INTRODUCTION: Karnataka is divided into three regions.
- A narrow coastal strip along the Arabian sea
- The hills of the western ghats and
- The sprawling plains to the east.
The hills produce the best cardamom and black pepper. Karnataka state
has a combination of several types of cuisine. Though there are similarities between the food
of Karnataka and its southern neighboring states of Tamilnadu and Kerela, the typical Mysore
style. Dakshina Kannada cuisine is well known for its own distinctive texture and flavor. The
coastal area from the northern border with Maharashtra and Goa down to Mangalore has a
style not very different from coastal Goan cuisine or coastal Kerela cuisine. As one goes
north the food begins to resemble that of Maharashtra. There is, in fact a large amount of
resemblance in food of the four southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu
and Kerela. There are subtle distinctions and recognizable differences in flavor.
The central areas of the state have a style that is marked by simplicity and
tradition while in the coffee growing districts of the coorg district; there are culinary delights
as vibrant and distinct as the people themselves. The best known fare is undoubtedly the
Udipi style of cooking.
In the coastal belt of Karnataka, jaggery and coconut play a major role in the cooking, both in
the preparation of the main meals as well as the snacks and savories.
Karnataka’s culinary culture revolves, round three staple items- rice, ragi, and
wheat jowar (millets). However the people in the northern districts have a preference for
wheat and jowar rotis. In rural Karnataka, Ragi is widely used with each meal in the form of
rotis as ‘mudde’. Mudde is steam cooked ragi rolled into balls and served with hot chutney
or huli (sambar).
The kodavas or coorgis, culturally very different from the state, are presumed to
have influence of the Greek ancestors. The coorgi cuisine is very distinct and theyt are the
only Hindus all kinds of meat and serve non-vegeterian food and alcoholic drinks for their
marriage ceremonies and traditional festivities.
The coastal belt, seafood and fish are available in plenty. The cuisine is simple
and full of flavor. Jaggery and coconut play a major role in all preparations. Rice continues to
be staple diet through wheat gaining gradually acceptance. Coconut is widely used in
Mangalorean cuisine too. Coconut oil is a cooking medium and coconut gratings or milk.
Are used for curries .local vegetables are used for a wide variety of .preparations and for
chutneys the skin of the vegetables are also used
Kori-roti-dry broken pieces of rice pancakes or handkerchief like neer dosai made from
unfermented rice batter of watery consistency accompanies most of the gravy dishes.sanas-
idlis fermented in toddy are yet another popular accompaniment for most of the gravy
items .predominantly Hindu prepared special food is made during festivals and days of
fasting the ‘ekadasi’ fast is broken on ‘dwadsi’ with a cooling kanji served with only ghee
and pickles. The chilies from bedige are mainly used for its bright red color and less
pungency. The tamarind in Karnataka is highly priced than other varieties because it is less
acidic and almost faintly sweet in the plateau, the cooking medium is sesame oil or groundnut
oil. The Bhakri meal of north Karnataka, based on jawar, is very different like the ragi meal
of the south Karnataka.
DAKSHINA KANNADA CUISINE
This cuisine has evolved in areas in and around Mysore which was a big kingdom and
was ruled by Hindu kings for a long time. The influence of Tamilnadu is there due to affinity
and a typical meal has kosambri(lentil salad), playas (seasoned vegetables), kootu and saaru
(rasam).other specialties includes bisibella bhath hulianna, Gojju (bittergourd
preparations) and majjige huli( vegetables stewed in butter milk). A typical breakfast would
include uppittu, kesari bhath, masala dosa, idli, pongal, etc. Mysore pak, Obbattu or holige
are important sweets. Festive occasions would also include payasa (kheer) made of
vermicelli or green gram dal or raw rice
Varieties of dosa , bagala bhath, gatti, avalaki preparations , ‘chithrana’ or rice
preparations, ‘palya, or vegetable dishes, ‘munchi’, ‘gashi’ , ‘gojju’, are other popular dishes.
The bunts form a major of the tulu speaking communities of south kanara. Apart from
the local produce and fruits rice is used mainly to create numerous delicacies. Kori roti is a
very popular dish of the bunts
Konkani speaking Christians of Mangalore originally migrated from Goa in the 18th
century. The food habits and plates are of Goan origin.as time elapsed, this cuisine had a
blend of the local taste .this community used the local taste. This community used the local
ingredients available and so was little different then the Goans.
Popular dishes include Shevige, Mutlim, Bhakri, Varieties of Idli, Kori roti. Kori Sukka,
Cundapur koli thalna, Kori kothambri, Ajadina, Kaidina, Chakuli etc are some of the other
Dessert and snacks selections include Kheer, payasa, Khotige, Kulkuls, Nevrious, Manni,
Udipi Cuisine is acceptable in all over the country now because of the healthy mix of
various ingredients. It exploits the natural affinity between rice, coconut and jaggery. Another
popularized combination is the Black gram dal and rice used for Idli, dosa and other items.
The horse gram is a delicacy in Udipi areas and stock obtained after long hours of boiling is
used to prepare Rasam or Saaru. Special food is prepared on festivals and of fasting.
In the month of December-January ‘Hugi or Pongal is prepared in the homes daily and
distributed in some temples.
Popular dishes include Pathrodey, Pundi Gatti, Kadubu, Huli, Saroo, Shevige
Chithrana, Huggie, Tambli, Seepe palya, Menaskai, Khotige, Kairasa, Mossergojju, Paradi
payasa, Holigey etc.
GOWDA SARASWAT BRAHMIN CUISINE
The Aryans, who traveled from central Asia to India, hundreds of years back settled on
the bank of River Saraswathi. They are referred to as Saraswaths. Later on they had
proceeded north to Goa and then to the Karavali region. These communities are referred to as
Gowda Saraswat Brahmins.
These communities ate fish although they were Hindu Brahmins. This cuisine has a
very good selection of vegetables, herbal roots preparation and fruit preparations.
Popular dishes include Ravadhan, Uppukari, Akkiunde, Appa, Bakri, Biscuitroti,
Shevige, Dali toya, Kodhel, Sasive, Sukka, Gojju, Tambli, Ambat, Sangli, Kootu, Payasa,
Sukhrundo, Panchakajjai, and Garjikai etc.
Most of the Coogi curries, noted for their flavor and taste, are taste, are coconut based
that is lightly spiced and moderately sour. Non vegetarian food fare rules at both the daily
tables and on festive occasions. Pork is the specialty and is cooked with a mixture of spices
and ‘Neeru puli’ a special black tamarind extract.
Popular dishes include Pandi Kari, Kori Barthad, Meen gashi, Mamsa Kari, Palya, saar,
Kadumputtu, Noolputtu, Bhakri, and Akkiotti etc.
RELIGIOUS COUSTOMS AND EFFECTS ON FOOD
Karnataka being predominantly Hindus celebrates almost all-Hindu festivals Krishna
Jayanti is very auspicious in Udipi. On ‘Pother Parban’ Or Harvest festival –a feast of home
made sweets, pancakes and puffed rice are made. No meats are cooked the harvested new rice
is cooked to payasa or shaker bhath and distributed. Following tradition ‘Ekadasi’ (eleventh
day after full moon) fast are observed and the fast is broken the next day with kanji.
The main temples also serve meals for its devotees during the day.
SEQUENCE OF MEAL AND SERVICE:
In Karnataka the banana leaves is placed with the tip facing the top and not the left
side. The service starts with the service of pickle and raita or tambli. Then the playas or
bhajis along with dalitove is served, now rice is served with plain dal or varan and then it is
blended with some home made ghee.
In places where meat is consumed the gravy items may include curries of fish,
chicken, mutton or pork. It is usual to have a dry meat preparation on the side if the gravy is
Desserts or sweets are made only on festive occasions and functions.
FAMOUS DISHES FROM KARNATAKA
• CHITRA ANNA: tempered rice preparation with coconut and cashew nut.
• VAANGI BHATH: sautéed brinjals and rice preparation using special vaangi bhath masala
• KOSAMBARI: dry soaked moong dal and grated carrot proportion with granted coconut. it is
a raw salad.
• SAAGU: mixed vegetable preparation (carrot, beans, potato etc) enriched with coconut and
poppy seeds paste, served with puris.
• RASAM: famous toovar dal water, enriched with pepper, coriander leaves, tomatos etc.it has
water if shorba like consistency.
• OBATTU: the kanandiga version of poran poli, it is served with a dollop of ghee.
• KHARA BHATH: semolina and mixed vegetables, dry preparation served with onion raita.
• HESERABELE PAYASA: semi thick moong dal halva sweetened with jaggery.
• NEER DOSA: dosa presentation with batter made of only rice and water. neer means water.
• KORI SUKKA: mangalorean style chicken curry finished with coconut and coriander leaves.
mani: sweet preparation made with rice, flour and coconut