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Food Safari: 8 Udupi Delicacies You Must Taste

6 mins. read

As someone said, “You do not need a silver fork to eat good food,” and food in Udupi is one of the best examples in that regard. Simple recipes and rich taste make Udupi cuisine one of the most popular across India.

Udupi, a city in Karnataka is quite famed for the simple living it offers its residents and its simple food. Along with several popular tourist destinations, Udupi has a vast culinary history. If you are out on a Udupi sightseeing trip, make your experience more wholesome by tasting the local Udupi food which will only augment the experience further.

Here are a few Udupi delicacies that you must not miss: -

1. Masala Dosa

The dish that needs no introduction, masala dosa is a staple food in Udipi. We all have tried this delicacy once in our life but here’s the catch, if you haven’t tasted Udupi masala dosa, you haven’t had the real thing. Prepared with a fine batter of soaked rice and urad dal, Udupi masala dosa is, basically, a crepe with mashed potato filling. Crispy on the outside with a filling of mildly spiced mashed potatoes, called Palya in Kannada, masalas dosa is one of the staples of Kannadigas. And not to forget, it tastes best with some well-cooked sambar and coconut chutney. When in Udupi, dosa is a must-try and not without the sambar-coconut chutney combo.

2. Sambar

First things first, it is not Sambur or Sambhur, it is Saam-baar. A lentil-based vegetable stew in simple words, Sambar is an essential Udupi food item. A variety of vegetables such as drumsticks, carrots, radish, potatoes, brinjal, and shallots are boiled along with different spices. Usually served with steamed rice, Sambar is a South Indian dish that may have variations in its preparation in different states. For instance, in some regions, they also add coconut in it while some regions don’t while the fusion of spices may remain more or less the same. You cannot do without this traditional delicacy from Udupi cuisine if you wish to try South Indian dishes.

3. Rasam

Rasam is a South Indian soup that also goes by chaaru, saaru, saathamudhu, or Kabir. One of the famous Udupi foods, Rasam is a sweet and sour stock prepared using Udupi rasam powder which is, basically a mix of jaggery, garlic, black pepper, cumin, tomato, tamarind, and a few other seasonings. However, rasam powder recipes in Udupi’s different regions may have a variation of seasonings and spices based on preferences. Just like Sambar, Rasam is traditionally consumed with rice but its savoury taste makes it quite preferable as a soup and *cough cough* great for cough and cold too. Just saying!

4. Rava Idli

When talking about Udupi cuisine, how can we not talk about rava idli?! One of the most famous Udupi foods, rava idli is a staple breakfast item for Kannadigas. Again, not without the Sambar and Chutney, rava idli tastes best when eaten with the combo. Apart from being one of the most popular dishes after Udupi dosa, rava idli has an origin interesting story. During WWII, when rice was in short supply, they tried making idli with semolina and created rava idli. Who would have thought?!

5. Murukku

Murukku in Tamil means “twisted” which refers to the twisted shape of this crunchy and savoury snack. Some people also call it chakli; the recipe though remains the same. Murukku is hard and people with a toothache or weak teeth must not have it.

Interestingly, there is a Tamil saying, “Toothless grandfather wants murukku,” which means that someone is asking for something that they cannot use. Murukku is definitely worth a shot if you really wish to taste the authentic Udupi food items. Have it with filter coffee.

6. Upma

Basically, a thick porridge made with dry-roasted rava or coarsely ground rice. Upma is another breakfast item preferred by all and not just people from South India. With a few minutes of preparation time and a very easy recipe, Udupi upma is a quick emergency meal. One can have it just like that or with some sambar and coconut chutney. Simple yet delectable!

7. Neer Dose

Udupi food items basically consist of different variations of one dish. You may find several types of idlis, upmas, and even dosas. Neer dose is a type of dosa only which literally means ‘water dosa’. Best enjoyed with non-vegetarian curries like chicken, mutton, egg, and fish curry, neer dose has a very simple and easy-to-follow recipe. Like other dosas, the batter of Neer Dose does not require fermentation which makes it perfect when you are short on time.

8. Payasam

Can anything be completed without something sweet?! Nope! Also known as kheer and phirni, payasam is a sweet dish made by boiling rice and sugar in milk. Like all the other dishes, Udupi cuisines have an addition of coconut in it, turning it all the richer in taste. Usually, an after-meal delicacy, payasam also served as Prasadam to the devotees. Originated as a simple rice pudding, payasam has its own share of additions and variations with millets, tapioca, vermicelli, and a variety of dried fruits as per preferences. And you must not miss out on payasam, come what may.

Travelling to a new destination and not trying the local cuisine? Please don’t do that. Instead, book your Udupi tour package while making sure your itinerary allows you to explore the local eateries of the city.

February 09, 2021


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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