5 Signature Udupi Dishes you must try!

One of the most loved cuisines of the world, the Udupi cuisine, originates from the coastal region of Karnataka, India.  Rooted deeply in the heritage of the ancient Udupi temples, this cuisine has been shaped from simplistic temple beginnings to a rich variety of flavours and ingredients. Predominantly vegetarian, the dishes strike an impeccable balance of spicy, tangy, sweet, and salty, making every bite a delightful experience. With coastal influences shining through, the unique spices and generous use of coconut contribute to Udupi cuisine’s unmistakable essence.

If you’ve been living under a rock, and for some reason you haven’t tried these, this is your sign to try these classic dishes.

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1) Masala Dosa:

Doesn’t matter in what part of the country you are, Masala Dosa is the go-to order at every restaurant. It can be safely said that Masala Dosa is the most iconic representation of Udupi cuisine. Its crispy, paper-thin crepe is made from a fermented mix of rice and lentils. Within its golden crust lies a soft stuffing of spiced potatoes, seasoned with mustard seeds, onions, and curry leaves. Every bite of Masala Dosa, especially when paired with the creamy coconut chutney and flavorful sambar, promises a mix of textures and tastes that dance harmoniously on the  tongue.  

2) Udupi Sambar:

A dosa, or most Udupi cuisines are incomplete without the Sambhar. The Udupi Sambhar, however, distinguishes itself from other sambars with its delicate sweetness, delectably balancing the spices and coconut’s richness. It is prepared with toor dal (split pigeon peas) and a vibrant array of vegetables like drumstick, pumpkin, and brinjal. A hint of jaggery adds an unexpected, pleasant sweetness, making you crave for more.

3) Bisi Bele Bath:

The literal definition of comfort food, Bisi Bele Bath is a hearty dish, prepared with  rice, lentils, and an assortment of vegetables. What makes it unique is the special Udupi spice blend, comprising cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom, which provides it an aromatic warmth. Ghee’s lavish drizzle on top amplifies the flavours, making each spoonful melt-in-mouth delicious.

4) Rasam

Rasam is more than just a spicy soup; it’s a medley of tastes that goes straight from the tummy to the soul. Udupi Rasam stands out due to its fiery tang, thanks to the tamarind and tomatoes. The spices, primarily black pepper and cumin, give it a kick that’s both comforting and invigorating. Often enjoyed as a soup with rice, Rasam also has medicinal properties, aiding digestion and providing relief from cold.

5) Kosambari

If you need a delightful break from the spicy dishes, Kosambari is a must try. Simply put, it’s a refreshing, cold salad. Made with soaked split lentils, its crunchiness is complemented by the softness of freshly grated coconut. The seasoning of mustard seeds, green chillies, and curry leaves adds a zesty touch. High in protein, this dish is not only a treat to your taste buds but also offers nutritional benefits.

If you’ve made it till the end, it’s obvious that you’re craving some of these Udupi delicacies. Listen to the callings of your gut, and treat yourself!  Here’s a tip- To experience the real goodness of Udupi dishes, there’s no place like a genuine Udupi restaurant. And Mangalore’s Hotel Sai Palace is the best in this regard with its ‘Udipi Cafe Veg’. Every dish served resonates with authenticity. You haven’t really feasted on the real Udupi if you haven’t feasted at Hotel Sai Palace.

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