Taste of Karnataka
South India as a whole, is hugely popular for its cuisine. Although the styles preparation and serving are quite similar in the four states of southern India, but the dishes differ a lot. Karnataka cuisine mainly consists of vegetarian dishes and only few non-vegetarian dishes. Here also, the meal is served on a banana leaf, which starts with serving of Ghee. There are mainly three stable foods of Karnataka, rice, raggi and jowar. Every region of Karnataka has its own specialty and has been divided into different parts accordingly. It is said that the delicious dosa too originated in Karnataka, precisely Udupi cuisine. Non vegetarian food too, though less than its vegetarian, has a lot of varieties. Coastal regions of Karnataka take pride in their numerous and delectable varieties of sea food. And it has been found that dishes of Karnataka are not only rich in taste, they are highly nutritious as well.
To have a taste of Karnataka in the literal sense, a gastronomic trip through the cuisines of Karnataka is a must. Various regions of Karnataka have their unique specialties, but all of which can delight your senses, irrespective of whether you are of a vegetarian or non-vegetarian disposal. Whether you are savouring Udipi masala dosa or spicy fish delicacies from the state's coastal regions, it is likely that you would savour heaven.
If you are a foodie with a taste for vegetarian regional cuisine, check out the delicious fare from the regions of Bayalu Seeme, Karavali, old princely Mysore state, Hyderabad Karnataka, Malnad and north Karnataka, at APS College grounds in Basavangudi.
Scrumptious dishes like Davangere benne dosa, akki roti, avarekalu palya and open dosa of Mysore and Chitradurga are made fresh on the spot. Hassan, Chikmagalur and Kodagu offer noolu pottu with coconut milk, and kadbootu with mixed vegetable curry and raw plantain fry.
Jowar roti, kiriskali soppu palya, Bellary onion bonda, mandakki masala, shengai holige from Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur, Bellary, Koppal and Gadag, are the specialities of Hyderabad Karnataka. North Karnataka dishes from Belgaum Bagalkot, Chikkodi and Bijapur include jolada roti, ennegai, chutney pudi and ranjaka, avalakki poha, chilli bajji, kurukoti avalakki, and the rich Gokak karadantu and Dharwad peda.
Coastal Karnataka dishes like ottekadabu with red chutney and mango chutney, Mangalore’s neer dosa and buns with kurma and chutney, apart from kayi halu ganji, brinjal gojju, modaka and halubai, are the fare from the coastal region.
Bangalore, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Mysore districts are represented by Mysore bonda, thatte idli, Bombay sagu, shavige bisibele bath and poppy seed payasa (gasa gase).
North Karnataka Cuisine
Bidar, Kalburgi, Vijayapura, Ballari and Belagaavi are the main districts of northern Karnataka where this cuisine is found. Main dishes of the region are rotis made of jowar and wheat. The rotis (breads) are served with different curries, which are mostly spicy. Rice too, like in other regions, is consumed highly with different side dishes like Saaru, Majjige and Huli.
South Karnataka Cuisine
Main dish of Southern Karnataka is ragi mudde which is taken with almost all three meals of the day. It is a round ball prepared by boiling millet in water. With rice, number of spicy soups like hurali saaru, bas saaru are taken. Hurali saaru is made up from horse grams mixed with various Indian spices whereas bas saaru is made from broth of lentils and spring beans. The rice here too is of different kinds. Kempanna is a different kind of rice red in color.
This is probably the most renowned cuisine to come out of South India. Dishes in Udupi cuisine are generally prepared from fruits, vegetables, grains and beans. The best dish of Udupi cuisine is without a doubt Masala Dosa that made it big not only in India but in other countries as well. Even today, Udupi cuisine follows the ingredients and method of preparation mentioned in the Vedas. No onion or garlic are in the dishes. Neither is any dish made from meat or fish. Sajjige, bajiil, Saaru, Sambhar, different types of rices and Uddinahittu are few of the major dishes in Udupi cuisine.
Common Dishes Throughout Karnataka
Various rice dishes like Bisi bele bath, Vaangi baath and chitrana are used in all regions of Karnataka. Other dishes of main course that are common through out Karnataka are ragi rotti, akki roti, Kosambari, and numerous saarus. Non vegetarian dishes in Karnataka are common to all places of the state. Koli bas saaru, Mutton chop curry, Meatball curry, Chicken pulao and Mutton pulao are the most favored non-veg dishes here. You can have a taste of this anywhere in the state. Although, to get the best of Seafood, one should visit the coastal regions of Karnataka. Fish curry and liver fry are the dishes that will make your mouth water.
When talking about the cuisine of a state, one just cannot ignore the sweet dishes. Specially if the list is gigantic. Karnataka is one state that has as many sweet dishes as other dishes. Paayasa is the main sweet dish of Karnataka, which is famous all over India. There are different types of paayasas. All are made of milk and differ in the ingredient added in the milk. Most used items are jeerige, shavige, rice and sabbakki. Other sweet delicacies of Karnataka are Balushahi, sakkare acchuhaala-puri, ladoo and dharwad pedha.
It won't be wrong to say that cuisine can easily be among the greatest attraction of Karnataka. So many are the dishes and such is the taste of each one of them that it is hard to decide which is the best. Other attractions might have the appeal to allure you to Karnataka, but it is the cuisine that has the magic to make you stay in Karnataka. Just get the taste of Karnataka cuisine and feel that special feeling that your tongue craved for so long.