Mangalorean cuisine is popular throughout the world because of its unique flavor. From neer dosa to chicken ghee roast, Mangalore is a foodie’s paradise. Some of the ingredients that play a vital role in this cuisine include coconut, rice, garlic, ginger, dried red chillies, curry leaves and tamarind. Mangalorean food draws from the flavors of adjacent regions and each variety has its own distinct taste.
Mangalorean cuisine on the whole is largely influenced by South Indian cuisine. Like all coastal communities, fish forms the staple diet of most people. Meen Gassi also known as Mangalorean fish curry is a popular dish served along with rice in the coastal area of Mangalore. Famous Tuluva dishes include Masala Dosa, Chicken Ghee Roast, Neer Dosa (lacy rice-crêpes), Chicken Sukka, Bangude Pulimunchi (piquant sour silver-grey mackerels), Kori Rotti (dry rice flakes dunked in gravy), Beeja-Manoli Upkari, Boothai Gasi, Kadubu, and Patrode.
Mangalorean cuisine is said to be incomplete without rice. Rice in Mangalore is cooked in diverse forms like wafer (thin rotis of rice served with delicious chicken curry), sannas or fluffed idlis with toddy or yeast, pancakes, neer dosa and grain rice. Not only rice even fruits form an imperative part of the Mangalorean cuisine. Fruits like bamboo shoot, jackfruits, raw banana, sweet cucumber called Taute, spinach besale and breadfruit are used to prepare appetizing dishes.
Mangalore cuisine is found to be strongly influenced by the Kannada speaking Brahmins, Konkani speaking Catholics, Tulu speaking Bunts and Goud Saraswat Brahmins to mention a few. The Konkani community’s specialties include bibbe-upkari (cashew based), val val, Daali thoy, Kadgi chakko, paagila podi, avnas ambe sasam and chane gashi. Tulu vegetarian cuisine also known as Udupi cuisine, forms an integral part of Mangalorean cuisine. Pickles such as sandige, happala and puli munchi are distinct to Mangalore. Khali (toddy), a country liquor, made from coconut flower sap, is also popular.
Among sweet dishes, Mangalorean halwa is a delicacy that should not be missed as it is available in three flavors such as banana, wheat and guava. Also, make sure to try out the Gadbad ice cream as well.