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Lush greenery, heritage buildings, and sun-kissed beaches, Mangalore or Mangaluru has plenty of natural beauty that can make anyone fall in love with itinstantly. Nestled between the magnificent Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, this beachy town is a hotpot of different cultures. 

With many communities like the Tuluvas, Gouda Brahmins, Bunts, Catholics and the Sarawat Brahmins living in the city, it has an eclectic mix of cuisines, making it a haven for food lovers. If you are visiting Mangaluru, you ought to taste the authentic Mangalorean delicacies. 

Mangalore Buns 

A quintessential Mangalorean food, these buns are the Karnataka version of the sweet donuts. A crisp, deep-fried puri, you can have them anytime of the day, for breakfast, evening snack or brunch. These flay and puffed-up buns feature a mellowed sweet taste from the use of the ripe banana in the batter.  

It is generally served with mildly spicy coconut chutney and sambhar to create a contrast of flavours and cut through the sweetness of the buns. In some regions, it is served with a vegetable Kurma. 

Patholi 

The Mangalorean sweet dishes are as unique and flavourful as their seafood. A classic dessert in all Mangalorean houses, Patholi recipe is passed on from generation to generation. It is usually made on special occasions.  

It is much similar to modaks (Sweet dumplings), the go-to sweet dish in Maharashtra and other states in India, except Patholi is wrapped in the fragrance-rich turmeric leaves and steamed. Made with rice flour and a sweet filling of grated coconut and jaggery, it has a melt-in-your-mouth texture that would make your heart sing and tummy crave for more. 

Goli Bajje or Mangalore Bajji 

The Manglaorean version of the timeless classic Indian snack, Pakoras, the Goli Bajje is a popular snack in Karnataka. Made with maida (all-purpose flour) and curd, these savoury balls are deep fried to perfection and served hot with a coconut or onion chutney.  

The crispy outside and the soft inside of the bajje will lift your mood instantly. It is best enjoyed during monsoon or on a cold winter evening with a cup of tea. 

Chicken Ghee Roast 

Chicken roast, may sound like music to the ears of the food lovers. And, add a few dollops of ghee to it, you have a full food opera. Tangy, spicy, and laced with goodness of ghee, it is the queen of Mangalorean cuisine.   

If you are a health-conscious person and are very particular about your diet, you may want to let go of your inhibitions and indulge in this one. Originating from Kundapura, a small coastal town, the dish is known for its rich aroma and taste, which comes from the use of various local dry spices.  

While the Chettinad version of the Ghee Roast from Tamil Nadu is more popular, the Mangalorean version is no less and a wonderful chicken dinner. You can enjoy eating with rice or chapati.

Bangude Puli Munchi 

Talk about famous food in Karnataka, and the list would be incomplete without seafood, especially the Mangalorean delicacy, Bangude Puli Munchi. In the local Tulu language, Bangude means Mackerel fish, Puli means tamarind and Munchi translates to Chilli. No point for guessing it is a spicy, tangy fish dish.  

This Bunt-style fish curry is an inherent part of the Mangalorean food culture and it is traditionally prepared in a clay pot and cooked over fire. The earthen pot adds an earthy flavour to the dish and intensifies its taste levels. The fish is cooked in a thick gravy of onions, garlic, tomatoes, tamarind and roasted spices and it is served with steamed rice.  

Whether you like seafood or not, you must try this dish and you would thank yourself! 

Neer Dosa 

One of the most versatile dishes that south India has gifted the rest of the country is probably Dosa. Everyone loves a good dosa, from the popular masala dosa to the rava dosa and everything in between, dosas are omnipresent.  

Mangaluru has its own unique version known as Neer Dosa. It is one of the must-try Mangalorean dishes that comes from the Tulu region. Typically, a breakfast dish, you can have it anytime.  

In Tulu, Neer Dosa, literally translates to Water Dosa. The dish gets its name because of the watery consistency of the batter. Usually served with coconut chutney, it also goes well with coconut milk, chicken ghee roast or fish gravy. 

Mangalorean food is all about cooking with love, and celebrating the local ingredients and spices. There are many dishes that are a crowd favourite. If you are in Mangalore, make sure to try as many dishes as possible. 

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