Ever Explored The Regional Cuisines Of Karnataka?
Image Credit: Ragi Mudde

Mention South Indian cuisine and most people can only relate to Idli, Dosa, and Sambar. But dig in some more and you’ll explore the rich culinary history of entire South India. Karnataka, for instance, is home to many different cultures and even cuisines. The culinary history of Karnataka is very unique, and the cooking traditions too vary from region to region. 

Did you know that the cuisines of Karnataka include a variety of dishes of several different regions as well as communities of the state? From seafood and vegetarian curries to different rotis, the culinary styles of Karnataka have it all. Apparently, the state is home to seven different types of cuisines, which are all very different from each other. If you wish to know more about the different types of cuisines of Karnataka, you have arrived at just the right place. Read more to find out about them. 

1. North Karnataka Cuisine 

The Uttara Karnataka cuisine is more of a vegetarian affair, owing to the dominance of the vegetarian Lingayat community in the region. So, expect a lot of dishes that are made with wheat, jowar, rice and sorghum (commonly known as jolada), which are a staple food here. The meal usually consists of several kinds of delicious curries and palyas as well. Palyas are made up of sauteed vegetables and are seasoned with a variety of spices. Some of the popular dishes of this cuisine are jolada rotti or jowar roti and butter, enngai palya or brinjal curry, soppina palya, and kalu palya or green leafy vegetables and horse gram curry, cucumber and garlic rasam, and buttermilk. 

2. South Karnataka Cuisine 

Ragi or finger millet flour is the dominant ingredient in the cuisine of South Karnataka, and is used in every other dish. From ragi mudde to ragi roti, the South Karnataka cuisine is as comforting as you can imagine it to be with benne (butter) dosa and akki roti on its menu too. Steamed rice is one of the staple foods of Karnataka, and so you’ll find dishes like bisi bele bath, vangi bath, and kesari bhath too. The dishes are made with an extensive use of spices like mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. 

3. Udupi Cuisine 

A cuisine named after Udupi, a city on the southwest coast of India, this cuisine is said to have been found by Madhvacharya in the Tulu Ashta Mathas of Udupi. Comprising dishes that are primarily made up of grains, vegetables, beans and fruits, the cuisine offers a wide variety and range of dishes. Some of the prominent delicacies of Udupi cuisine menu are saaru, mango pickle, red chillies, ajadinas and a wide variety of lip-smacking chutneys. 

4. Coorgi Cuisine 

Coorg was an inaccessible land for a long time, which gave way to the locals to make good use of their local ingredients and spices, thus came the Coorgi cuisine - one which is full of spicy curries made with different varieties of meat like pork and chicken along with steamed rice. One of the popular characteristics of this cuisine is that it uses vinegar or kachampuli extensively in its dishes, lending a certain sort of uniqueness to the dishes. Bamboo shots is one of the common ingredients which you will get to taste in most of the authentic dishes of the cuisine. Other than its food, the place is immensely popular for its coffee too.  

5. Navayath Cuisine 

For the non-vegetarian lovers! This part of the cuisine is predominantly a heaven for non-vegetarians, where people love to eat mutton, seafood, eggs, and poultry in their regular diet along with rice and coconut. From bhatkali biryani and sakhuche to khubusa poli, haldi paana nhewri, the region is full of lip-smacking delicacies.

 6. Malenadu Cuisine

Malenadu region got its name from the heavy rains which means 'the land of the rains' in Kannada. The heavy rain facilitates lush greenery and helps to produce rich and interesting ingredients. Love jackfruit? This region comes packed with dishes made from it, besides an extensive use of local produce. This cuisine is well known for incorporating unique ingredients in the diet such as bamboo shoot, ajwain leaves (Indian borage), raw jackfruit, colocasia leaves and Brahmi leaves. Some of the popular dishes made in this cuisine are gasagase payasa, sihi kadubu, gojuavalakki, unde kadubu, and akki roti.