Mangalorean cuisine

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Mangalorean Cuisine (Tulu: ಕುಡ್ಲದ ವನಸ್) is a collective name given to the cuisine of Tulu Nadu region of India (spans from Kundapur to Kasaragod) which comprises cuisines like Udupi as well as cuisine of other Mangalorean communities like that of the Bunts, Mogaveeras, Billavas, Goud Saraswat Brahmins, Mangalorean Catholics and the Bearys.

Mangalorean cuisine is largely influenced by the South Indian cuisine, with several cuisines being unique to the diverse communities of the region. Coconut and curry leaves are common ingredients to most Mangalorean curry, as are ginger, garlic and chili. Mangalorean Fish Curry is popular dish in Karnataka. Well-known Tuluva dishes include Kori Rotti (dry rice flakes dipped in gravy), Bangude Pulimunchi (spicy sour silver-grey mackerels), Beeja-Manoli Upkari, Neer dosa (lacy rice-crêpes), Boothai Gasi, Kadubu, and Patrode. The Konkani community's specialities include Daali thoy, bibbe-upkari (cashew based), val val, avnas ambe sasam, Kadgi chakko, paagila podi, and chane gashi. Vegetarian cuisine in Mangalore, also known as Udupi cuisine, is known and liked throughout the state and region. Since Tulu Nadu is a coastal town, fish forms the staple diet of most people.[1] Mangalorean Catholics' Sanna-Dukra Maas (Sanna – idli fluffed with toddy or yeast; Dukra Maas – Pork), Pork Bafat, Sorpotel and the Mutton Biryani of the Muslims are well-known dishes. Pickles such as happala, sandige and puli munchi are unique to Mangalore. Khali (toddy), a country liquor prepared from coconut flower sap, is popular.[2]


Mangalorean cuisine is well known for their distinct flavor. In general, the Mangalorean recipes are quite spicy and fresh coconut is an integral part of these recipes. Rice is the staple food of the Mangaloreans, though for the non vegetarians, fish is also a regular meal.

The cuisine of Mangalore would remain incomplete without usage of rice. Rice is cooked in various forms such as pancakes, wafer thin rice rottis served with chicken curry, grain rice, sannas i.e., idlis fluffed with toddy or yeast, neer dosa, etc.

Apart from rice, another important thing used in the cuisine of Mangalore is fruits. Many of the recipes at Mangalore are incomplete without the usage of fruits such as jackfruit, bamboo shoot, breadfruit, raw banana, spinach Basale, sweet cucumber known as Taute, etc.

A remarkable feature of the Mangalorean sweet dishes is that instead of using sugar, Mangaloreans use jaggery made of palm so as to keep themselves healthy. Moreover, this sweet syrup has a fragrance and taste of its own and thereby makes the Payasam more delicious. Moreover, the three main things that add flavor to the various dishes of Mangalore are raw mango, tamarind and kokum.

Mangalorean Parfait Ice cream

Mangalorean cuisine to some extent has been inspired by the mixed culture that constitutes the population of Mangalore. This is why one can enjoy both vegetarian as well as non vegetarian recipes at the same time. Some of the very popular Mangalorean cuisine which one must not miss is Idli-Sambar, Kane (Lady Fish) Curry, Kori Rotti and Ole Bella i.e., Palm jaggery. Among the sweet dishes one must have the delicious halwa of Mangalore available in three flavors i.e., guava, wheat and banana. Another delicacy which one should not miss is Gudbud ice cream from ideals ice cream parlor.

Spicy fish delicacies like kane fry (ladyfish), rice-based preparations and a wide variety of fruits are perennial favourites on the Mangalorean menu. Epicures believe that fresh coconut, chillies and the Mangalorean mind together create culinary magic. Mangaloreans love rice in all forms - red grain rice, sannas (idli fluffed with toddy or yeast), pancakes, rice rottis, kori rotti (a dry, crisp, almost wafer-thin rice rotti which is served with chicken curry as a delicacy), and neer dosa. Patrode, a special dish prepared by steaming stuffed colocasia leaves, is a delicacy not to be missed. Akki rotti, or rice rotti, is a favourite not only in Mangalore but also in Malnad and Kodagu.

Tuluva Cuisine[edit]

Tuluva cuisine is the collective cuisine of the Tulu speaking communities of Tulu Nadu in coastal Karnataka. Tuluva cuisine has been a pioneer in Indian cuisines, starting a food revolution with the Udupi hotels. Udupi cuisine,Bunt cuisine,Shivalli Cuisine and others form the tuluva cuisine . Tuluva cuisine has introduced Masala Dosa to the world.This cuisine consists of various steamed delicacies like Sannas, Kottige, Dosas like Neer Dose, Masala Dose, Dry items like Sukka/Ajadina and Upkari, also gravies called Gassi(Tulu word meaning curry)/ Rasa /Pulimunchi .

Vegetarian Tuluva cuisine has been made popular all over the world by numerous Udupi restaurants. Some of the dishes of Tuluva origin are Neer dosa, Masala Dosa, Kottige, Semige, Kappa Rotti, Tomato Saar, Bella Tarai da Gatti, Manjol iretha Ghatti, Pelakkai Da gatti, Pundi, Kadubu, Moode, Basale Gassi, Touthe Koddel, Uppad Pachir, Gujje Ajadina, Kadle Manoli Upkari, Pathrode, Goli Bhajje, Mangalore buns, Sajjige, Bajil, Bende Puli, Thouthe Koddel etc.

Non vegetarian dishes are: Kori Rotti, Kori gassi (Chicken gassi/curry), Yetti Gassi (Prawn Gassi/curry), Bangude Pulimunchi, Bangude Gassi (Mackarel Gassi), Chicken Ghee Roast (Neitha Kori), Chicken urwal, Kori Kempu Bezule (Chicken Bezule), Kori Ajadina (Chicken Sukka), Marvai Pundi (Clam Gassi with steamed rice dumplings), Marvai Ajadina (Clamms Sukka), Jenji Gassi (Crab Gassi), Kane Rava Fry (Rava fries Lady Fish), Bolanjir Gassi (Silver Fish Gassi/Curri), Manji Kolavaithina etc.[3][4] [5]

Sweet Dishes : Manni, Bella Tharai da adde, Pelakkai da adde, Holige, Kai Holige, Mangalore Buns, Kadle Bele Payasa, Appa, Bella Tharai da Pundi etc.

Udupi cuisine[edit]

Idly roast

Udupi cuisine is a world-renowned cuisine of South India. It forms an important part of the Tuluva Cuisine of Karnataka and takes its name from Udupi, a city on the southwest coast of India in the Tulunadu region. The Udupi cuisine has its origin in Ashta matha of Udupi founded by Jagadguru 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 vedic 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.

For a list of foods restricted for Vedic vegetarians, see Shivalli Brahmins.

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.[citation needed] 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.

Typical dishes[edit]

An Udupi vegetarian meal
Spring dosa (Udupi style)
  • Saaru or rasam
  • Hulli or sambar
  • Menaskai (variation of Sambhar)
  • Tambuli or watery vegetable paste (generally leafy vegetables) seasoned.
  • Spiced rice
  • Adde or Uh-day(dumpling)
  • Ajethna or ajadina (dry curry)
  • Holige
  • Bakshya (sweet or dessert)
  • Kosambari (seasoned salad of lentils)
  • Bajji
  • Kayathno or KaaYaadhina (fried items)
  • Paramanna (kheer)
  • Paayasa
  • Rasayana (juice or squash or syrup)

Dishes served in a full course Udupi meal[edit]

An idly served in an Udupi restaurant
Steamed idli (Udupi style)

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 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 following (in sequence)

  • salt, pickle,
  • Kosambari (seasoned salad made from split Bengal gram or pea)
  • Bajji
  • chutney
  • gojju
  • Ajethna
  • Spiced rice (chitranna)
  • Appalla
  • Steamed rice (plain rice cooked in steam or boiling water)
  • Saaru or rasam (a spicy watery soup)
  • Menaskai
  • Koddelu or sambhar
  • Sweets like laddu, holige
  • Fried items like bonda, chakkuli, vada
  • Paramanna or Kheer (pudding)
  • Payasa
  • Buttermilk/curd

Depending upon the occasion, individual taste, and money, each dish may be made from different ingredients.

Popular dishes of Udupi cuisines[edit]

Malpuri, a sweet dish
  • Sajjige and bajil (upma made from coarse semolina and seasoned beaten rice)
  • Uddinahittu (urad flour mixed in curd and seasoned)
  • Kosambari (salads of black gram or Bengal gram lentils, seasoned)
  • Different types of spicy rices, such as chitranna or Bisi bele bath
  • Dosa, masala dosa, neer dosa
  • 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)
  • Malpuri
  • Putnis
  • Kadubu

Mangalorean Catholic cuisine[edit]

A Fried Fish in Mangalorean Catholic style

The Mangalorean Catholic Cuisine is the cuisine of the Mangalorean Catholic community and is largely influenced by Mangalorean, Goan, and Portuguese cuisines.

Mangalorean Catholics are Roman Catholics from Mangalore and the former South Canara district on the southwestern coast of India. They are Konkani people and speak the Konkani language. Most of the ancestors of Mangalorean Catholics were Goan Catholics, who had migrated to South Canara from Goa, a state north of Canara, between 1560 and 1763 during the Goa Inquisition and the Portuguese-Maratha wars. The culture of Mangalorean Catholics is a blend of Mangalorean and Goan cultures. After migration, they adopted the local Mangalorean culture but retained many of their Goan customs and traditions.

Non-vegetarian cuisine[edit]

Fish Roe Curry in Mangalorean Catholic style

Their curry uses a lot of coconut and curry leaves while ginger, garlic and chilli are also used. Mangalorean Catholic cuisine has distinct Portuguese influence as can be seen in Laitao, the famous pork roast served as the Pièce de résistance at wedding dinners, and Pork Sorpotel. Mangalorean Catholics mix pork blood and other parts in most of their pork delicacies as can be seen from Pork Bafat, Cabidela and Kalleze un Kiti (heart and intestines). Sanna-Dukra Maas (Sanna – idli fluffed with toddy or yeast; Dukra Maas – Pork)[2] and Unde-Dukra Maas (Unde – leavened bread; Dukra Maas – Pork) are popular dishes. Bifa Maas (beef), Bokrea Maas (mutton) and Kunkda Maas (chicken) with dishes such as Chicken Indaz are also popular. The traditional Rosachi kadi (Ros Curry), a fish curry made with ros (coconut milk) is quite popular and is served during the Ros (anointing) ceremony that is held 1 or 2 days before a Mangalorean Catholic wedding. Their fish curry especially their Fish Roe Curry, is known for its taste in the whole of coastal India while fried fish in their style is well known. The Sheveo Roce and Pathal Bakri (a variant of Kori Rotti) are dry rice flakes dipped in chicken gravy dishes.[6]

Vegetarian cuisine[edit]


The "Balthazaar Chutney" is a popular condiment. The dish originated when Balthazaar, a Mangalorean Catholic nobleman, was taken prisoner by Tippu Sultan in 1784 during the Captivity of Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatam. Unable to stomach the indifferent camp food, he offered to make a chutney for the captured Mangalorean Catholics.

The Pollu, a type of Sambhar with Galmbi (powdered dried fish) or Kambulmas (Dried Tuna) is popular. The traditional Fode is a popular pickle. Thail Piao, which means literally vegetables dumped with oil and onions and left to boil on the fire wood is quite popular. Karamb (Cucumber salad) and Foka (Lady's finger combined with cashewnuts). The Appam (rice balls) and Panpole (a type of congee) are popular delicacies made of soaked rice, water and salt. The Thath Bakri is a banana leaf rice dish made with ground red boiled rice mixed with raw scraped coconut and roasted on a tava on a banana leaf. The Mitais, Mandas, Ushae, Pitae and Mani are well known sweet dishes.


Kuswar is a term often used to mention a set of unique Christmas goodies which are part of the cuisine of the Mangalorean Catholic community There are as many as 22 different traditional recipes that form this distinct flavour of Christmas celebration in Mangalore. Neuries are puffs stuffed with plums, nuts, and fried theel (sesame) and sugar. Kidyo or Kulkuls are curly concoctions dipped in sugar treacle, pathekas are savoury of green nandarkai bananas, theel laddus and jaw snapping Golios. Macaroons is what Manglore is famous for and the subtle flavored rose cookies are a hot favorite. But it is the Rich Plum Cake which takes the better part of a week to make. Candied fruit, plums, currents, raisins are dexterously cut and soaked in rum. Flour sieved and gently warmed in the sun. Nuts shelled and chopped and the whole family comes together to make the cake. Jobs are allotted, one to whip up the eggs, while another creams the butter and sugar, cake tins are lined, and a strong pair of arms requisitioned to do the final mixing and stirring.

Patrode or Pathrade, a dish of colocasia leaves stuffed with rice, dal, jaggery, coconut, and spices is also popular. The Mangalorean Catholic version of this steamed delicacy is a slight variation on the Tuluva recipe. More spicy, it is fried in Meet Mirsang (salt and chilly), a red chilli masala, which is a popular condiment used to flavour Mangalorean Catholic dishes.

See also[edit]