Bangalore’s Many Cuisines

Bangalore is a multicultural city with people from many parts of the country and the world. There is also diversity in language, religion and ethnicity.  In particular Bangalore is known for big breakfasts and spicy foods.  Here are examples of the kinds of cuisines from around Karnataka, our Indian state, which can be found here in Bangalore:

  • South Indian Breakfasts – major hotels have huge spreads of many different cuisines, but an authentic Southern Indian breakfast might include:
    • idli – fermented steamed cake.  Very white with not a ton of flavor on its own, but good with different chutneys.
    • Vada – savory fritter.  I guess anything deep fried is good and at least worth trying.  I’ve found them to be a bit doughy though.
    • dosas – savory pancakes.  Now we are talking.  The thin pancakes resemble crepes, but are made from rice and beans (although you wouldn’t know it to taste them) and can be filled with all many things like masala dosa (a potato curry mixture that is delicious).
    • other things include set dosa (fermented savory pancake), bisl bele bath (rice, lentil, vegetables), pongal (savory rice and lentil), uppittu (semolina porridge), avalaki (flattened rish), rava idli (steamed semolina cake), pesarattu (green gram crepe), idlyappa (string hopper), appam (fluffy pancake) and puttu (steamed rice cake).
  • Chettinad Cuisine – Chettinad is a region in Tamil Nadu, home of a large and successful trading community.  They use many spices and the food is hot.
    • dosas (savory pancakes), appams (fluffy pancakes) or idlies (fermented steamed cakes) are used to offset the spiciness of
    • pepper chicken, lamb varuval (dry curry) or kothu paratha (minced meat dish and bread)
  • Kerala Cuisine – Kerala is on the southwest coast of India thus fish is a big part of the menu.
    • puttu and karla curry (steamed rice cake with chickpeas curry)
    • idli (fermented steamed cake)
    • pidiyan (rice dumpling)
  • Andhra Cuisine – Very cool because a traditional meal is served on a fresh banana leaf as a plate and fingers are used for eating.  In the center of the leaf is a huge mound of white rice, usually with ghee (a kind of clarified butter that is everywhere).  There might be a meat as well.  Around the rice you’ll find many little dishes with:
    • spicy pappulu podi (lentil-based condiment)
    • pappu (lentils)
    • vepudu (dry vegetables which means cooked vegetables, just not in a sauce)
    • gojju (curries)
    • pulusu (sour gravy)
    • pappu chaaru (lentil broth)
    • pachadi (chutney)
    • rasam (soupy lentils)
    • ooragaya (pickle)
    • curd (yogurt)
  • Coorg Cuisine – coffee country in South West Karnataka where Pandi Curry (pork) is a local speciality, but there are many different rice dish variations as well.
    • akki roti (rice flour bread)
    • puttus (steamed rice cakes)
    • nei kool (rice dish)
    • spicy rice dishes
  • Coastal Cuisine – coastal Karnataka is far south and seafood specialities.
    • Spicy coconut-based dishes with fish, prawns, clams and crabs
    • kori roti (rice flour bread)
    • neer dosa (rice pancakes

Prawns with Spices


  • 1 tbs. oil
  • 2 tsp. channa powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • Pinch tumeric powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 kilo (about 1/2 pound) prawns


  • Mix all ingredients (except oil) and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat saute pan with oil.
  • Add prawn mixture when hot.
  • Cook until prawns are translucent, about 3 minutes each side.
  • Don’t over cook because they get rubbery.
  • Serve when done.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Vegetable Fried Rice with Prawns

Just because I haven’t posted recently doesn’t mean we aren’t eating!


  • 1 c. white rice
  • 3 tbs. oil
  • 1/2 c. beans, chopped
  • 1/2 c. scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 c. cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 c. carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 c. green peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. prawns
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. green chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper


  • Heat 1 tsp. oil in pressure cooker and then add rice and two cups of water.  Close pressure cook and cook on medium heat for 3-4 pressure pops.
  • Let pressure cooker cool.
  • Heat large pan with oil.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables and saute about five minutes or until vegetables have softened.
  • Add prawns, soy sauce, green chili sauce, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and cook until prawns are just done.
  • Add prawns and vegetables to rice.  Mix and serve.

Makes 4 cups