You are currently viewing Cuisine of Karnataka

Cuisine of Karnataka

Normally our mornings start with a cup of garam chaai… and for breakfast having fruits, several slices of bread or sometimes typical snack dishes like Pohe or Khichadi seems to be very ideal for us!

But sometimes we make a choice to prefer south Indian food once in a while…

May it be for brunch or dinner; nobody resists a chance to gollop a moist, round, fluffy Idli  with thick green chutney and spicy rassam to pamper our tongue and fill our tummies with joy…!

Every age enjoys these dishes…

And as far as its Karnataka, one must not miss the authentic taste.

The Kannada Cuisine goes far beyond mainstream dishes like idli, dosas and vadas.

The state offers magnificent varieties in veg and in non-veg as well.

Let’s explore the cuisine of Karnataka.

North Karnataka

Karntaka is a wonderful sate with rich culinary heritage.

The Kannada Cuisine is one of the oldest surviving cuisines and traces its origin to Iron Age – raagi and is mentioned in the historical works by Pampa Maha Kavi, sushrutha, etc. The varieties of the karnataka cuisine has influenced the neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra.

The state’s vast culinary  range surrounds with the earthy and unique flavours of north Karnataka, traditional feast of south Karnataka , spicy dishes of the coastal regions and kodava cuisines .

The north karnataka provides large choices for food and recipes  like Jolada roti, Thaliipeet, etc. A simple and typical vegetarian north Karnataka meal consists of – Rotti or Bhakri, Indian thin flatbread often made from jowar flour – millets (jowar ki roti), bajra flour (bajre ki roti) or wheat flour. They are mainly served with a variety of chutneys or spicy curries. Some of the popular spicy curries are Badane Kaayi, Kosambari, Enne kathirikai, Mosaru (raita), Anna (rice), Saaru (tangy soup made with pepper, cumin, coriander seeds, hing, tomatoes or tamarind), Jhunka or Pitla (spicy masala cake made from chana dal powder). Some of the most popular and lip-smacking sweets of North Karnataka are Dharwad peda, Gokak khardantu, Belgaum khunda, shenga holige and yellu holige, besides the local hoorna holige.

South Karnataka

South Karnataka or the old Mysore and other places like Kolara, Bengaluru, Mysore, Tumakooru, Mandya, Haasana, Chamarajanagara, Ragi and rice are the most important staple grains. Traditional regular meals consists of Ragi mudde or steamed dumpling made from raagi flour are served with saaru (stew), rice and yogurt. Optional accompaniments include Kosambari, a salad and various palyas (fried, boiled or sautéed vegetables) and assorted pickles. The cuisine from southern Karnataka is also famous for its typical dishes like the Bisi bele bath, Jolada rotti, Chapati, Ragi rotti, Akki rotti, Saaru, Huli, Vangi Bath, Khara Bath, Kesari Bath, Devanagere Benne Dosa, Ragi mudde and Uppittu. Masala Dosa is quite famous and traces its origin to Udupi cuisine. Plain and Rave Idli, Mysore Masala Dosa and Maddur Vade are popularly known as snack or tiffin items here.

Mangalorean cuisine

This is generally spicy and rice based. Fruits are an integral part of the Mangalorean menu. Fresh coconut and chillies are important ingredients used in this cuisine. Rice here is eaten in many forms like red grain rice, sannas (idli fluffed with toddy or yeast), pancakes, rice rotis, kori roti (a dry, crisp, almost wafer-thin rice roti 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.

The cuisine of Kodava

This is quite different from other cuisines of Karnataka. The most popular dishes are Pandi curry (pork curry) and Kadumbuttu (rice dumplings). Apart from these, the Koli curry (chicken curry), Nool puttu (rice noodles), Votti (rice roti), and Bembla curry (bamboo shoot curry) are also worth tasting.

Malnad cuisine

This is blend of Coorgi and Mangalorean fare. Popular dishes include the midigayi pickle (small raw mango), sandige, avalakki (beaten rice), and talipittu (akki rotti made of rice flour). The cuisine of Udupi is strictly vegetarian, devoid of onions and garlic. Sambar, Rasam, Adyes (dumplings), Ajadinas (dry curries), and chutneys are specialties of Udupi’s cuisine. Some of the major ingredients used here are gourds, coconut, jackfruit, colocasia leaves, raw green bananas, mango pickle and red chillies.


Like every cuisine, Karnataka cuisine also has a wide range of desserts. Some of the popular sweet dishes of Karnataka are Chiroti (a light flaky pastry sprinkled with granulated sugar and soaked in almond milk), Mysore pak, Obbattu or Holige (a flat, thin wafer-like chappati filled with a mixture of jaggery, coconut or copra and sugar and fried gently on a skillet), Dharwad peda, Gokak, Kardantu and Shavige payasa (made of milk, vermicelli, sugar and cardamom seed), Gasgase Payasa (made of poppy seeds, coconut and jaggery), Seeme Akki payasa (prepared with Tapioca, sugar and milk) and many more.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.