Main Ingredients of Udupi Cuisine
Udupi cuisine is famous among the entire southern part of India. Udupi cuisine is confined to the Vedic tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine. It adheres to the Satvik tradition of Indian cooking, which means using no onion, garlic, meat, fish or poultry.
Pumpkins and gourds are the main ingredients in sambar. Masala dosa has its origins in Udupi. Saaru is spicy pepper water which is an essential part of the menu. Dumplings, dry curries and chutneys are major specialties. Fruits are also an essential part of Udupi cuisine. One can try out dishes made of raw banana, jackfruit, pumpkin, breadfruit, etc.
Full Course Udupi Meal
A full course Udupi meal is served on a plantain leaf, which is kept on the ground. The dishes are served in a sequence. One should start the meal by saying "Govinda," the name of Lord Vishnu and end also in the same manner. The meal comprises of Ghee, Salt, Pickle, Kosambari, Bajji or chutney, Ajethna, Spiced rice, Appalla, Steamed rice, Saaru and Rasam, Menaskai, and Koddelu. The meal also includes sweets like laddu, holige; fried items like bonda, chakkuli, vada and desserts like paramanna or kheer or payasa, buttermilk/ curd.
The full course Udupi meal is served on a plantain leaf, which is traditionally kept on the ground. The dishes are served in a particular sequence, and each dish is placed on a particular spot of the plantain leaf. All the people eating this meal are expected to begin and end eating the meal together. A person cannot get up in middle of the meal, even though he has finished his meal.
A typical meal is served with the following (in sequence):
• Abbhigara or Ghee
• Kosambari (seasoned salad made from split Bengal gram or pea)
• Bajji or chutney
• Spiced rice (chitranna)
• Steamed rice
• Saaru and Rasam (a spicy watery soup)
• Majjige Huli, Puli kajippu
• Sweets like laddu, holige or Kesari bhath, Jalebi
• Fried items like bonda, chakli, vada
• Paramanna or Kheer (pudding) or Payasa
• Buttermilk/ curd
Delicacies of Udupi Cuisine
There are myriad recipes that are popular in the region like sajjige and bajil, uddinahittu, kosambari, chitranna or bisi bele bath, dosa, masala dosa, neer dose, payasa or kheer, mangalore bajji or golibaje, pelakai gatti/gidde, gashi or patrode, menaskai, putnis, kadubu etc.
Masala Dosa: Thin and crisp rice crepes stuffed with a spruced-up potato mash. Masala dosa is an authentic dish from the land of Udupi, Karnataka, but is loved all across the country.
Rasam: Made with toor dal, lots of pepper and tomatoes and can be eaten as soup or with steamed rice.
Ghorikai Uppakari: This quick, easy and hassle-free dish is made of a cluster of beans, red chillies, crackling mustard seeds and shredded coconut.
Bissi Bele Bhath: Bissi Bele Bhaath is an extremely popular dish in Karnataka and can be eaten at any time of the day. It's a spicy mix of vegetables, lentils, rice and can be served with papadam and a fiery pickle.
Masala Rava Idli: Idli is a healthier and probably more delicious version of the regular rice idli, rava idli is made with semolina or rava and added flavors of peppers, curry leaves and mustard seeds.
Sambar: Winter is the perfect time to indulge in a hot bowl of this gorgeous sambar. Mixed lentils with drumsticks, coconut, tamarind and spices. This smart recipe is made with urad dal, tur dal and a little channa dal.
Allugedda: A simple dish of mashed potatoes cooked with spices, black gram and tomatoes. Have it with poori or a thin and crisp dosa.
Rawa Upma: This rava upma is made with semolina, vegetables and topped with crunchy grated coconut. This isn't just the perfect breakfast recipe, it's also really healthy.
Punugulu: Punugulu is a famous street food from Andhra Pradesh made with idli or dosa batter. Onions, coriander leaves, yogurt, and idli/ dosa mixture are mixed together to form a thick batter and deep fried till golden.
Kaddubu or Moode: From Kadubbu to Moode or Mude to Gunda, the locals use quite a few terms to describe this uniquely shaped cylindrical idli. It's the same batter cooked in a different mould. The conical moulds are crafted with jackfruit leaves and placed in a large vessel inside a conventional pressure cooker. It is also cooked in Kedige, the local name for screw pine or a type of pandanus leaf.
Bajjari Dosa or Neer Dosa: This airy, incredibly light dosa can probably be folded to fit into a palm. Made with a thin batter that is almost the same consistency as a Rava Dosa batter, with rice (better when soaked overnight) and coconut. That is why it is called Neer (water) Dosa. It makes a perfect accompaniment with some meat and seafood gravies.
Goli Baje or Mangalore Bonda: This delectable deep-fried snack combines maida (normal flour), rice flour and curd with a smattering of green chillies and ginger.
Mangalore Buns: Locals called Mangalore Buns, it is fluffy poori lookalike, a bun. The bun gets its subtle sweet taste from over ripe bananas that are mashed into the maida and let to ferment for a few hours. The flavours are further enhanced with a few cumin seeds, sugar and curd before they are deep fried just like pooris.
Desserts of Udupi Cuisine
Paal Payasam is a delicious rice and milk pudding with cashews and raisins. Paal Payasam is a South Indian dessert, a version of Kheer, made on various festivals and celebratory occasions like Onam and is often offered as 'prasadam' in various temples and pujas across the country. Other popular sweet dishes are Bakshya, Adde or Uh-day, Paayasam, Paramanna, Rasayana, sajjige, maddi,manni, kaai holige, undae (laddu) etc.
Beverages of Udupi
To deal with the tropical climate there, Udupi cuisine has some refreshing beverages like, Ragi malt, nimbu sherbet, dry fruits milkshake, muskmelon juice, neeru majjige or spiced buttermilk, fig milkshake, badami haalu, raw mango juice or aam panna, watermelon juice, white sesame juice, mango lassi, panakam, kashyam, kokum juice, pepper jaggery drink, green gram juice etc.