Udupi cuisine is a cuisine of South India.[1] It forms an important part of Tuluva-Mangalorean cuisine and takes its name from Udupi, a city on the southwest coast of India in the Tulunadu region. Udupi cuisine has its origin in the Ashta Mathas of Udupi founded by Madhvacharya.

Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The variety and range of dishes is wide, and a hallmark of the cuisine involves the use of locally available ingredients.

It adheres strictly to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine, using no onions or garlic, as well as no meat, fish, or shellfish. However, the cuisine may also be adapted for those who consume these restricted items. Following the tradition of chaaturmasa vrata, which is a restriction of certain food ingredients in a certain period or season, may have led to the innovation of a variety of dishes in Udupi cuisine.[2] Pumpkins and gourds are the main ingredients in sambar, a stew prepared with ground coconut and coconut oil as its base.

The ubiquitous Indian dish dosa has its origins in Udupi, according to P. Thankappan Nair.[3] Saaru, a spicy pepper water, is another essential part of the menu, and so are jackfruit, colocasia leaves, raw green bananas, mango pickle, red chillies, and salt. Adyes (dumplings), ajadinas (dry curries or stir fry curries), and chutneys, including one made of the skin of the ridge gourd, are specialities.[4][5]

Typical dishes

Goli baje, or Mangalore bajji, Udupi cuisine
  • Ale Bajji
  • Adde or Uh-day (a 'pancake' of various grams)
  • Bajji
  • Bakshya (sweet or dessert)
  • Huli (Similar to sambhar with ground coconut in the base)
  • Kayathno or KaaYaadhina (fried items)
  • Koddelu or sambar
  • Kosambari (seasoned salad of lentils)
  • Menaskai (variation of Sambhar)
  • Paayasa (kheer)
  • Paramanna (kheer)
  • Rasayana (juice or squash or syrup)
  • Saaru or rasam
  • Spiced rice
  • Tallu or Ajethna or ajadina (dry curry)
  • Tambuli or watery vegetable paste (generally leafy vegetables) seasoned

Dishes served in a full course Udupi meal

Idli served in an Udupi restaurant
Spiced curd rice
Sweet dish

The full course Udupi meal is served on a plantain leaf, which is traditionally kept on the ground. The dishes are served in a particular sequence, and each dish is placed on a particular spot of the plantain leaf. All the people eating this meal are expected to begin and end eating the meal together. A person cannot get up in middle of the meal, even though he has finished his meal. The start and end of meal is done by saying "Govinda," the name of Lord Vishnu. A typical meal is served with the following (in sequence):

  • Abbhigara or Ghee
  • Salt
  • Pickle
  • Kosambari (seasoned salad made from split Bengal gram or pea)
  • Bajji or chutney
  • Ajethna
  • Spiced rice (chitranna)
  • Happalla
  • Steamed rice
  • Saaru and Rasam (a spicy watery soup)
  • Menaskai
  • Koddelu
  • Majjige Huli, Puli kajippu
  • Sweets like laddu, holige or Kesari bhath
  • Fried items like bonda, chakli, vada
  • Paramanna or Kheer (pudding) or Payasa
  • Buttermilk/curd

Depending upon the occasion, individual taste, and money, each dish may be made from different ingredients.

Popular dishes of Udupi cuisines

  • Buns (Mangaluru Buns), a sweet dish baked out of Maida flour and Bananas.
  • Different types of spicy rices, such as chitranna or Bisi bele bath
  • Dosa, masala dosa, neer dose,uppu huli kara dosa
  • Gashi or Ghasi (thick gravy-like dish made by use of peas or pulses with coconut)
  • Kadubu
  • Kashi halva from musk pumpkin, jackfruit, banana, and bottle gourd
  • Kodhel or sambar (sambar made from lentil, coconut and vegetable of choice)
  • Kosambari (salads of green gram or Bengal gram lentils, seasoned)
  • Mangalore bajji or Golibaje [6]
  • Menaskai (especially made of Amtekai or ambade)
  • Patrode (colacasia leaves dipped in batter and steamed cooked)
  • Putnis
  • Pelakai appa (fried dumplings made from jackfruit)
  • Pelakai gatti/gidde (jackfruit dumpling)
  • Pelakai halwa (jackfruit halwa)
  • Puddings or parammanna or payasa or kheer
  • Saaru or rasam (rasam made from lentil and tomato)
  • Sajjige and bajil (upma made from coarse semolina and seasoned beaten rice)
  • Sweet dishes like sajjige, maddi, kaai holige, undae (laddu)
  • Uddinahittu (urad flour or potato mashed mixed in curd and seasoned)

Overview of Udupi cuisine

Food item Veg. or non-veg Ingredients Preparation Image Remarks
Masala Dosa Pure Veg. Rice, Lentils (deskinned black gram) Dosa with ghee; potato based mixture rolled inside Butter Masala Dosa.png Invented by Udupi hotels[citation needed]
Patrode Pure Veg. Colacasia leaves, Rice Spiced rice flour applied to colacasia leaves, rolled and steamed Arbi-colocasia-pakoda-fritters.jpg Popular during rainy season
Kotte kadubu Pure Veg. Rice, Lentils (deskinned black gram) Batter filled in bowl-shaped jackfruit leaves and steamed Khotto.jpg Moday is a similar preparation steamed in screw pine leaves.
Neer Dosa Pure Veg. Rice Dosa prepared from rice flour Neer Dose.JPG
Undla kai Pure Veg. Rice Steamed rice balls Rainy season dish
Shyavige or Othu shyavige Pure Veg. Rice, Grated coconut Rice based vermicelli
Goli Baje Pure Veg. Maida Round balls of the batter are deep fried Goli baje or Mangaloe bajji.jpg Also called Mangalore bajji
Halasina Kadabu Pure Veg. Rice, Jackfruit Rice and jackfruit are ground and steamed Jackfruit idli.jpg
Thambuli Pure Veg. Coconut, buttermilk, brahmi leaf Enjoyed as a side-dish

Udupi restaurants and hotels

Udupi or Udipi restaurants and hotels serving Udupi cuisine can be found all over India and many parts of the world. In the past, these restaurants were run by cooks and priests trained at Krishna matha in Udupi.[7] With rising popularity, many others have entered this business claiming to serve authentic Udupi cuisine.[8] Most Udupi restaurants and hotels are family run, with ownership passing among kith and kin of the original owner.[9] Udupi restaurants have undergone many changes in their menu in recent times, adapting to changing economic structure and social statuses in India. They have included vegetarian delicacies from other Indian cuisines.[10]

The first major South Kanara hotel owner, K. Krishna Rao, who worked first joined Sharada Vilas Brahmins Hotel in George Town as a kitchen servant. He is the inventor of Masala Dosa. In 1925 his employer offered him one of his restaurants for ₹ 700 monthly. In 1939 Rao started his first hotel, now called Old Woodlands.[11] The other prominent chain of Udupi hotels is the Dasaprakash group founded by K. Seetharama Rao, who gave up a low-grade salaried position in Mangalore to join his brothers' snack food ("tiffin") business in Mysore in 1921.

See also


  1. ^ "Udupi". www.karnataka.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  2. ^ "Chaaturmasa vrata". www.shivallibrahmins.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  3. ^ Nair, P. Thankappan (2004-01-01). South Indians in Kolkatta. Punthi Pustak. p. 455. ISBN 9788186791509. 
  4. ^ "Announcing RCI 09". www.monsoonspice.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Udupi". 
  6. ^ "Goli Baje". udupi-recipes.com. Retrieved 2017-03-23. 
  7. ^ "Utterly Udipi". www.thehinduonnet.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  8. ^ "In Udupi, food is the greatest binder". www.in.rediff.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  9. ^ UDUPI HOTELS: ENTREPRENEURSHIP, REFORM AND REVIVAL, Asian Dynamics Conferences, Copenhagen, June 18, 2009, Stig Toft Madsen, Geoffrey T. Gardella
  10. ^ "Ingredients in melting". mumbaimirror.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  11. ^ UDUPI HOTELS: ENTREPRENEURSHIP, REFORM AND REVIVAL, Asian Dynamics Conferences, Copenhagen, June 18, 2009, Stig Toft Madsen, Geoffrey T. Gardella

Further reading