A Taste of Tradition: Mangalore’s Top Special Sweet Delights

March 19, 2024

Being a coastal city, it’s obvious that a vast majority of people in Mangalore include fish in their diet. When it comes to Mangalore or any Karnataka city, a few popular South Indian cuisines that come to our mind are Idli Sambar, Dosa, Uttapam, Medu Vada, and Payasam. But do you know this vibrant city has a lot more dishes to offer? You can savour Mangalore’s sweets after you are done with the meals. Or, you can make a stop at your favourite bakery or coffee shop in the town and indulge in the city’s special desserts. Here are a few you might like.

1. Puran Poli

Puran Poli

Famous in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, and a few other states, Puran Poli is the sweet stuffed Parathas that taste totally different from the regular salty and vegetable-stuffed Parathas. They are a famous dessert in Mangalore and are often served on special occasions or casual events. Also called Obbattu, the combination of lentils and jaggery in a flatbread tastes as delicious as it looks. Puran Poli has multiple layers and a sweet filling that’s just irresistible. 

2. Dharwad Peda

 Dharwad Peda

This easy-to-make yet incredibly scrumptious Mangalore-special dessert is ordered in huge amounts by locals and tourists. The Peda has a history dating back to 200 years ago. The dish is prepared with milk, ghee, and sugar. You need to keep stirring the milk until it achieves a thick consistency. The only difference is that this dessert is prepared using Dharwadi buffalo milk, which is found near the Dharwad area. The milk is cooked on low flame, and the sugar is added in small amounts gradually to the mixture. Dharwad Peda is a must-try Mangalore delicacy for every tourist. Its sweet taste, ultra-smooth texture, and rich history make it one of the best sweets to savour in the town. 

3. Mysore Pak

Mysore Pak

As the name suggests, Mysore Pak originated in Mysore but has become a famous sweet in Mangalore and nearly all parts of Karnataka. It’s cooked in almost every household in Mangalore and can be found at sweet shops, too. The dish is prepared in two types. You can use ghee, gram flour, and sugar to create a soft version that just melts right into your mouth. Or, you can create a hard texture, giving it a crispy consistency. Both variations eventually end in a sweet experience in your mouth. 

4. Dumrot


A unique South Indian recipe, Dumrot is prepared with ash gourd and sugar. The recipe is a bit time-consuming. You must grate the vegetable and stir it on a low flame until it gets a slightly brown tint. The recipe tastes the best with vanilla ice cream and Gulab Jamun.

5. Kesari Bath

Kesari Bath

A dessert prepared from or garnished with Kesar has a unique aroma and an incredible taste. Kesari Bath is one of those sweet recipes in Mangalore that contains sweet flavours of saffron and cardamom and is made of suji, sugar, saffron, ghee, and water. For garnishing, you can use any regular fruit or nuts of your choice. The beautiful colour from Kesar makes it stunning. To add flavours, you can use Pineapple. Pineapple Kesari Bath gets perfect flavours from the fruit, cardamom, and Kesar. It’s the best breakfast recipe for early birds.

6. Belgaum Kunda

Belgaum Kunda

Another milk-based sweet recipe that’s famous in Mangalore and in the neighbouring areas is Belgaum Kunda. The dish gets its creamy texture from thickened milk, which is quite a long process. The milk is boiled in low heat until it turns into Khova, which is again boiled until it loses the water. It’s stirred until its quantity is reduced. Once done, cardamom powder and other flavours are added to give it a sweet taste. For those craving something strong for dessert, Belgaum Kunda is your best bet. Garnished with cashews and almonds, this milk-based recipe is worth a try. 

7. Gasagase Pyasa

Gasagase Pyasa

The combination of milk and poppy seeds and a little bit of jaggery gives this Mangalore dish a sweet taste and a brownish tint. It’s different from the regular kheer in that it’s prepared by grinding poppy seeds and cooking them in coconut milk to add delicious flavours to the recipe. The dry fruits are used for garnishing. Gasagase Pyasa is often served in beverage cups and is associated with health benefits. Locals believe a glass of this traditional sweet recipe can help you sleep better. 

8. Anarsa


South Indians often prepare Anarsa for Diwali and other auspicious occasions. It’s a traditional Mangalore recipe, which is a mixture of jaggery and rice. The simple recipe makes it a common dessert for all households in Mangalore. It’s consumed as a tea-time snack. Also called Kajjaya, Anarsa has many variations. In fact, each household prepares their own version of it to give it a unique taste. To make this, you must grind rice and combine it with jaggery. The batter is then deep-fried in hot oil.

9. Rava Unde

Rava Unde

Another simple yet super nutritious and delicious sweet recipe in Mangalore is Rava Unde. It just needs Suji and coconut flakes. Both ingredients are mixed and kept aside for a few hours. They are cooked on low flame. You can gradually add ghee, sugar, and dry fruits to give it a perfect crunchy texture. The mixture is then shaped into balls, and the Rava Ladoos are ready. 

10. Chiroti


Made with Maida or Suji, Chiroti is a popular Mangalore dessert that requires Maida, sugar, and ghee. Chiroti is deep-fried until it achieves a golden brown colour and is coated with powdered sugar at the time of serving. It’s a traditional Karnataka recipe for weddings and other special events. You can taste its crunchiness and pastry-like sweetness with every bite. You can sprinkle some pistachios on top to give it a perfect look. The next time you are in Mangalore, do not forget to order Chiroti.

Bottom Line <h3>

So, these were the famous sweets in Mangalore. Most have a simple recipe that you can try at home. Whenever you are in Mangalore, stop at a local restaurant or a bakery and try these desserts. You will surely love them. 

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