June 9, 2019
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Bengaluru is paradise on earth for foodies. There is no food that is not available in this metropolis, starting from Japanese, to Taiwanese, to Arab, Mediterranean, Spanish to American. Food courts, mobile food trucks, street stalls, casual dining, fine dining and luxury dining, you name it, Bengaluru has it. What a transformation for a city that was laid back not so long ago! With the IT revolution, multinational companies came calling, bringing their citizens to live in Bengaluru. Smart restaurateurs cashed in on the yearning for the home food of various different nationalities, offering them authentic home food choices. This has benefitted foodies of the city immensely, led to exploring various cuisines and many food connoisseurs made Bengaluru their home for the variety, affordability and exquisite taste.
Bengaluru food scene is such a fusion that top choices of dishes one must try when visiting are not limited to local, traditional food; Hyderabadi biriyani competes with quintessentially Bengaluru foods like Ragi mudde and shavige baath. That is the beauty of Bengaluru, which embraced all cultures and all nationalities with open arms and let their cuisines thrive. That’s why so many dishes are loved by people and should not be missed by visitors and newbies alike. Residents who have tasted these dishes never stop doing so. If you have missed any of these, perhaps it’s time to catch up. Let’s start with the dishes that are conjured up in Bengaluru itself.
Dishes invented in Bengaluru
Bangaloreans love food, be it home-cooked, bought from a street vendor, or dined at a fine dining restaurant, food is food for them, straight from the kitchen of gods. They have such exploring spirit that made up their own dishes.
It is said to be the oldest invention by the legendary MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Room), there is an interesting lore behind it. It was created at the time of the Second World War. As there was shortage for rice, the main ingredient of idli, MTR gave the idli a try with semolina which became a huge hit among its customers. It is now available in all south Indian restaurants in Bengaluru. It has been made healthier and tastier with added veggies and topped with cashews.
MTR didn’t stop their invention with rava idli. Their founder inspired by a layered French pastry during his visit to France came up with a sweet dish and named it French Sweet. But the dish was not a hit. It is said that they have renamed it after the movie Chandrahara that was a blockbuster in 1948. Chandrahara is a crispy fried sweet blending flour, sugar, thickened milk in ghee and clove was added for a spicy tang, layered with khova syrup.
MTR ready mixes origin
MTR has no dearth of innovations. MTR ready mixes are today known all over the world: These mixes are products of a great survival challenge it faced during the Emergency. When the restaurants had to close, MTR devised the strategy of making instant mixes to engage their workers and pay them wages. Sambar, rasam, and chutney powders, instant idli, dosa, and other mixes were huge hit then, huge hit now. They keep adding new varieties of ready mixes.
Khara bun Congress
Comes with a mysterious name, the spicy masala bun is slathered with butter, chutney and spices, stuffed with split peanuts known as Congress peanuts. This is the favorite evening snack of most Bengalurians, as it is easily available at an affordable price. Congress Peanuts is used in a variety of snacks, like Congress masala
Story behind Congress peanuts
You are perhaps wondering how come split peanuts are named Congress peanuts. Remember the Congress Party split in 1969? The situation is made humorous by naming the split peanuts Congress!
99 Variety Dosa
The age-old south Indian breakfast influenced by various cultured transformed into varieties of dosa 100 years ago unheard of. In the 99 dosa unbelievable combinations from all over India, like Pav bhaji dosa, Chinese and what not. Vegetable stuffed dosas to paneer dosa, podi dosa and many more varieties have stolen the heart and stomach of foodies who reside and visit. These are the examples of Bangaloreans generosity and exploring nature. You can get these dosas all over Bengaluru. Some shops are ready to make as per your whims and fancies also. Simple pleasures are not to be missed!
It is said to be invented in Bengaluru, it beats other variants such as paneer, chicken and egg puffs which is served all over the city hands down. It is not an overstatement to say the spicy, squishy filling in the Brain Puffs is in fact incomparable.
Aren’t you drooling now?! It is absolutely worthy. The soft sponged caked dipped and soaked in honey, slathered with different varieties of jam, topped with desiccated coconut is easily one of the best items you must eat in Bengaluru. It is over hundred years old, yet continues to be a rage among the city residents. It is said to be originated in the sanctorum of Iyengar bakeries in 1900s. Nobody knows for sure, but that doesn’t prevent anyone from eating it. I bet you can’t stop with one!
Death By Chocolate
Fondly called DBC it is not just another dessert for Bengaluru foodies. It is a feel with the crowd. They eat DBC at all hours at all places. Once tasted, you can’t help loving it as Bengalurians do. It is a sundae made out of blending of Vanilla or chocolate Ice chocolate cake, topped with cream, peanuts, chocolate, chocolate sauce and cherries. Don’t count calories when you see a DBC, if you do someone else will seize it from you and eat!
Other local dishes you must try on each of your visits
Also known as bele (meaning dal in Kannada) obbattu it is a delicious sweet made of either chanal dal or toor dal. It is flatbread stuffed with sweetened dal and coconut gratings. This is also called Holige. Different regions of Karnataka prepare this with their own recipe but it never fails to show up in all festivals and feasts. It is available from corner shops to star hotels.
Benne Masala Dosa
Benne means butter in Kannada and this benne masala dosa is different from the traditional one. It is not very thin dosa, balancing the fluffiness inside and crispiness outside perfectly. As butter is used generously instead of oil and it is stuffed with mashed, spicy potato, it got the name benne masala dosa. Served with chutney and sambar you can find it every nook and corner of Bengaluru.
It is typical to Karnataka. It is blend of dal, rice and vegetables. It is a sort of kichdi with tamarind extract and sweet. This can be served with chips, raita, boondi or bhujiya. It is delicious and completely healthy.
Although biriyani is not a native dish of Bengaluru, still biriyani in donne is very much Bengalurian. Donne is actually the cups made out of giant papaya leaves and the biryani is served in them. The true taste of biriyani comes not just from the perfect blend of spices, ghee and mint and coriander but also from the donne in which it is served. For non-vegetarians, the donne mutton biryani is a must try in Bangalore.
Even though they are called buns, Mangalore buns are not the usual buns made of wheat. It is made of bananas, slightly sweet and served with chutney and sambar. It is a form of soft and fluffy puri to eat. Hot or cold, they taste amazing and are perfect for a quick snack.
It is made of generous amounts of ghee, sugar, and gram flour and mixed to a syrupy consistency. The syrup is flavored with various spice essences like cardamom, rose, honey etc. and its texture is similar to a buttery and dense cookie. It is originated in the royal kitchen of Mysore as dessert.
Bengaluru being a cosmopolitan is an ever-growing city, bringing in more novelty in food to satisfy the appetite of the residents and visitors for different cuisines at different seasons. The specialty of Bengaluru is you get different varieties of food luxuriously priced as well as pocket friendly. When you visit Bengaluru, start tasting these items which will add more fun to the wonderful garden city.
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