The thing that most commonly one would definitely be missing when at Manipal away from home is FOOD. But there is a brighter side to it, in and around Manipal is the home to a very diverse and authentic food culture. The cuisine from Udupi and Mangalore is of a vivid variety, and for you to explore, the districts offer a lot of very authentic food. Let’s see where one wants to go when one feels homesick like they commonly say – Good Food is Good Mood.
The Tuluva-Mangalorean culture is the most popular one that we find around this area. This culture brings with it a variety of coastal food that is a must-try and very delicious. The cuisine around here is majorly the seafood of the coastal region, so let’s look at what one can get on the plate while here.
The Proper South Indian Meal
While you are in Rome, be a Roman. Similarly, when you are down South, you do not do yourself justice if you do not taste the authentic meals or simply called “ootta” of this state. Usually spread on a giant banana leaf, this meal is a roller-coaster to your taste buds. The items vary from different types of vegetable side dishes called “playas” to the sweets, with the “payasam” (Kheer) and the “obattu” being significant players in the arena. The meal is scintillating to the tongue and satisfying to the tummy.
Do not miss the “Bisi-bele bhath,” what I’d like to call the South Indian version of “khichdi.” The “rasam,” “sambar,” and the white rice and the red rice are the other components that make the meal a crowd favorite. A proper South-Indian meal is a must-try that you shouldn’t miss out on while you are here.
The Malavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) in Udupi is one place that offers this with excellent taste and authenticity; don’t forget to try this restaurant out.
The Coastal Paradise
Like any other coast, the most sought-after cuisine from Udupi and Mangalore is the SEA-FOOOD. A wide variety of items that taste best only around here are ones that you need to try if you are a non-vegetarian. Some very authentic dishes that one must definitely keep on the list to feed the tummy are here-
Fish Meals is a must-try when you are at Udupi, fresh from the Malpe – all the fish one gets to have here are just the best it could get. The fish curries and the fish fry all add to the flavor of the meal.
“Fish Factory” in Manipal is one place that would be a must-try for all the fish lovers out there; the place is very pocket friendly and a blast of flavors in the mouth. “Thimappa Fish Hotel” is an authentic restaurant in Udupi; pull one weekend off your schedule and visit the place which serves you the best fish meal ever. The different kinds of prawns and crabs found in these hotels are also ones to die for.
A different type of dosa called the “Neer Dosa” which is light on your stomach coupled with “fish curry” will make for a breakfast you won’t forget. Do visit the famous “Machali” in Mangalore to taste the best version of seafood.
True to Udupi Dishes
Every place has something of its own; Udupi, too, boasts of several dishes born and brought up in the temple city.
“Goli Bajje”, a snack that is made from curd, is one such dish which is a super crispy and super delicious serving to your mouth. On a rainy, a plate full of Goli Bajje might be the best companion.
“Buns or Mangaluru Buns”, another snack that is very unique to the coast, made from bananas the dish is soft, sweet, and superb. This dish is a must-try along with a cup of tea. Both the snacks are found in almost all local hotels in Manipal and Udupi.
“Kori-Rotti” is another crowd-favorite. A major craving for any meat lover, this dish is made at its best in the “Shetty Lunch Home” in Kundapura. Please take some time and visit this restaurant, which is a definite offering to your tummy.
In and around Manipal, the food is unique and has a character of its own. It becomes essential in our busy lives to take a break and have a bite of all these flavors.
About the Author – I am Hithesh Jain. I believe in Refining the Defined. Media Enthusiast turned Media student. Chasing life one day at a time.