New England Tulu Koota (NETK) Boston USA members gathered for their annual picnic (Jokulatige or child’s play as aptly named)on September 9, 2017 atthe Pomps PondRecreation Park in the town of Andover about twenty five miles north of the city of Boston in Massachusetts, USA. The members met for an afternoon of music, entertainment and exotic cuisine from the far away Tulunadu or land of the Tulu-speaking people from Southern Karnataka.
The Koota’s (or association’s) cooking buffs had brought home-cooked authentic vegetarian dishes that comprised of traditional rice cakes including pelakai gatti, a typical Mangalorean delicacy made from fresh jackfruit.Other exotic dishes weremoode idli(idli batter steamed in molds made from kedige leaves),pathrode (snack made with colocasia leaves),kapparrotti (a type of dosa), thauthe kuddu saar (cucumber/lentil curry), kode kene (yogurt/coconut curry),pineapple menaskai (a delicacy made with pineapple, tamarind and jaggery),mango salad,punarpuli saar (or kokum rasum)and majjige (flavored yogurt). Non-vegetarian dishes comprised of goat curry, chicken biryani, chicken sukka, pepper chicken, chilli chicken and shrimp chutney. In addition, there were traditional dishes including dahi vada,vegetable pulao, kadle ajadhena (black chickpea dry curry), chitranna (lemon rice), puliyogare (tamarind rice),plain rice, chappati and raita/pickles. Home-made desserts included kheer, mango rasaayana (mango kheer), holige(sweet unleavened bread),manni (rice halwa), fruit custard along with servings of seasonal fruits. The superb meal pieced together by the members transported the Tuluvas to pleasant childhood memories and to the social setting of their distant hometowns back in Coastal Karnataka. The delightful delicacies at the picnic lead to stories about grandparents treating them to the very same food during their vacation visits to that region.
After the delectable meal, the picnickers split into groups to play their favorite games. These included balloon game, lemon and spoon race,sack race, cricket, volleyball and basketball followed by dancing to some popular oldies. Winners from the various sporting events were presented with certificates of sportsmanship. Tea time followed and the picnickers were treated togoli baje (deep-fried fritters) freshly made on the premises. Another tea-time snack was churmuri, a popular Mangalorean street-side dishtypically served along with steaming hot chai.
The picnic event drew in new members from neighboring states such as New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. As in the previous years, the outstanding efforts of an incredible and passionate team of volunteers including Puja Shetty, Sharat Amin, Aneesh Putter, Vivek Hegde, Fred Fernandes, Prabhakara Bhat, Sudhakara Rao and Koota President Bhaskar Sherigar reinforced the close ties among existing members.To facilitate continued nurturing of the fledgling organization, the Koota unanimously re-elected the current executive team led by Koota President BhaskarSherigar, Secretary Puja Shetty, and TreasurerSharath Aminfor the next two years and opted to add six additional members.
After an amazing day of good food, music and games it was time for the end of another magnificent eventfor the New England Tulu Koota.
By Kavita Shetty