Udupi food belongs to the Udipi cuisine which is one of the sub cuisines of Karnataka and it is one of the famous cuisines of India. The Udupi food is strictly vegetarian due to vedic traditions. Masala dosa, bisi bele bath, and menaskai are some of the popular foods made in the Udupi cuisine.
Cultural Influences on Udipi Cuisine
It is interesting to note the origin of the Udupi cuisine. This originated when the Brahmin communities began offering different varieties of food to Lord Krishna with the available ingredients, while taking care to follow certain food restrictions. The concept of making food varieties with certain restrictions came to be the style of cooking and is followed by the Udupi Brahmins communities to this day.
Common Ingredients Used
Rice, lentils, coconut, and vegetables are the common ingredients used to prepare Udupi food. Fruits such as mango, jackfruit, and banana are also used in cooking. Coconut oil is used as a cooking medium, and ghee is used to prepare sweets.
Everyday Foods of Udupi
Breakfast dishes in the Udupi cuisine include dosa, idli, upma varieties, and khara pongal. Upmas such as bajil and sajjige are made from flattened rice and semolina. Steamed rice with side dishes such as sambar, saaru, and tambuli form a typical meal. Vegetable side dishes such as kootu and kosambari are served along with rice. Kosambari is a dal salad made with green gram. Pickles, papad, and chutneys are some of the food accompaniments. Buttermilk and curd are also consumed every day.
Traditional Udupi Dishes
Neer dosa, masala dosa, kadabu, bisi bele bath, menaskai, and patrode are some of the traditional dishes of this region. Neer dosa is a light dosa made with watery rice batter. Bisi bele bath is a rice dish made with lentils and vegetables. Patrode is a steam-cooked colaccasia dish. Golibaje and guliappa are other traditional dishes. Golibaje is a fried snack made with besan and maida, while guliappa is a ball-shaped dosa prepared with rice, urad dal, or gram dal.
Undae, paayaasa, holige, pelakai halwa, and maddi are some of the special sweet dishes made in the Udupi cuisine. Undae is laddoo and paayaasa is the kheer. Holige or obuttu are the Udupi versions of pooran poli. These are especially made during the Ugadi festival. Pelakai halwa is prepared from jackfruit. Maddi is a sweet dish made with split chickpeas and ghee.
A typical Udupi cuisine preparation excludes onion and garlic from cooking. Meat and fish are strictly excluded.
Traditional Udupi food is served in plantain leaf, and the dishes are served in a particular order. Salt and pickle are served first, followed by side dishes and main dish, which is usually rice. Sweets are served at the end of the meal.
Health Benefits of Udupi Food
The Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made with rice, all varieties of lentils, gram flour, and vegetables. These are a good source of protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates essential to keep the body healthy. Jaggery is used instead of white sugar to prepare sweets. Coconut oil is used for frying foods. Coconut is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also helps maintain blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, it can be said that Udupi food is well balanced and is healthy for everyone.