From Bisi Bele Bath To Kosambari: 8 Dishes From Karnataka
Image Credit: Rice, dal and vegetables come together to make bowls of steaming hot bisi bele bath.

Karnataka’s cuisine is an amalgamation of local flavours and ingredients. While most people might assume that dosas dominate the food culture of the state, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Dosas are an important part of Karnataka’s cuisine but other dishes play an equally significant role. Here are eight dishes from Karnataka that you must try:

Bisi bele bath

‘Bisi’ translates to hot, ‘bele’ means lentils, and ‘bath’ refers to a dish made with rice. Rice, dal and vegetables come together to make bowls of steaming hot bisi bele bath, which is known to have been first cooked in Mysore’s royal palace. The dish is a common feature at weddings and traditional functions.

Mysore dosa

Mysore dosa is a staple in Karnataka and has many variations. The inside of the dosa is slathered with a red ginger and garlic chutney, and it is stuffed with a traditional potato filling. Served with sambar and coconut chutney on the side, Mysore dosa also uses poha in the batter. 

Ragi mudde

Ragi mudde are millet balls served with curry and eaten with different kinds of vegetables. Popular in the rural parts of Karnataka, they make a wholesome meal. Ragi mudde are rich in fibre and easy to prepare. The dish uses only two ingredients: ragi flour and water, and is served on special occasions by many restaurants.

Maddur vada

Hailing from Mandya, a district in Karnataka, maddur vada is a fried snack that’s made with maida and stuffed with shredded coconut, onions and curry leaves. Ramachandra Budhya’s Vegetarian Tiffin Room at the Mandya station was known for serving maddur vada to passengers. 

Kori gassi and neer dosa

In Kannada, neer dosa literally translates to ‘water dosa’. It is a thin, light dosa that can be enjoyed with sambar or other curries. Korsi gassi is a Mangalorean gravy-based chicken dish that uses coconut oil and red chilli. Neer dosa and kori gassi is a popular combination eaten in Mangalore.


A kind of salad made with cucumbers, lentils, and sometimes tomatoes, kosambari is fresh and healthy. It is offered as prasad at temples and served during weddings and festivals in Southern India. Kosambari may be seasoned with mustard seeds and sometimes may also use yogurt. It is healthy and refreshing. 


Obbattu are pancakes made with wheat flour, semolina and jaggery or sugar. All the ingredients are combined and kneaded into a dough. The dough is rolled into pancakes, which are then stuffed with a mixture of shredded coconut, jagger and cardamom. They are eaten for important festivals like Gudi Padwa. 

Kesari bath

In Kannada, ‘kesari’ refers to saffron and ‘bath’ means rice. It is a classic sweet from Karnataka that uses semolina, ghee, water, milk and sugar. Kesari bath can be described as a kind of halwa. It can also be found in other parts of India besides Karnataka.