Mangalore – a foodie’s paradise

Mangalore is second home to me, and if there’s something that I love about this city more than its beaches & culture, it’s Mangalorean food. Yes it’s a foodie’s paradise especially for non-vegetarian. Although Mangalore is my native place and my mom cooks authentic mangalorean food at home, I still make it a point to hog like a dog whenever I am there on my annual vacation.

What’s interesting is the same food tastes differently at different places and that makes it all the more interesting. Like the same chicken curry would taste different in proper Mangalore city (Kudla like it’s called) than it would in Kundapur region where they use coconut milk and Kundapur chilli powder. You should taste both to know what I mean.

Kori Roti – Photo courtesy: Punik Shetty

Mangalore is famous for its Kori Roti. You ask any Mangalorean Bunt what would they prepare tonite as a speciality dish and 99percent the reply would be Kori Rotti. Kori is a Tulu(local language of mangalorean’s) word for chicken and ghasi means curry , so it would be Kori ghasi with Rotti. Rotti here is not your indian bread but crispy rice wafers which when mixed with chicken curry and it tastes delicious. Mind you, Mangalorean food can be real spicy but finger licking good. My mouth is watering as I write this. All my friends who come home ask my mom to prepare this dish as they love it more than anything else .

So when in Mangalore, make sure you taste Kori Rotti , it is easily available at all local or top restaurants.

Chicken Ghee Roast

Another famous mangalorean dish would be my favourite the Chicken Ghee Roast. Spicy chicken cooked in Ghee on a slow flame. This is spicy but you would want to eat it more and more even if your eyes are watery because of all the spice. Although Chicken Ghee roast is also available at all restaurants, but if you want to try authentic ghee roast try : Abhimaan Restaurant, Kudla, Mangalore city .
Hotel Maharaja , Kudla, Mangalore city.
Shetty Lunch Home, Kundapur.
I have tried it at all three places and loved it.

For your daily dose of evening Tea/coffee, head straight to Kalladka, some 30-31 kms from Mangalore in the Bantwal taluka. The tea served in an old Hotel called Laxmi Nivas is a favourite pit stop for motorists. The hotel is famous for its unique way of making tea and coffee for almost 30 years now. The Kalladka tea or KT as it’s famously called is not your regular tea, its one fourth layer of thick tea decoction sitting atop thick milk, while normal tea has a frothy milk cream layer atop of the tea. In KT the cream is not on top of tea, it’s the other way round. The tea here is served in a typical local fashion , in a glass placed inside a stainless steel bowl with a spoon. It’s a very different version of tea and not your regular tea , available only at Kalladka. The taste is amazing and difficult to find anywhere else. For people who don’t drink Tea, they have a coffee version of it too called Rimjhim.



Laxmi Nivas hotel@ Kalladka - your stop for KT. pic courtesy : Google

Laxmi Nivas hotel@ Kalladka – your stop for KT.
pic courtesy : Google

It’s time for deserts after dinner and Mangalore doesn’t disappoint you here. Infact you will be will spoilt for choice. From pastries , cakes, sweets, payasam, holige to unlimited choice of icecreams. Yes icecreams !!! Mangalore is an icecream lovers paradise. Apart from Naturals, Baskin Robbins etc if you want to know where the locals go to satisfy their icecream pangs , it’s either Ideal at Hampankatta or Pabba’s at Lalbaugh both a hot favourite in Kudla ( as mangalore city is called) and the oldest too. Ideal has a lot of branches all over the city and is a brand in itself. Pabbas is the sister concern of Ideal.

Pabbas !!

Pabbas !!

Ideal ice creams is the city’s well known icecream manufacturer and have last year bagged 5 national prizes at the “Great indian icecream contest”. The place is crowded in the weekends and you need to buy a token just to get in. That’s right , it’s that famous. The variety of ice creams that you find here I have personally not seen anywhere else. Some of which are -:
Dilkhush – literal meaning is Happy Heart – is a scoop of strawberry, vanilla and butterscotch icecream with raisins, cashew nuts and pieces of fruits like apple, mango etc which is topped with strawberry sauce. Yummy

Parafit – Different slabs of icecream mixed with lots and lots of fruits.

pic courtesy - Google

pic courtesy – Google

Choclate Dad – Its basically Choclolate icecream, with lots of nuts , with a layer of caramel and scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. An absolute treat for Chocolate and caramel lovers.

Last but not the least the famous and most popular Gadbad – Its an inhouse speciality and their signature ice-cream. My family swears by this icecream, we never miss an opportunity to get hold of Gadbad when in Mangalore that too everyday . Gadbad has a layer of vanilla ice-cream with generous helping of fresh fruits, a layer of strawberry ice-cream, jelly , lots of dried fruits like cashews, almonds, raisins. And it is topped by some rose syrup, a scoop of another ice-cream and a topping of cherry. Mouth watering isn’t it? It’s super filling too. It tastes twice as good as the description Trust me.

The famous Gadbad !!

The famous Gadbad !!

No this is not the end… Theres Falooda, Banana split, American choconut, Tiramisu, Cake sandwich, caramel slab, Bee Hive and so on. There are roughly 45 flavours and 100’s of combinations. With so many varieties , you are like I said earlier, Spoilt for choice. Ideals and Pabba’s are not limited to icecream, they serve snacks like sandwich, cutlets and milkshakes etc too. The success story of Ideal icecreams is a different and an amazing story altogether. Once you taste these , you will not feel like having icecreams at your regular famous ice cream joints especially when your in Mangalore. The Mangaloreans are surely lucky when it comes to Icecreams !!


Another famous and  favourite snack of  Mangaloreans are the Goli Bhaje , which can be had with coconut chutney. Its my favourite and super delicious. You can find these in any local restaurants or dhaba’s and any small food stalls as well. Its easily available in Mangalore or any other small villages.

Goli Bhaje – pic courtesy – Google

Being a coastal town, Mangalore is also known for its Sea-food. Right from Prawns fry to Pomfret curry , from squids to Crab curry, you have plenty of options to choose from. But make sure you try out Kane Fry a special dish easily available everywhere. Its super delicious, and one of my favourites.

Being a coastal town, Sea-food is another speciality of this city. – Photo courtesy : Punik Shetty

Apart from these, Mangalore specialities also includes Chicken Sukka, Biryani, South Indian specials like Idli, variety of Dosas , uttapam, etc. Although Mangaloreans especially Bunt community are hard core non vegetarians, Mangalore doesn’t lag behind when it comes to traditional , delicious vegetarian food as well.

Idli's, appams, Dosas - dont they look delicious?? Photo courtesy : Punik Shetty

Idli’s, appams, Dosas – dont they look delicious??
Photo courtesy : Punik Shetty

So the next time your in Mangalore, and want to savour your taste buds, go on a Food trail in this coastal city. And it will surely not disappoint you.