Picture credit: itsfuncooking.com
Every Indian State has its own specialty recipes. The cuisine varies even in terms of the region in the same state and Karnataka isn’t different. In Karnataka, the major food styles are North Karnataka, South Karnataka, Mangalore cuisine, North Canara cuisine, Coorg cuisine (Kodava Cuisine), and Udupi cuisine.
While each of these has its own speciality, here, we’ll focus on North Karnataka cuisine only.
While Udupi cuisine is world famous for its vegetarian preparations like masala dosa and various rice dishes, North Canara and Mangalore, being coastal regions, are renowned for seafood dishes.
North Karnataka cuisine makes use of jowar or sorghum. Other common ingredients are greens like methi and spinach, lentils, wheat, eggplants, onions, peanuts, and curd or buttermilk. The most popular dish in this region is probably jolada roti or jowar roti.
North Karnataka cuisine is becoming a popular cuisine in other parts of the state including Bangalore. Many big and small restaurants now offer North Karnataka foods as part of their menu or as specialty cuisine.
North Karnataka Foods – What you need to try!
North Karnataka meals are mainly vegetarian. Jola or sorghum is a staple grain here, though they also use bajra, wheat, ragi, and rice.
This is a roti or flatbread made of Jowar or sorghum flour. These rotis are coarse compared to normal wheat rotis, but they go well with lentil curries, brinjal curries and chutneys.
This is a chat-like dish, and it can be dry or gravy based. The original dish is the gravy version, the dry recipe derived from it to be stored and used for a longer time.The base uses puffed rice along with peanuts, onion, and roasted gram. These are mixed with chopped onion, chillies, coriander leaves and tomatoes.
For the spicy curry, the spices are roasted first. These include mustard, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves, garlic, and green chillies. Chopped onion and tomato, a small piece of tamarind, roasted gram, jaggery, and salt are added and cooked till they form a thick gravy.
This curry is a good side dish to roti dishes. It is prepared using ingredients like gram flour, onions, milk, curry leaves, and other spices. This is a dry curry.
This is stuffed eggplant and many regions in South India have their own versions of this dish. This is a brinjal and tamarind based gravy where the brinjal is stuffed with a masala paste and cooked in a gravy.
The stuffing is a spicy paste made from groundnuts, roasted gram, chana dal, urad dal, coconut, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, and red chillies. The eggplant is split into four sections and this paste is stuffed into the vegetable. The stuffed eggplants are then slowly shallow fried in oil along with onions. Once the brinjal is cooked, tamarind juice and other ingredients for the gravy are added and the eggplants are cooked further in this gravy base till the gravy is suffused with the flavours of the masala paste and the vegetable.
These are wheat flour dough balls that are boiled and then sauteed in oil along with fenugreek or methi leaves, onion, mustard, cumin seeds and other mild spices.
This is a multigrain poori recipe, a specialty of North Karnataka cuisine. The flours used in this poori include wheat flour, jowar flour, maida, gram flour, and rice flour. A spice paste of onion, green chillies, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and grated coconut is mixed with this dough. With the mix of varied flours and the spicy paste, these pooris are considered more delicious than the normal ones.
There are many other dishes like Kosambari, a steamed salad of lentils, Kempu Kara or red chilli chutney (a condiment to accompany main dishes like idli, dosa, roti etc.), and Shenga or peanut chutney which is a dry chutney powder.
The North Karnataka region offers a cuisine that has influences of several neighbouring regions and yet, it is unique with many specialty dishes that belong exclusively to this part of the state. If you are looking for a different taste and flavour in your vegetarian diet, try specialty North Karnataka restaurants in your locality. Order through Swiggy and enjoy them from the comfort of your home or office.