceremonies. The Anantrai Kamat Group gratifies itself in the celebration of Indian cultures and traditions through our food. Kosambari and many other Karnataka cuisines that have deep connections to history and heritage are a part of our endeavors to offer you an experience of the cultural diversity of the state.

About Author
Akashrai A. Kamat COO – Anantrai Kamat Group

Coming from a line of great ancestral heritage close to traditions and culture, I greatly appreciate the extravagance of our motherland, especially the hearty food! I'm all about that comfort food.