Kannada Cuisine is one of the oldest cuisine in India coming from the state of Karnataka. Kannada Cuisine includes the flavors of Mangalorean Cuisine, Udupi Cuisine, Malenadu Cuisine, Kodagu Cuisine, Navayath Cuisine which are the integral regions of the state. It also has a wide influence from Goan Cuisine and Malvani Cuisine (Konkani Cuisine). Kannada Cuisine has an influence on neighboring cuisines like Andhra Cuisine, Tamil Cuisine, Kerala Cuisine and Marathi Cuisine. In Kannada Cuisine the Kannada meal is called as Kannadiga Oota. It consists of variety dishes like uppu (salt), kosambari, palya, gojju, pickle, thovve, chitranna, rice, ghee and finally dessert. All this is traditionally served on a banana leaf and with great hospitality and utmost care. There is some diversity in core food habits of North and South Karnataka. While northern style dishes have jowar and rice as the primary cereals, the southern style dishes have ragi and rice as their primary cereals.
Mangalorean Cuisine is a native cuisine originating from entire coastal region of Karnataka where Tulu is a common local language. This cuisine includes coconut liberally and also has variety of dishes in sea food due to its coastal belt.
Udupi Cuisine has its origin from the city of Udupi in west coast of Karnataka. Its prime focus is on a wide range of dishes emphasizing on local vegetables and fruits. It is also famous across the country for its hygiene and healthy preparation standards which makes it a first choice for many while exploring food in unknown places.
Malenadu Cuisine is a native cuisine of North Coastal region of Karnataka. Here the staple food is mostly rice, cashews, coconut, fish and other sea food due to abundant resources of sea food availability in coastal region. The word Malenadu means “land of mountain ranges”. This cuisine is heavily influenced by the variety of fruits and vegetables available in the rich forests of western ghats of Karnataka. The ingredients like tender bamboo shoots, colocassia leaves, turmeric leaves, raw jack-fruit are easily found in the Sahyadri ranges. Steaming is one of the favorite method of cooking in Malenadu Cuisine where oil is used in very less quantities.
Kodagu Cuisine is a native cuisine origination from the Coorg district of Karnataka. It is famous for many spicy varieties of pork curries. This region is home for coffee production in India and offers finest quality of coffee beans.
Navayath Cuisine can be primarily found in the coastal districts of Karnataka, mainly in North Karnataka and Udupi regions. Rice, coconut, sea food, eggs, poultry and mutton are widely used in this cuisine.
Malvani Cuisine (Konkani Cuisine) is the standard cuisine of South Konkan region of Maharashtra, Goa and some northern parts of west Karnataka. Malvani cuisine uses coconut liberally in various forms such as grated, dry grated, fried, coconut paste and coconut milk. In this Malvani Cuisine, a vegetarian delight known as Chitpavan Brahmin / Kokanastha Brahmin food is very popular which is originated from Chitpavan / Konkanastha brahmin’s who were native of this Konkan region.
Some common rice dishes of this Kannada Cuisine are bisibele bath, vaangi bath, chitranna, puliyogare, mosaranna, bhatkal biriyani, avalakki and mandakki. The popular bread dishes are ragi rotti, jolada rotti, akki rotti, sajje rotti, gunpangalu and ragi mudde. Kannada Cuisine is home for many varieties of dosas like benne / butter dosa, masala dosa, mysore masala dosa, rava dosa, neer dosa, wheat dosa, ragi dosa, set dosa and saagu masala dosa. The dessert / sweets section of this cuisine is vast and has many famous dishes like mysore pak, huggi, ginnu, bhatkal halwa, kajjaya, haalubaayi, dharwad peda, karadantu, sheekarani, damrottu, kunda, mandige, kesari bath, hayagreeva, paramanna, mamu puri and maaldi. The snack and savoury section includes churumuri, pakoda’s, vadey, chakkuli, nippattu, kodubale, aalugadde bonda, menasin bajji, dappa menasin bonda, baalaka and chigali.
Kosambari is a salad dish made with coriander, lentils, green chillies, mustard seeds, asafoetida, grated cucumber and carrot. Saaru refers to a gravy kind of dish commonly consumed with rice. Gojju refers to a gravy dish which is thicker than Saaru and thin than a chutney. This cuisine can be called a master blend of flavors as it has many flavors within regional flavors and they all have its own identity.