A hint of jaggery diffusing a spicy Sambhar, the crisp golden edge of a dosa, the tang of tomato that blooms in rasam, the spicy mix that soaks into a piece of chicken. The food of Karnataka will tease you with a variety of flavours. Ingredients tangle, clash and meld, creating a delicious dish for your pleasure. 

No matter which corner of Karnataka you decide to visit, you’ll find some authentic Karnataka food, some flavour, some ingredient to tempt you. Oota aaitha? (Have you eaten?) If not, then prepare for some wholesome, flavourful food coming your way.

A Slice of Karnataka

Karnataka – the 7th largest state in India – shares its borders with Tamil Nadu in the Southeast, Kerala in the South, Maharashtra in the North and Andhra Pradesh in the East. 

Why is this important? Because the flavours of the food of Karnataka can’t be contained by borders. Karnataka’s cuisine features hints and influences from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra (and vice versa). 

However, these influences are spun into the entire Karnataka food list. Each region offers up a unique take on the cuisine. Mangalore and Uttara Kannada will serve you the tangiest seafood, South Karnataka will feed you plate after plate of different Baths (rice-based dishes). 

Finally, North Karnataka brings the spice and fire to its dishes. Rice, ragi, urad dal, semolina, palm jaggery - if you look down at your plate, you’re more than likely to spot one (or more) of these popular ingredients.

Let’s take a look at some of the famous foods of Karnataka.

A Hearty Serving

If you’re indulging in food from the state, be prepared to pile it onto your plate. Food in Karnataka is wholesome, and delicious and leaves you wanting more. Its most popular dishes speak to the cuisine’s generosity. 

Here’s a Karnataka food list for you to try when you visit. 

  • Mysore Masala Dosa

This famous South Indian dish is a crispy, thin crepe made from fermented rice and lentil batter. Its distinct red spice mix coating and cooked, spiced potato stuffing make it stand out from other dosas. Enjoyed as breakfast or a snack, Mysore Masala Dosa is served with coconut chutney and sambar, making it a complete meal full of flavour, texture, and aroma. This dish is not only a famous food of Karnataka but is also loved across India and worldwide. 

  • Chow-Chow Bath

A traditional Karnataka dish, Chow-Chow Bath is a delightful combination of sweet and spicy flavours. It consists of two components - Khara Bath, a spicy vegetable upma made from semolina, and Kesari Bath, a saffron-tinged sweet halwa. Both dishes are served together, creating a flavour contrast that tickles the taste buds. Chow-Chow Bath is a popular breakfast option and is often accompanied by coconut chutney, ensuring a satisfying meal. 

  • Bisi Bele Bath

This one-pot meal is a staple in Karnataka cuisine, known for its bottomless flavour and wholesome ingredients. Bisi Bele Bath features rice, lentils, vegetables, tamarind paste, and dry coconut cooked together with a unique blend of spices. Its tangy and spicy taste is well-loved, making it a favourite comfort food. Bisi Bele Bath is often served with papad or raita, adding a satisfying crunch and cooling element to the meal. 

  • Pandi Curry

A popular dish from Coorg, Pandi Curry is one of the best Karnataka food. The dish comprises succulent cubes of pork cooked in a spicy curry made from ground spices, tamarind, and vinegar. The dish's rich and bold flavours come from its unique blend of spices, including black pepper, cardamom, and cloves. Often served with rice, bread, or a soft dosa, Pandi Curry is a must-try dish for pork lovers and those seeking a taste of authentic Karnataka cuisine. 

  • Neer Dosa

This delicate and soft crepe is made from a thin rice batter and is a popular accompaniment to various dishes in Karnataka cuisine. Neer Dosa is known for its ability to soak up the flavours of curries, kormas, and saggus, making it a versatile side dish. Its snowy whiteness and mild flavour provide the perfect contrast to the bold and colourful dishes it accompanies, creating a well-balanced meal. 

  • Nul Puttu (String Hopper)

A unique, authentic Karnataka food, Nul Puttu consists of stringy white noodles made from rice flour, steamed to perfection. These noodles are typically served with fresh coconut chutney, which adds a perfect balance of flavours and textures to the dish. Nul Puttu is a popular breakfast or snack option and is often enjoyed alongside other Karnataka dishes, making it an essential part of the region's culinary heritage. 

  • Manga curry

This is a delicious raw mango curry or Pacha Manga curry. This Pacha Manga curry uses fresh coconut shavings. It is ground into a fine paste for the curry or gravy. Spices such as freshly grated ginger, some garlic and cumin are added as well. A final tempering of sizzling mustard seeds, shallots, curry leaves and dried red chillies adds another dimension to the flavour profile. A drool-worthy variation of this Karnataka food list is the famous Mampazha Pulissery, made with ripe mangoes. 

  • Kori Gassi

This tasty chicken curry is a favourite among the Bunt community and is one of the top dishes on the Karnataka food list. It hails from the coastal region, especially Mangalore. It involves cooking chicken (Kori) in a curry (Gassi) made with spices, tamarind, and freshly ground coconut. Kori Gassi is often paired with various staples such as neer dosa, rice, or roti. This dish highlights Karnataka's diverse cuisine and is strongly influenced by the coastal regions. The skilful combination of spices and local ingredients in these areas creates a culinary masterpiece. 

  • Mangalore Bajji 

Known as goli baje, Mangalore bajjis stand out as a beloved and one of the best Karnataka food. This crunchy fried delicacy is a cherished tea-time treat for many. Crafted from a mixture of flour, yoghurt, gram flour, rice flour, onions, coconut, and green chillies, the batter is formed into petite balls and deep-fried. With a crispy exterior and a tender interior, these bajjis are frequently accompanied by delectable coconut chutneys. 

  • Saagu

Enjoyed across Karnataka, saagu is an authentic Karnataka food. It is a luscious vegetable curry that blends coconut, spices, and poppy seeds. This creamy, coconut-infused vegetable curry is rich in flavours, making it a favoured choice. Typically served as a side dish with dosa, chapati, or poori, saagu is prominent in Karnataka's culinary offerings.

A Touch of Sweetness 

Welcome to the sweet side of the Karnataka food list, where ghee, jaggery, nuts and milk reign supreme. While the savoury dishes are well-known across the country, Karnataka’s desserts leave your sweet tooth craving for more. 

Go all out on these sweet foods of Karnataka. 

  • Mysore Pak

An iconic dessert from Karnataka, Mysore Pak is a melt-in-your-mouth sweet made from a blend of ghee, besan (gram flour), and sugar. Its rich, fudge-like texture and unique flavour make it a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Often enjoyed during festivals and special occasions, Mysore Pak is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. 

  • Haalbai

A sweet and coconut-flavoured treat, Haalbai is made from a combination of rice, coconut, and jaggery. This traditional sweet food of Karnataka is moulded and shaped into delicious squares, offering a chewy and satisfying texture. Haalbai is a popular choice for those seeking a taste of authentic Karnataka sweets, often enjoyed during festivals and celebrations. 

  • Rava Kesari

A bowl of golden goodness, Rava Kesari is a delectable dessert made from semolina, ghee, dry fruits, and kesar (saffron). Its vibrant colour, rich aroma, and delightful taste make it a popular choice for special occasions and gatherings. The addition of saffron and dry fruits lends a luxurious touch to this simple yet delicious dessert. 

  • Payasa

A versatile, authentic Karnataka sweet food, Payasa is a traditional Karnataka sweet dish featuring milk boiled with sugar, spices, and a variety of ingredients such as semiya (vermicelli), poppy seeds, rice, and more. Each variation of Payasa offers a unique blend of flavours and textures, making it a delightful way to end a meal. The comforting warmth and sweetness of Payasa make it a favourite among locals, often enjoyed during festivals or family gatherings. 

  • Maddur Vada


The Maddur Vada is a beloved, famous sweet food of Karnataka. Distinguishing itself from traditional vadas resembling doughnuts, the Maddur Vada boasts a larger and circular shape. Crafted from a blend of flour, onions, semolina, and spices, they are deep-fried to achieve a delightful crispiness on the outside while maintaining a soft interior. Maddur Vada is traditionally served with coconut or peanut chutney for the perfect accompaniment. Considered a culinary delight in Karnataka, these flavourful treats are a must-try during your visit to the state. 

  • Dharwad Peda

Named after Dharwad city in Karnataka, this sweet treat is crafted by continuously heating and stirring milk, along with sugar and condensed milk. Legend has it that a 19th-century confectioner in Dharwad was the first to create the Dharwad peda. This unique milk-rich dessert, now with a Geographical Indication tag, holds pride of place in Karnataka's culinary offerings. Packed with proteins, it's a special sweet that can be savoured on any occasion. 

  • Chiroti

Chiroti is a classic sweet food of Karnataka made with layered maida (plain flour) dough. It's fried until it becomes a flaky pastry and then sprinkled with cardamom sugar. The flakiness comes from rolling the dough into multiple layers. This delightful dessert is a favourite during festivals and special occasions in Karnataka. There are variations like shredded peni (also known as pheni or sutarfeni), which is crispy like vermicelli, and mandige, a thin crepe filled with sugar and ghee. 

  • Puri Unde

Puri Unde is a delightful and crispy ladoo made from puffed rice or roasted poha. The ingredients, including puri and jaggery, are mixed and coated to create these sweet puffed rice balls. There are various types of unde, such as rave unde (semolina), besan unde (chickpea flour), shenga unde (peanuts), and ellu unde (sesame seeds, also known as til laddu).

The Club Mahindra Flavour

So, if your taste buds are tingling, now might be the time to consider visiting our Club Mahindra resorts in Karnataka. Set in the vibrant and verdant district of Coorg, our resorts in Virajpet and Madikeri offer the kind of wholesome, nutritious and delicious food that sets Karnataka cuisine apart from others. Indulge in the age-old recipes of the region at Aromas restaurant in Club Mahindra Virajpet. Explore the variety of flavours at the three restaurants in Club Mahindra Madikeri – Green Cardamom, Coffee Blossoms and Mercara. You have everything from Manga Curry, to Pandi Curry to NulPuttu to Bella Payasa to enjoy.

A little spice, a little sweet, and a whole lot of deliciousness – that’s what Karnataka’s cuisine has to offer you. The diverse range of flavours and ingredients found in the above authentic Karnataka food
list showcases the rich culinary heritage of the region, leaving a lasting impression on anyone who has the pleasure of tasting them.

About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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