Exploring Some Delish Mangalorean Seafood Delights
Image Credit: Mangalore Lamb Sukka with Dosai crisp

The coastal town of Mangalore is also a melting point of cultures with communities like the Tuluvas, Saraswat Brahmins, Gouda Brahmins, Catholics and more the city is known for its culinary medley of flavours. Known for its flavourful delicacies, Pork Bafat, Sorpotel, Moplah Mutton Biryani, Prawn Gassi and more. A meat-heavy cuisine it sees much use of curry along with coconut, ginger, garlic and chilli. It is interesting to see how Portuguese and Arabs have influenced the food habits of the people here and it can be seen in dishes like Laitao, the famous pork roast served as the Pièce de resistance or the Moplah Biriyani. Their USP fish curry is known, especially their Fish Roe Curry and the fried fish is absolutely well known in the whole of coastal India. 

Here are 4 of the top dishes specially mentioned by the chef of Suzy Q by 1522 and Raahi Neo Kitchen & Bar that’s a must one should try while tasting Mangalorean delights.

Chef Aakash Tyagi, Chef de Cuisine, Suzy Q by 1522

Anjal Masala Fry

From the streets of Udupi, this dish has reached global recognition. Anjal is the Tulu name for King Fish/Seer Fish which breeds in abundance on the West coast in the Arabian Sea. The freshly caught fish is thoroughly marinated in a spicy paste of red chillies, khus-khus and whole spices. Equally important is the Tawa (griddle) on which the fish is cooked. The Iron tawa is supposed to be thick-bottomed which helps it to retain the heat and should be a little curbed in the centre where the masala is smeared with ghee on the fish and slowly roasted to perfection.

Prawn Gassi

Prawn Gassi is a truly Mangalorean preparation which is the seafood version of its more famous cousin Kori Gassi. Kori means chicken and Gassi means curry. The history of this dish is rooted in the Tulu-speaking Bunt community of Mangalore. Every household has its own twist on this classic and the recipe for the dry spice mix of Gassi varies. 

The key to a good Prawn Gassi lies in the freshness of seafood available on the Mangalore coast. The fiery dried chillies make the curry hot but the fresh coconut milk balances the dish and gives it a mild sweetness. It’s best consumed with Kori roti or steaming hot rice.

Chef Sombir Choudhary – Culinary Partner – Raahi Neo Kitchen & Bar, Bangalore 

Chicken Ghee Roast Paddu, Curry Leaf Ghee:

The ghee roast is the most iconic dish of Mangalorean cuisine. If you have lived anywhere on the western coast of India, you will have heard of chicken ghee roast. This dish is almost synonymous with Mangalore food.

Chicken ghee roast originated in the 1950s in a small restaurant called Shetty Lunch Home in Kundapura. Today, the recipe is a closely guarded secret (reminds me of the Portuguese egg tart in Belem) among the Shettys. But you can taste the authentic dish at Shetty lunch home in Mangalore even today.

The recipe includes slow cooking of chicken in oodles of ghee and a secret masala which is made out of red Bydagi chillies and various other spices. The result is a delicious preparation where the spicy and slightly tangy chicken almost melts in your mouth. Even though it is hard to recreate what the Shettys make at their restaurant, 

You can try raahi version of chicken ghee roast served in paddu Shells. Topped with roasted tomato kut, coconut flakes and curry leaf ghee. 

Mangalorean Lamb Sukka, Dosai Crisp:

Lamb sukka essentially means dry mutton preparation but it can be made semi-wet too. 

The recipe is developed in Mangalore and Udupi region. Many attribute the origin of this dish to the neighbouring region of Goa where the culinary influence of Arab and Turkish traders can be seen in the meat dishes. The recipe is probably amalgamated with the signature ingredients of the western coastal region of India and is thus heavy on spices like peppercorns and fennel and a good amount of coconut, all cooked to perfection. It can be easily paired with rice or simply eaten as an appetiser at raahi we have paired this signature recipe with Dosai hat on top of sukkah where tender lamb loaded with freshly ground spices is eaten with crispy Dosai.