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Udupi cuisine (Tulu: ಉಡುಪಿ ವನಸ್, Kannada: ಉಡುಪಿ ಊಟ) is a world-renowned cuisine of South India. It forms an important part of the cuisine of Karnataka and takes its name from Udupi, a town on the southwest coast of India in the state of Karnataka. Udupi cuisine has its origin in the Ashta mathas of Udupi founded by Madhvacharya.
Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The variety and range of dishes is wide, and a hallmark of the cuisine involves the use of locally available ingredients.
It adheres strictly to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine, using no onions or garlic, as well as no meat, fish, or shellfish. However, the cuisine may also be adapted for those who consume these restricted items. Following the tradition of chaaturmasa vrata, which is a restriction of certain food ingredients in a certain period or season, may have led to the innovation of a variety of dishes in Udipi cuisine. Pumpkins and gourds are the main ingredients in sambar, a stew prepared with ground coconut and coconut oil as its base.
The ubiquitous Indian dish masala dosa has its origins in Udupi.  Saaru, a spicy pepper water, is another essential part of the menu, and so are jackfruit, colocasia leaves, raw green bananas, mango pickle, red chillies, and salt. Adyes (dumplings), ajadinas (dry curries), and chutneys, including one made of the skin of the ridge gourd, are specialities.
- Saaru or rasam
- Koddelu or sambar
- Menaskai (variation of Sambhar)
- Huli (Similar to sambhar with ground coconut in the base)
- Tambuli or watery vegetable paste (generally leafy vegetables) seasoned
- Spiced rice
- Adde or Uh-day (dumpling)
- Tallu orAjethna or ajadina (dry curry)
- Ale Bajji
- Bakshya (sweet or dessert)
- Kosambari (seasoned salad of lentils)
- Kayathno or KaaYaadhina (fried items)
- Paramanna (kheer)
- Rasayana (juice or squash or syrup)
Dishes served in a full course Udupi meal
The full course Udupi meal is served on a plantain leaf, which is traditionally kept on the ground. The dishes are served in a particular sequence, and each dish is placed on a particular spot of the plantain leaf. All the people eating this meal are expected to begin and end eating the meal together. A person cannot get up in middle of the meal, even though he has finished his meal. The start and end of meal is done by saying "Govinda," the name of Lord Vishnu. A typical meal is served with the following (in sequence):
- Kosambari (seasoned salad made from split Bengal gram or pea)
- Bajji or chutney
- Spiced rice (chitranna)
- Steamed rice (plain rice cooked in steam or boiling water)
- Saaru and Rasam (a spicy watery soup)
- Sweets like laddu, holige
- Fried items like bonda, chakkuli, vada
- Paramanna or Kheer (pudding) or Payasa
Depending upon the occasion, individual taste, and money, each dish may be made from different ingredients.
Popular dishes of Udupi cuisines
- Sajjige and bajil (upma made from coarse semolina and seasoned beaten rice)
- Uddinahittu (urad flour or potato mashed mixed in curd and seasoned)
- Kosambari (salads of green gram or Bengal gram lentils, seasoned)
- Different types of spicy rices, such as chitranna or Bisi bele bath
- Dosa, masala dosa, neer dose
- Sweet dishes like maddi, kaai holige, undae (laddu)
- Puddings or parammanna or payasa or kheer
- Mangalore bajji or golibaje
- Kashi halva from musk pumpkin, jackfruit, banana, and bottle gourd
- Pelakai gatti/gidde (jackfruit dumpling)
- Pelakai appa (fried dumplings made from jackfruit)
- Pelakai halwa (jackfruit halwa)
- Gashi or Ghasi (thick gravy like dish made by use of peas or pulses with coconut)
- Patrode (colacasia leaves dipped in batter and steamed cooked)
- Menaskai (especially made of Amtekai or ambade)
An overview of Udupi cuisine
|Name||Veg. or non-veg||Ingredients||How to prepare||Image||Remarks|
|Masala Dosa||Pure Veg.||Rice, Urad, Aloo and onion||Dosa with ghee; aloo,onion sabji rolled inside||Invented by Udupi hotels|
|Patrode||Pure Veg.||Kolkesia leaves, Rice||Kolkesia leaves with rice flour baked in steam||Popular during rainy season|
|Kotte kadubu||Pure Veg.||Rice, Urad||Baked in steam inside jackfruit leaves|
|Neer Dosa||Pure Veg.||Rice||Dosa with rice flour; easy to prepare||sides important|
|Undla kai||Pure Veg.||Rice||Rice balls baked in steam||Rainy season dish|
|Shyavige or Othu shyavige||Pure Veg.||Rice||Ancient noodles, prepared by pressing rice balls|
|Goli Baje||Pure Veg.||Myda||Fried in oil||Also called Mangalore bajji|
|Halasina Kadabu||Pure Veg.||Rice, Jackfruit||Rice and jackfruit ground and baked in steam|
|Thambuli||Pure Veg.||coconut, buttermilk, brahmi leaf|
|Kolkesia Chatney||Pure Veg.||Kolkesa leaf, coconut|
Udupi restaurants and hotels
Udupi or Udipi restaurants and hotels serving Udupi cuisine can be found all over India and many parts of the world. In the past, these restaurants were run by cooks and priests trained at Krishna matha at Udupi. With rising popularity many others have entered this business claiming to serve authentic Udupi cuisine. Most Udupi restaurants and hotels are family run, with ownership passing among kith and kin of the original owner. Also, Udupi restaurants have undergone many changes in their menu in recent times, adapting to changing economical structure and social statuses in India. They have included vegetarian delicacies from other Indian cuisines.
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- Udupi Cuisine by U.B.Rajalakshmi published by Prism Books Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-81-7286-175-9