There’s a lot to admire in the port city of Mangalore, including sunny beaches, beautiful scenic views, and ancient heritage buildings.
Nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, this peaceful seaside city has a lot to offer in terms of food.
Since Mangalore is a coastal city, seafood is an integral part of the local cuisine.
Additionally, dry red chilies, coconut, curry leaves, tamarind, and other spices are also used in the preparation of Mangalorean dishes.
12 Delicious & Famous Mangalorean Dishes
1. Neer Dosa
The name “neer dosa” says it all. Neer means “water” in tulu language.
Neer dosa is aptly named because it is a type of dosa with a slightly watery batter as compared to regular dosa batter.
It is prepared in the traditional iron tawa, which is found in almost all houses in Mangalore.
This is a special dish of Mangalore and a regular breakfast item in all households.
There’s a specific way to prepare neer dosa. The batter is poured onto the tawa, and the tawa is lifted and then rotated in order to spread the batter into a thin, even layer.
The final product is a delicate thin dosa that is folded into a triangle shape and served.
It’s often difficult to get it right the first time around. It takes skill and practice to get perfect neer dosas.
Neer dosa is served hot alongside coconut chutney or banana rasayana, which is a Mangalorean coconut based sweet accompaniment.
Neer dosa and banana rasayana make a perfect breakfast combination!
2. Kori Roti
This dish name is a combination of two words, ‘ kori,’ which means chicken and ‘roti’ which is a thin crispy rice sheet.
Kori roti is a specialty of Tulunadu that is loved by everyone.
The roti here is not like the roti of other regions. In older times, they were traditionally prepared at home.
The preparation is a little complex, wherein the batter is prepared from rice and spread over an iron tawa over charcoal.
Since it’s a long tedious procedure, these days, it’s rarely ever prepared at home. It is easily available in all shops across Mangalore.
The roti is served with a traditional Mangalorean coconut based chicken gravy that is the right blend of spice and tanginess.
When hot gravy is poured over the crispy roti, it absorbs the gravy and softens up, making the whole dish taste simply delicious!
3. Mangalorean Chicken Sukka:
It’s a coconut based semi dry chicken curry made from roasted spices. The dish gets its name from the Hindi word sookha, which means dry.
The dish is commonly referred to as kori Ajadina in tulu language, where the word ajadina means dry.
It is a famous Mangalorean dish that is well-known all over India.
The dish is prepared by roasting various ingredients, namely, coriander powder, cumin powder, cloves, cinnamon, dry chilies, ginger, garlic, mustard, and onion.
All these are ground together to create an aromatic blend of species.
This spice mix is cooked with chicken and grated coconut to create a divine dish with the right hint of spiciness and sweetness.
4. Mangalorean Buns
Mangalore buns are made with mashed bananas, flour, sugar, and a touch of cumin. When visiting Mangalore, this is an absolute must-try breakfast.
The buns are usually served with coconut chutney or sambar, but they’re equally delicious on their own.
Mangalorean buns are also referred to as banana pooris or just buns in Mangalore.
They are a popular breakfast item in all hotels in Dakshina Kannada. They’re also served with a cup of steaming hot tea as an evening snack.
5. Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast
This special Mangalorean food is a classy dish that is spicy, tangy, and rich in flavor.
Dry roasted species are ground into an aromatic masala, which is then coated onto the chicken pieces and cooked in ghee for a rich and savory flavor.
This dish is a perfect lunch meal and will leave you drooling for more!
6. Bangude Pulimunchi
Bangude means mackerel in Tulu, puli means tamarind or tangy, and munchi means chili; hence the dish gets this name.
The Mangalorean cuisine list is incomplete without mentioning bangude pulimunchi.
It’s generally cooked in a clay pot, which enhances the dish’s earthy flavor. This rich, spicy gravy is made with roasted spices, onions, garlic, and tamarind.
Being a coastal city, seafood is beloved by everyone here in Mangalore.
This tangy dish curry is a menu item in all seafood restaurants in Mangalore. It’s best served with steaming boiled rice for lunch or dinner.
7. Goli Baje
It is a popular Mangalorean food across Karnataka, commonly known by the name Mangalore Bajji.
It is freshly prepared every evening in almost all hotels in Dakshina Kannada.
Goli Baje is crispy on the outside yet fluffy and soft on the inside. It is prepared using maida and curd, with ginger, curry leaves, and chilies mixed into the batter.
The batter is then fermented for several hours or overnight. This fermentation process helps to produce a naturally mild sour flavor and gives an airy, fluffy texture.
The batter is then poured onto hot oil and fried to get a golden outer crust that is light and crispy.
Goli Baje waits for no one and is best eaten hot with coconut or mint chutney.
It’s a popular tea-time snack among people of all ages. It’s best eaten on a rainy day with a hot cup of chai!
8. Prawns Sukka
Prawns sukka” is a popular Mangalorean seafood dish. In Tulu, it’s known as Yetti Ajadina, where yetti refers to prawns and ajadina means dry.
It’s a favorite among the locals, and it’s commonly served with boiled rice or neer dosa.
The addition of grated coconut and curry leaves gives the dish a coastal touch.
This dish hits all the right taste buds, with a mild spicy flavor from the dry masala, overlapped by the hint of sweetness of the coconut.
This dish is simply divine! Moreover, as prawns take only a few minutes to cook, the dish can be quickly prepared and served on the dinner table without much hassle!
It’s a traditional food of Mangalore, and it is usually prepared during the rainy season. The main hero of the dish is colocasia leaves or kesuvina yele (in Kannada).
This plant grows in abundance during the rainy season, and the leaf resembles the shape of an elephant ear; hence it also goes by the name ‘Elephant ears’.
The leaves are coated with masala, steamed, and then shallow fried. The masala has medium level spiciness with a hint of tangy flavor from the tamarind.
This special dish of Mangalore is available in restaurants when colocasia leaves are in season.
On your next trip to Mangalore, make sure to try this famous Mangalorean dish.
10. Fish Tawa Fry
It’s no secret that Mangaloreans are huge fans of seafood. There is no shortage of great seafood restaurants in Mangalore.
Fish tawa fry is a classic dish of Mangalore, and there is a wide variety of fishes available here.
Famous fishes among them are mackerel, sardines, ladyfish (kane), seer fish (anjal), pomfret, to name a few.
The Mangalore style fish tawa fry is prepared by marinating the fish pieces with red chili and tamarind masala and shallow fried with coconut oil.
On your next trip to Mangalore, don’t forget to taste this Kudla delicacy.
It is a traditional dish of Mangalore and Udupi, specially prepared during the Krishna Janmashtami festival. It is prepared using pandan, jackfruit, or banana leaves.
The leaves are weaved into cylindrical moulds, and idli batter is poured into them. The moulds are then steamed in a steamer.
Due to the steaming process, the idlis are enhanced by the taste and aroma of the pandan leaves.
Moode has a wonderful earthy flavor which pairs well with coconut based chicken curry or coconut chutney.
12. Jackfruit Fritters (Pelakai Garage)
For all you health conscious people out there, you might want to temporarily break your diet for this one.
This is a sweet treat made out of jackfruit and jaggery and deep-fried to create a dish that is simply irresistible.
It is prepared using rice, jackfruit, jaggery, and coconut, which are ground to a smooth consistency to form the batter.
Spoonfuls of batter are dropped into the hot oil.
The end product is a delicious treat that is crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
You won’t be able to stop snacking on these mouth-watering goodies!
From the sweet Mangalorean buns to tangy pulimunchi curry, Mangalore is every food lover’s heaven.
There’s something here for everyone.
So, the next time you visit the coastal city, get indulged in the blissful taste of species and seafood.
Once you taste what Mangalorean cuisine has to offer, surely it will leave you craving for more!
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