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South Indian Food the Characteristics of Karnataka Cuisine

*An Overview history of Karnataka.*

The modern state of Karnataka was a part of India known as the Mysore kingdom. It was ruled by Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan. They expanded the kingdom.

In 1799, British troops killed Hyder Ali and Tipu. The British reinstalled the Wodeyars (aka Wadiyars and Odeyars) to control.

The British controlled modern day Karnataka until India became independent in 1947. Karnataka became an independent state in 1973. Previously,it was the Myore Kingdom in 1956.

The cuisine of Karnataka is not the same in all regions. The food uses the ingredients indigenous to the area they live. As a result, the cuisine varies from region to region. The following is a brief introduction to the regions and the characteristics of the foods that are popular.

*Characteristics of Udupi Cuisine* (This is also known as Brahmin food – follows Vedic doctrine of vegetarianism)

The name of the city, Udupi, and cuisine are the same. Udupi is located on the southwest coast of India. The ingredients originated with the Ashta Mathas (monasteries founded by Shri Madhvacharya). It uses grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The cuisine follows the Vedic laws of Indian vegetarian traditions in which onions, garlic, meat, fish, or shellfish are forbidden. Vedic law believes that you are what you eat. If you eat “pure” (sattvic) food, you become pure. If you eat hot and spicy (rajasic) food, you become irritable. If you eat innocent and helpless animals, you fill your stomach with bad karma.

The Indian dish, masala dosa (a pancake of rice and stuffed with curried potato), is widely loved throughout India, originated in Udupi. Rasam, a spicy pepper water, is a fundamental part of the Udupi menu. The delectable specialities are jackfruit (it is sweet and can be made into ice cream, chutney, jams and jellies). Jackfruit’s leaves are used as vegetables in cooking. Other specialties include Colocasia leaves (elephant ears; or taro), raw green bananas, mango pickle, red chilis, and salt. Adyes (dumplings), ajadinas (dry curries) and chutneys are a few of the foods that eaten in Udupi.

*Characteristics of Coorg (Kodavas) Cuisine*

The Coorgi are known for their love of good food (kadi) and alcohol (Kudi). The region influences its food. It is hilly and has forests. The Coorg’s cuisine begins with rice. They grow “sannakki”, a fragrant type of rice in the valley. The Coorgi call themselves “pure” and “strict” non-vegetarians. The favorite meat is pork. They make it as Pandi curry.

The Coorgs use only the vegetables that come from their forests and fields. Bamboo shoots, wild mushrooms, a type of fern, jackfruit, colcosia plant (elephants ears; taro), mangoes, and coconuts are the ingredients used in cooking.

*Characteristics of Mangalorean cuisine* (has links to Udupi and Coorg)

As a coastal district, it uses fish as one of its staples. The preparation of the fish includes onion, red chili powder, salt, ginger, garlic, and coconut oil. Coconut oil is in every dish.

Different regions can prepare the same recipes. The regional characteristics make each recipe unique. For example, marsala dosa (known in all regions), made Udupi way would not contain onions or garlic. The Goorg would use spices available in their region and the Malorean would use coconut oil.

The characteristics of each region make Kanataka a state of many cuisines.