Various Delicacies of Mysore Cuisine
Mysore Cuisine includes a delicious palate of food items all of which have rice as the main ingredient. The cuisine of Mysore resembles to a large extent the Udupi cuisine. Idli and dosa form an important part of the cuisine of Mysore, different types of chutneys accompany the main dish. Mysore is known for its Brahmin community and their restaurants serve delicious South Indian food. Lunch is served on a banana leaf, but the dishes differ from other Mysore thalis. The cuisine is strictly vegetarian, they also do not use onion and garlic in their food and give preference to spices with strong medicinal properties.
Dosa: Dosa with potato filling is eaten with sambar and coconut chutney and onion chutney is popular in Mysore and rest of Karnataka as well. There are other types of dosas like set-dosa, rava or semolina dosa.
Idli: These steamed rice cakes offer sanctuary to the spice as it is a calmer for the taste buds. Idli typically come with the spiced lentil broth called sambar and a variety of chutneys. They are available as street food snacks and as a core part of breakfast. There is another type of idli that is commonly eaten is 'thatte idlis' (flat idlis).
Uppittu: The other popular breakfast is 'uppittu' which is prepared as roasted semolina laced with chillies, coriander leaves, mustard and cumin seeds.
Vada: Vada is a distinctly savoury Mysore food. Made from black gram (lentil) flour, cumin, curry leaves and sometimes chilli and chopped onions before heading into the deep fryer. Vada turns out surprisingly mild.
Bisi Bela Bath: A traditional bisi bela bath contains up to or even over thirty different items. It is a rice based dish, possibly of royal origin from the Mysore Palace that today forms a staple of the Mysore food scene. Bisi bele bhath literally translates to hot lentil rice dish in Kannada and it is a comforting, hearty dish.
Bonda: Every self-respecting food spot has a dumpling or fried ball to its name, and Bonda is there for Mysore. The Mysore version is typically aloo bonda, made from mashed potato, and traditionally served with piping hot tea. Coconut chutney and a small bowl of sambar complete the experience.
Kori Gassi: This is a non-vegetarian dish, now a popular part of Mysore cuisine. Turmeric, chilli, coriander, cumin, garlic, lime and fenugreek join the Ghee and coconut oil to produce a sauce that goes so well with either rice or neer dosa.
Shavige Bath: Often eaten as a cold, breakfast dish, Shavige Bath mixes rice vermicelli noodles with vegetables and nuts. Of course, like most Mysore food, the list doesn't end there, with mustard seeds and turmeric also added to the dish. Can be tried with a coconut chutney for a surprisingly light start to the day.
Poori Saagu: The dish is extremely popular in Mysore and whole of Karnataka. This is puffy circle that can be severed with a small bowl of vegetable curry.
Mysore Churumuri: Served in paper cones on the side of the street, Mysore churumuri tastes surprisingly fresh and zingy. At its core is puffed rice with various spice, but the addition of chopped onion, coriander, carrots and cucumber transform it from a rather dry snack into more of a popping taste explosion.
Uttapam: Uttapam is nothing but an omelette made of fermented rice batter. It is a rice pancake, rather than an egg one, and comes with a range of delicious chutneys to try.
Chitranna: Chitranna or lemon rice is another rice dish, which is cooked with urad and channa dal. It is tempered with curry leaves, mustard seeds and, as the name suggests, it is seasoned with a big amount of fresh lemon juice that gives it a slightly sour flavour. It is served both as a side and main dish.
Vangi Bath: Considered to be a favourite of the Brahmin community, vangi bath is a spicy preparation of fried rice with brinjal.
Polihora or Puliyodhara: Polihora or Tamarind rice is a dish which will be easier to find in local kitchens than restaurant in Mysore as it is a staple. It is a spicy preparation of rice, seasoned with a thick paste of lentil, tamarind and a variety of spices.
Curd Rice: Savory rice porridge prepared with yoghurt and tempered with urad dal, cumin seeds, curry leaves and mustard seeds. It is topped with chunks of coriander leaves, pomegranate seeds and served with a pickle.
A traditional lunch of Mysore is a splendid spread that includes a number of essential dishes. These include cereal salads like kosambri, palyas, gojju, tovve, huli or saaru and papad.
Desserts of Mysore Cuisine
People can indulge in some of the unique sweets of Mysore like chiroti, Mysore Pak, obbattu or holige and shavige.
Payasam: Typically a dish reserved for weddings and other special occasions. This rice pudding dish extends beyond Mysore across south India with its sweetness, cardamom spice and chopped nut texture.
Kesari Bath: Served for breakfast, rather than for dessert, kesari bath also shows up for religious events and special Sunday treats. Elsewhere in India, it goes by the name sooji halwa or sheera but on the Mysore food scene, it is kesari bath. It is a mix of semolina, ghee, sugar and milk, with saffron for colour. It is often topped with cashews or pineapple on special occasions.
Mysore Pak: Mysore pak was an invention of a royal chef. Kakasura Madappa first blended together this mix of sugar, ghee, gram flour and cardamom in the palace during the reign of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV. Originally called Mysore Paaka and served at the palace, today it is commonly served as street side restaurants and fine dines.
Snacks and Beverage of Mysore Cuisine
Coffee is the preferred beverage here, especially filter coffee a special variety of the hot bevrage. Some of the snacks that are prevalent here are chakkuli, khara mandakki, churmuri and kodubale.