Kakkada is a month in the Kodava calendar falling between July 17th and August 16th during the monsoon season amid heavy downpour, biting cold and dark cloud cover.
On the 18th day of kakkada, a sweet dish is prepared using the juice of a particular variety of plant called ‘maddh thopp’ which yields a dark purple juice when crushed. The juice is darkest during ‘kakkada’, indicating that its medicinal value is at its height. The dish is called ‘maddh kool’. It is believed that the plant has 18 kinds of medicinal values on the 18th day of ‘kakkada’. It is a tradition for every household to make ‘maddh kool’ on the 18th day of ‘kakkada’.
Kakkada is nothing but Ashada of the Kannadigas, Aati of the Tulvas and Aadi of the Tamils. The 18th day of Kakkada month is celebrated as the festival pertaining to Ayurvedic herbs. Kakkada month in Kodava calendar in Coorg, is one considered of the significant and auspicious days. aati soppu, kakkada paayasa
On the 18th day of “Kakkada” month, “maddhu soppu” a wild herb’s leaves are said to contain 18 varieties of herbal medicine as the plants emit a sweet aroma only on that day. Maddhu soppu is plucked and boiled in water to get the aromatic juice which will be in dark violet colour. Cakes and sweet porridge is prepared from this juice and consumed.
‘Kakkada koli' and ‘madd payasa' are the delicacies prepared on this day
How to Prepare “ madd toppu” or “ aati soppu” or “Kurunji toppu”
- On the 18th day of the “ Kakkada” month, these leaves are said to be replete with 18 types of herbal medicines. They are plucked and soaked (some boil it) in water to extract the aromatic juice, which is thick and dark violet in colour. Women make cakes or sweet porridge out of the mix. Surprisingly, on the 18th day of “ Kakkada” , the plants start emitting a sweet and unique aroma that is not found on the plants prior to or after the 18th day. The traditional beliefs and social mores are very strong in Kodagu.
Kakkada in Coorg is a time to feast. Special dishes like mushroom and bamboo shoot curry (kanile curry), Crab curry are also preapared. As monsoon is the time when people fall sick due to cold usually these foods help to increase immunity and maintain body temperature.