15 Karnataka Foods you have to Try

Karnataka’s cuisine is influenced by its neighbours, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to the south and Maharashtra to the north. It is also said to be one of the oldest cuisines in the country, dating back to the Iron Age. Here are 18 Karnataka foods you have to try

Bisi Bele Bhath

Bisi bele bath is a rice dish in which rice, vegetables and lentil are cooked together and it is also a popular dish from karnataka, India Karnataka foodsBisi Bele Bhath is one of the most popular Karnataka foods. Essentially a blend of rice, lentils, vegetables and spices, all cooked together to create a flavourful all-in-one dish. It is often served with generous helpings of ghee and potato chips or boondi.


Mysore Masala Dosa served with sambar and chutney, selective focusDosas are a popular dish all across India, and Karnataka is no different. They are essentially pancakes made with fermented batter of rice and black gram, and served with sambar (lentil stew) and chutney. The southern state is known for its many varieties of dosa. One of the most well-known is Davangere benne dosa, which is made with generous amounts of butter, while Mysore masala dosa is smeared with chutneys stuffed with spicy potato filling. Set dosas area thicker versions, while you can also get dosas made with ragi (millets) and rave (semolina). Another popular variation is the neer dosa that comes from Mangalore, where the rice is soaked in water overnight rather than being fermented.

Mysore Pak

delicious indian sweet on a silver dish karnataka foodsMysore Pak is a well known sweet from Karnataka. It was first created in the kitchens of the Mysore Palace and is made with chickpea flour, ghee (clarified butter) and sugar. The texture varies with the amount of ghee added to the dish from hard and porous (less ghee), to soft, dense, and fudge-y (more ghee).

Maddur Vada

A popular snack, the Maddur Vada gets its name from Maddur town in Mandya. Unlike regular vadas which resemble doughnuts, Maddur Vadas are large and circular. They are made with flour, onions, semolina, and spices, and fried until crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

Tatte Idli

Like dosas, idlis are enjoyed across South India. These steamed rice cakes are made with a fermented batter of black lentils and rice and served with chutney and sambar. A popular variation in Karnataka is the Tatte idli, a plate-sized flattened variant. Other variations popular in Karnataka are the rava idli, made from rava (or semolina), and Muday idli found in Mangalore.

Dharwad Peda

Named for the city of Dharwad in Karnataka, this sweet is made with milk which is heated and stirred continuously, along with sugar and condensed milk. It is said that this sweet was first created by a 19th-century confectioner in Dharwad, and has been given a Geographical Indication tag.

Pandi Curry

karnataka foods

Pork or pandi is a popular non-vegetarian delicacy hailing in Coorg (or Kodagu). This spicy curry is made with a unique spice blend, and ‘Coorg Vinegar’ made from kachumpuli, a fruit which imparts a distinct sour flavour. It is served with rice balls or akki roti (rice roti).


karnataka foods

Chiroti is a traditional sweet that is prepared with a layered dough of maida (plain flour) fried until it resembles a flaky pastry and sprinkled with cardamom sugar. A version of this is the shredded, flaky peni (also called pheni or sutarfeni) which resembles crispy vermicelli. Also similar is mandige, a crepe with a thin filling of sugar and ghee.

Mangalore Bajji

Also called Goli baje, Mangalore Bajjis are a popular snack from Karnataka. It is made with flour, yoghurt, gram flour, rice flour, onions, coconut, and green chillies which are shaped into small balls and deep fried. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, it is often served with coconut chutney.

Kori Gassi

karnataka foodsKori Gassi is a chicken curry which comes from the coastal region of Karnataka and is particularly popular in Mangalore. The chicken is cooked with spices, tamarind, and ground fresh coconut. It is often served with neer dosa or roti.

Haalbai and Huggi

Many desserts from Karnataka are made without dairy products and sweetened with jaggery. One of the most popular of these is haalbai, which is a fudge made from ground rice, coconut and jaggery, as well as coconut milk. Similar to this is huggi which consists of cooked rice with hesaru (dried mung bean), with coconut, milk, elakki (cardamom) and jaggery.


Eaten throughout Karnataka, saagu is a creamy vegetable curry made with coconut, spices, and poppy seeds. It is often served as an accompaniment with dosa, chapati or poori.

Ragi Mudde

karnataka foods

Ragi mudde is a very popular staple dish in the rural area of Karnataka, and can also be found in cities across the state. It has only two ingredients, ragi (millets) flour and water. The mixture is cooked until it creates a smooth dough which is then shaped into balls. These are eaten with types of saaru (thin stews made of greens with sprouted grams, meat or vegetables) or curry.


Puran Poli / Holige/ Obbattu - Indian sweet flatbread, selective focusThis sweet flatbread is found across India as puran poli. Known as obbattu or holige in Karnataka, it is made with wheat flour, ghee, cardamom and nutmeg. One version is filled with channa dal (split yellow gram) or toor dal and jaggery, while another has a coconut and sugar based filling.

Uppittu and Khara Bhath

South Indian dish chow chow bath with coconut chutney.Uppittu, or upma as it is also known, is a dish that is popular throughout South India and is usually made with dry roasted rava (semolina) cooked with water and vegetables. In Karnataka, a variation of this is mixed with a variety of spices creating khara bhath. A sweet version, kesari bhath, is often served with this (together called chow chow bhath) is also popular, made with rava, sugar, ghee, and milk, as well as saffron and pineapple or banana. When made with coarser rava and unflavoured with saffron, is called sajjige which is similar to sooji halwa from North India.
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