Udupi, a Culinary Journey
Welcome to the wholesome culinary world of Udupi, a small town in the southern state of Karnataka, India, that is renowned for its unique vegetarian cuisine. It is popularly believed that parts of this famous cuisine, which has become a worldwide phenomenon today, has its origins in the famous Sri Krishna Temple of Udupi which continues to serve free food every afternoon for many centuries now. In Udupi, you’ll find a treasure trove of rare and delicious dishes that are sure to tantalise your taste buds and satisfy your hunger.
Let’s start with neer dosa, a delicate, paper-thin rice crepe that’s light, airy, and simply delicious. Made from a batter of soaked rice and water, neer dosa is cooked on a flat griddle until crispy on the edges. It’s typically served with a coconut chutney or a spicy vegetable curry that’s sure to add an extra layer of flavour to this already delightful dish. There are no blues that a fresh serving of neer dosa can’t cure. I personally combine it with plain coconut and green chilli chutney.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you won’t want to miss the Halasina Hannu dose. This is a special dosa that’s made by grinding ripe jackfruit with rice, coconut, and jaggery, and then cooking it on a griddle. The result is a sweet and flavorful dish that’s perfect for breakfast or as a snack.
When it comes to desserts, nothing beats Hayagriva. This dessert is typically made with chana dal (split Bengal gram), jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), ghee (clarified butter), and fragrant spices like cardamom and nutmeg. The dish is often garnished with nuts like cashews or almonds. Hayagriva is considered a traditional delicacy in Udupi and is often served at religious ceremonies and festivals like Navratri and Deepavali.
Another rare dish that you’ll definitely want to try is Kadubu, a steamed dumpling made from rice flour and stuffed with a sweet or savoury filling, such as coconut, jaggery, or lentils. It’s usually served with a chutney or a spicy gravy that adds an extra layer of flavour to this already delectable dish. It is typically made for lunch during Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in Udupi and considered to be a favourite dish of the god.
The Goli Baje is a true toast to the Udupi cuisine. It is a popular tea-time snack made from a batter of rice flour, maida, yogurt, and spices. The batter is shaped into small balls and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. It is typically served with coconut chutney and has been an all-time favourite.
Finally, we come to pathrode, a popular snack that’s made by spreading a mixture of rice, lentils, coconut, and spices onto a colocasia (taro) leaf, rolling it up, and steaming it. The result is a unique and flavorful dish that’s perfect for a midday snack or as an appetiser. It is also served as a side dish during meals by roasting the final dish in coconut oil or coconut gravy.
In conclusion, Udupi is a treasure trove of unique and rare dishes that are sure to delight and satisfy any food lover. So, if you’re ever in the region, be sure to try these delectable dishes and discover the culinary heritage of this wonderful town!
Article by Rashmi Samanth
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