Dakshina Kannada food refers to the food prepared in Dakshina Kannada, a coastal district in Karnataka, India. It is also known as South Kanara. The Dakshina Kannada food is generally spicy and has coconut used in most recipes. The district has a mixed population of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian people. Kori roti, idli sambar, neer dosa, Mangalorean fish curry, and gadbad ice cream are some of the popular dishes from this region.
Historical and Cultural Influences
The Dakshina Kannada cuisine is influenced both by cultural and geographical factors. There are several Brahmin communities who do not eat non-vegetarian foods. The vegetarian cuisine of this region is called as the Udupi cuisine, because Udupi originally belonged to this district and Udupi style of cooking is still followed here. Since the Dakshina Kannada is also a coastal district, fish is commonly used in day-to-day cooking in non-vegetarian homes.
Common Ingredients Used
Rice, fish, coconut, coconut oil, garlic, ginger, chili, tamarind, and raw mango are some of the common ingredients used in day-to-day cooking here. Dakshina Kannada cuisine also uses fruits as much as possible. Fruits such as banana, jack fruit, sweet cucumber are used in many dishes.
Cooking Methods Adopted
Coconut oil is used as a medium of cooking. Masalas used in cooking generally include fresh coconut, chillies, tamarind, and coriander seeds.
Popular Recipes in Foreign Culture
Bisi bele bath is a rice-based dish that is quite popular among Indian and foreign cultures. The mysore pak is a sweet delicacy, which is known far and wide in India and abroad.
Traditional Dakshina Kannada Food
Bisi bela bath, kara pongal, neer dosa, pundi gatti, and fish curry are some of the popular traditional recipes. The bisi bele bath is a rice-based dish, that is made with rice, carrot, beans, tamarind, toor dal, and spices. The kara pongal is a breakfast dish that is made with moong dal, rice, black pepper, cumin seeds, and grated coconut. The neer dosa is made with a thin watery dosa batter.
Festive and Special Recipes
Sweet delicacies such as mysore pak, boondhi laddu, rava laddu, besan halwa, and jelebes are made during festivities. The mysore pak is made with gram flour, ghee, sugar, and water. Halwa is made by stirring gram flour with ghee and adding milk, sugar, and cardamom.
Major Everyday Recipes
Rice varieties, sambar, saaru (rasam varieties), idli, dosa, vangi bath, chutney, and pickles are some of the common Dakshina Kannada foods. Since seafood is common here, the curries such as the gassi and hingaudaak are made with shrimps and clams. Curries such as the ambat, bendi, koddel, tambli, and ghashi are popular among the vegetarian families and are served with rice.
Food Habits and Etiquette
Food served in a banana leaf is a traditional way of serving meals here.
The Dakshina Kannada cuisine mostly uses palm jaggery, which is much healthier than sugar. Coconut oil, which is primarily used in this cuisine, makes the dishes more healthy. Coconut oil helps maintain cholesterol levels, aids with digestion, and is also known to have several antioxidant properties.