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Dil Maange Mangalore! 5 Dishes That Carry its Coastal Essence

The mention of Mangalorean food is enough to make any food lover salivate! Numerous hordes of foodies make the pilgrimage to this coastal city from Bangalore just to gorge on the delicacies. Mangalore or Mangaluru was named after the deity Mangaladevi, a princess from Malabar. The ancient port is famous for classical dance forms, folk art, stunning beaches, and water sports, but what makes it so popular amongst tourists, is the iconic culinary culture governed by simple and traditional flavour-packed dishes that have put the ancient coastal city on the world map.

From the Ghee Roast’s simplicity to the fiery Kori Rotti and Mangalorean Chicken Curry, the cuisine never fails to amaze. The food culture of this port city has been defined by diverse communities such as Bunt, Konkani Muslims, Goud Saraswat Brahmins, and Mangalorean Catholics. Here is a list of popular Mangalorean dishes everyone should try in the coastal city.

Ghee Roast

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This iconic dish’s origins can be traced back to a small town, Kundapur, close to Mangalore. The slow cooking process is a blend of dried red chillies, lemon, copious amount of ghee, and other traditional Indian spices that gives it the right balance of heat, flavour, and tanginess to chicken/prawns. This fragrant offering is best served with Neer dosa or ghee rice.

Kori Rotti

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From the traditional kitchens of Mangalore, this spicy coconut-based dish consists of a traditional coconut milk based gravy served on crispy, dry wafers made from boiled rice. As the flavorful gravy seeps into the broken pieces of the rotti, the rich flavours fire up your taste buds. The Byadagi Chilli is used as the main ingredient to cook the creamy red gravy. The combination of the chilli-infused chicken gravy will undoubtedly lure you to try out the delicacy.

Tawa Fish Fry

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A coastal favourite, Tawa Fish Fry is best enjoyed in the tropical weather of Mangalore. Treat for seafood lovers; this delicious dish comes with a blend of a river fish and freshly ground Indian spices. Different communities have a distinct style of cooking, but this appetizer also comes with a coating of a chilli-based marinade called Meet Mirsang, a staple of Mangalorean households.

Kotte kadubu

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A traditional breakfast dish, the humble Kotte Kadubu, is made by pouring Idli batter in Jack fruit leaves. The steaming idlis carry the distinct flavour of the fruit. You will be left wanting more in this sleepy seaside city if you team up the soft idlis with either a potato curry or a combination of tangy sambhar and fresh coconut chutney.

Chicken Sukka

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The word “Sukka” comes from “Sukha,” which means Dry. As much as we love eating a gravy based dish, the flavors of fresh chicken, grated coconut, and roasted chilies will add a completely new taste to our palate. It is an intense, moist, flavor-packed offering made with a burst of spices and very little oil. It is the go-to dish for all those looking for a healthy option to eat during lunch or dinner.

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Curated by Ruchit Rastogi