His answer - Arashina ele gatti; and here's why:
As monsoons start, Turmeric leaves grow in abundance in the coastal parts of Karnataka. These turmeric leaves are used to steam a delectable sweet dish called 'Arashina ele gatti'. A thick batter made using soaked rice, beaten rice and coconut is spread on Turmeric leaves is topped with a mixture of jaggery and puffed paddy, which is then steamed and carefully peeled off. It is then served with ghee made at home.
The subtle aroma released during steaming gatti in the Turmeric leaves, is almost sweet and floral. It engulfs the whole household and evokes a feeling of purity somehow. And when the ghee is melted just before serving it on the arashina ele gatti, the aroma of warm ghee with fine granules indicating the quality of ghee, adds another layer of aroma in the dining area which is next to impossible to recreate otherwise.
There are many other dishes that I absolutely love, but this dish in particular represents the true nature of not just Karnataka but our country, the idea of using turmeric leaf that appears for a short window of time coupled with rice and paddy, that is true artistry of Indian cuisine to me.