Unique dishes of Karnataka

August 30, 2022


Bengaluru is a kind of city in which you get everything is serviced at your doorstep, starting from local goods with a native touch to imported specialities. From original like yoga to Kung-fu, from desi to Gucci, you name it you have it. Bengaluru is one of the few cities that prides itself of a truly cosmopolitan colour. In food, only a few cities in India can surpass the varieties available in Bengaluru, be it international, interstate or regional, the versatility is truly amazing. In this blog you are being treated to ten dishes of various regions of Karnataka.

 Baale Muruku (Banana Fritters)

This signature snack of Coorg is a sweet confection made of ripe bananas mixed with jaggery, cardamom, sesame seeds and all-purpose flour and deep-fried. These are slightly crunchy on the outside, and buttery soft on the inside. Children can eat them alone but adults can pair with strong Coorg special black coffee to have an unforgettable experience.

Gojjavalakki (Poha sweet-sour upma)

This is a simple and easy recipe that once tasted, marks a permanent place in your snacks list. They make it with the thicker variety of beaten rice (Poha). It is crushed in a blender and mixed with tamarind puree, jaggery, salt and Rasam powder in water. This combination is let to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Then it is tempered with spices and peanuts and cooked for 5 minutes. This Gojjavalaki can be had a breakfast or a snack at any time of the day.

Gorikai Matawadi Palya (Clusterbeans and lenthil stir fry)

Another traditional recipe of Karnataka, the stir fry is made with cluster beans and lentils. Cluster beans have a slightly bitter taste, but are highly nutritious. And this stir fry recipe makes the bitterness vanish. Bengal gram is soaked for 2 hours, then coarsely ground with red chillies, salt, asafoetida and grated coconut. This mixture is added to the half-cooked cluster beans and the beans are continued to cook. Once done, this can be eaten with hot rice or roti.

Hurulikaalu Dosa (Horse gram Dosa)

Horse gram is a reddish-brown legume, rich in nutrients like protein, fibre and vitamin B-complex to name a few. Making a dosa out of this is a real healthy and tasty option.

Regular dosa batter is prepared with rice, small quantity of black gram (Urad dal) and fenugreek soaked for 3 to 4 hours, ground and fermented for 8 hours or overnight. Soaked horse gram is ground into a fine paste and added to the regular dosa batter. Then dosa is prepared in a tawa and served with coconut chutney or tomato chutney.

Honagone Soppu Palya (Sessile Joyweed stir fry)

The herb Honagone Soppu (Sessile Joyweed) has several medicinal properties, as well as a pleasant taste. This is a side dish that is served with rice or roti. This is still much stays at homes, not yet made to many restaurants though. Honagone leaves are stir-fried with spices, onion, garlic and lentils to make this side dish.

Holige Saaru

This side dish is made during Ugadi (new year) festival and holds a special place in the hearts of Kannadigas for the memories that it brings along. The filling (generally the leftover after making Holige/Obbattu; hence the name) majorly comprises of Pigeon peas (Toor dal), jaggery, coconut and cardamom. This filling is diluted with water, and an addition of spices along with coconut and tamarind makes this Holige saaru. Served with plain hot rice and fries.

Kuchida Kadabu

It is a speciality of Malenadu region. Malenadu predominantly includes portions of Chikkamagaluru, Shimoga and Uttara Kannada districts. Blessed with the beauty of nature, it offers so much in its culinary that goes way beyond expectations. One of them is Kuchida Kadubu. This is a popular recipe prepared during Nagara Panchami festival. Both sweet and spicy fillings are used to make this dish. Rice and Poha (beaten rice) are soaked and ground to form a thick batter. This batter is boiled in a heavy vessel at a low flame, with continuous stirring to make a dough. A sweet filling is prepared out of grated coconut, powdered Jaggery, and cardamom, whereas a spicy filling is prepared out of soaked black gram(urad dal), curry leaves, coriander leaves, ginger and chilies. The dough is pressed on banana leaf with sweet/spicy filling inside and steamed. Don’t forget to add a generous quantity of ghee to make it much more tastier!

Methi Chitranna (Fenugreek leaves variety rice)

Every south Indian restaurant serves Chitranna (variety rice), but Fenugreek leaves add a refreshing touch to it giving a punchy twist to the recipe. First tempering is done with spices and herbs, and peanuts are added to it. Later on, capsicum, fenugreek leaves and green chillies are added. Once the leaves are wilted, cumin and coriander powders are added. Cooked rice is added to this. Lemon juice is squeezed on this and mixed well, which balances off the bitter taste in fenugreek leaves. It is garnished with coriander leaves and shredded coconut.

Sandige Huli or Unde Huli (gram balls in gravy)

This is a protein-packed enticing delicacy of Bangalore/Mysore/Malenadu regions, made mostly during festivals. Soaked Pigeon peas (Toor dal) and Bengal gram (Chana Dal) are ground along with spices to make small balls. These balls are steamed and/or fried. The huli(gravy) is made using dal water, Rasam powder, tamarind, jaggery etc. A simple tempering of mustard, curry leaves and asafoetida in oil makes it heavenly. The Sandige/Unde/lentil balls are added to the gravy instead of vegetables. This tastes best when served with rice and again a dollop of ghee.


This is another unique side dish derived its name from its major ingredient, mustard. Saasive literally means mustard. Saasive is made using a wide variety of ingredients. Fruit or vegetable like pineapple/beetroot is boiled with jaggery and salt. If chosen to make with ripe mango, boiling can be avoided. Coconut, mustard and green chillies are ground and added to the boiled fruit or vegetable. This is a simple but a lip-smacking dish that goes well with plain rice.


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