Biscuit Roti To Banana Halwa: 5 Veg Mangalorean Snacks To Try
Image Credit: Biscuit roti is a kind of puri stuffed with a spicy filling.

Being a coastal town, Mangaluru's cooks often use fish as a staple ingredient. Meat like pork and mutton is also common in main dishes, but snacks from the region are mostly vegetarian. Ranging from savoury and spicy to sweet, Mangaluru’s vegetarian snacks are treats meant to be enjoyed with coffee or tea. Simple and homestyle, these snacks from Managluru are both tasty and easy to prepare:

Biscuit roti

A traditional tea time snack, biscuit roti hails from the Mangaluru-Udupi region. It is a kind of puri stuffed with a spicy filling. Biscuit roti uses whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, white urad dal, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, sooji and curry leaves. Best enjoyed with a hot cup of tea, biscuit roti can be made crispier by adding hot oil to the dough at the kneading stage. The dal and spices form the filling, which gives the snack its signature taste. 

Charmuri upkari

Made with puffed rice tossed in coconut oil with a hint of sambar masala, charmuri upkari is Mangaluru’s take on bhel puri. Freshly chopped onions and carrot are also added to the mixture, which is garnished with fresh coriander. Vendors near an old temple on Car Street sell the snack on carts, most of which have been driven away by temple authorities. While it may be rare to be able to try the street version, places that serve chaat like Kamath’s Condiments also sell the snack. 

Goli baje

Also known as Mangalore bajji, goli baje are deep-fried fritters made with batter, curry leaves and green chillies for added flavour. They are also popular in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as Mysore bonda. The batter for goli baje uses different types of flour and yogurt or buttermilk. All the ingredients are mixed to form a thick batter, which is then shaped into small balls and deep-fried in hot coconut oil. Pair them filter kaapi or masala chai for a tasty evening snack.

Banana halwa

A popular sweet in Mangaluru, banana halwa is made with ripe bananas, ghee, sugar, cardamom and cashews. To make the halwa, the bananas are first ground into a smooth paste. The cashews are chopped and cardamom is ground to a fine powder. Then, the banana paste is cooked in ghee until its colour darkens. Sugar is added and the mixture is cooked until it turns brown. Cashews and cardamom are then combined with the banana and sugar mixture.

Sweet buns

Made with banana and all-purpose flour, sweet buns are a Mangalorean specialty. They may be eaten on their own or served with spicy chutneys and sambar. The addition of banana gives them a pleasant sweetness, which compliments the taste of filter kaapi well. They are like soft and fluffy sweet puris. The dough, made with all the ingredients and baking powder, is set aside for a few hours. Then, it’s rolled into puris and deep fried in hot oil until each puri puffs up.