13 Best Kannadiga (Karnataka) Recipes Directly from the South Indian Kitchen

The food of Karnataka is diverse and is loaded with flavours and nutrients. Here are a couple of dishes from this cuisine you’re sure to love!

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13 Famous Karnataka Dishes to Try for an Amazing Culinary Experience

Let us explore 13 famous mouth-watering and flavourful Kannada food recipes.

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1. Kori Gassi

Kori gassi is a wonderful chicken recipe and is a well-known dish of coastal Karnataka.

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What You Will Need

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  • Chicken: 500 grams
  • Small onion: 10-12
  • Garlic cloves: 5-6
  • Tamarind: 5 grams
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder: 3-4 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Black pepper: 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds: 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon and cloves: As needed
  • Curry leaves: 1 sprig
  • Corn flour: 1 tbsp.
  • Coconut milk: 2 cups
  • Vegetable oil: 1-2 tbsp
  • Salt: To taste

Total Cook Time

  • 45 minutes

Servings

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  • 4 people

How to Make

  • For the masala, heat some oil and fry the small onions and garlic cloves in it.
  • Add the chillies and saute for a few seconds.
  • Then, add the ghee to the pan. Once hot, add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black pepper and fry.
  • Next, grind them all together to make a fine paste.
  • Then, in a pressure cooker, add the chicken pieces, salt, masala paste, turmeric, tamarind pulp, half of the coconut milk and 1 cup of water.
  • Give it a stir, put the lid on and let it cook until you hear 5 whistles.
  • Roast cloves, cinnamon and curry leaves in oil, and add it to the curry.
  • Put the curry back on the stove, set it on a low flame and let it boil.
  • Next, mix corn starch with half a cup of water and add it to the curry.
  • Once the curry thickens, add the other cup of coconut milk.

2. Bisi Bele Bhat

Very similar to khichdi, it is one of the most popular Kannadiga rice dishes eaten for lunch.

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What You Will Need

  • Rice (Sona masuri or Basmati): 1 cup
  • Arhar dal: 1/4 cup
  • Peanuts: 1 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts: 8-10
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind: 5 gms.
  • Onions (chopped): 1/4 cup
  • Tomato (diced): 1/4 cup
  • Carrot (diced): 1/4  cup
  • Potato (diced): 1/4 cup
  • French beans (chopped): 1/4 cup
  • Peas: 1/4 cup
  • Jaggery: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 1 tsp.
  • Bisi bele bhaat powder: 2 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Dried red chillies: 1-2
  • Curry leaves: Few
  • Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
  • Salt: To taste

Total Cook Time

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  • 45 minutes

Servings

  • 2-3 people

How to Make

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  • Wash the dal and rice separately and also pressure-cook them separately.
  • Add jaggery, bisi bele bhaat powder and salt to the tamarind pulp.
  • Mash the dal and add it to the mashed rice.
  • In a kadhai, add ghee and sauté the vegetables for a few minutes.
  • Add a cup of water and cook the vegetables thoroughly.
  • Pour the tamarind and masala mix to it.
  • After some time, add the rice and dal. Add some water and let it boil over medium heat.
  • Add salt and give the mix a good stir.
  • In another pan, add some ghee and temper mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies.
  • Fry the onion, peanuts and cashew nuts and add it to the bisi bele bhaat. Give it a final stir.

3. Davangere Benne Masala Dosa

This crisp yet soft dosa made in benne or butter is one of the most sought-after Karnataka recipes for breakfast.

What You Will Need

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  • Sona masuri rice: 2 cups
  • Urad dal: 1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1 tsp
  • Beaten rice: 1/2 cup
  • Butter: 75 gms
  • Salt: To taste
  • Potatoes: 2 (large)
  • Onion (chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Green chilli (chopped): 2-3 tbsp
  • Peanuts: 4 – 5 tbsp
  • Chana dal: 2 – 3 tbsp
  • Curry Leaves: Few

Total Cook Time

  • 1 hour

Servings

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  • 4 people

Cooking Method

  • Soak the rice, dal, fenugreek seeds, and beaten rice for 6-7 hours and grind everything together. Let it ferment overnight.
  • Pressure-cook the potatoes. Once cooked, peel and roughly mash them.
  • In a kadhai, pour some oil. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, peanuts, and curry leaves.
  • Then, add the onion, green chillies, turmeric powder, mashed potatoes and salt.
  • Fry for 4-5 minutes.
  • On a non-stick tawa, pour a little oil and spread it around with half an onion.
  • Pour one ladle of the batter in the tawa and spread it out in a circle and cook it on a medium flame.
  • Once the top of the dosa gets cooked, add butter and spread it with a spoon.
  • Then add in a little potato filling and fold it. Take it off the tawa and serve with coconut chutney.

4. Kosambari

This is a healthy side dish or salad from the Karnataka cuisine.

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What You Will Need

  • Cucumber (chopped): 1 cup
  • Onion (finely chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Green chilli (chopped): 2-3 tbsp
  • Green gram sprouts: 1 bowl
  • Carrot (chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Raw mango (chopped): 1/4 cup
  • Grated coconut: A handful
  • Coriander leaves (chopped): 1/4 cup
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Split black gram: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: Few
  • Ginger (finely chopped): 1-2 tbsp
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: To taste

Total Cook Time

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  • 2-5 minutes

Servings

  • 4-5 people

How to Make

  • Mix all the chopped ingredients and the sprouts together.
  • Then, heat oil and lightly roast mustard seeds, split black gram and curry leaves. Mix them in with the vegetables and sprouts.
  • Add the salt just before serving.

5. Sihi Huggi

This is a traditional sweet dish made during Makar Sankranti.

What You Will Need

  • Rice (Sona masuri): 1/2 cup
  • Moong dal: 1/4 cup
  • Jaggery: 1 cup (or more, depending on your preference)
  • Shredded dry coconut: 1/4 cup
  • Cashew nuts (chopped): 2-3 tbsp
  • Raisins: 2-3 tbsp
  • Cardamom pods (powdered): 2-3
  • Ghee: 3-4 tbsp

Total Cook Time

  • 15-20 minutes

Servings

  • 3-4 people

How to Make

  • Pressure-cook the washed dal and rice with 2.5 cups of water over medium heat.
  • In a pan, pour the ghee and fry the cashews and raisins.
  • Melt the jaggery using half a cup of water and strain it through a cloth.
  • Again, cook the jaggery syrup until you get a string-like consistency.
  • In another vessel, heat some ghee and add the mashed dal and rice.
  • Add the dried coconut. Add little more ghee and cook.
  • Switch off the stove. Add cardamom powder, fried raisins, cashew nuts and serve.

6. Udupi Chitranna

This is a spicy masala rice recipe cooked in the Udupi style.

What You Will Need

  • Cooked rice: 3-4 cups
  • Grated coconut: 1/2 cup
  • Mustard seeds: 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
  • Dried red chilli: 1
  • Peanuts: 2-3 tbsp
  • Curry leaves: Few
  • Jaggery: 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind pulp: 1-2 tbsp
  • Oil: 1-2 tbsp
  • Salt: To taste

Total Cook Time

  • 8-10 minutes

Servings

  • 3-4 people

How to Make

  • Grind together the coconut and half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and mix it with turmeric and red chilli powder.
  • Then, heat a kadhai and pour some oil into it.
  • Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli, curry leaves and peanuts.
  • Then add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and a little salt.
  • Add the ground masala and fry it all together for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add rice and mix well.

7. Mysuru Bonda

This is one of the most popular snacks in Karnataka and it tastes great with tea.

What You Will Need

  • Urad dal (soaked): 1/2 cup
  • Rice flour: 1-2 tbsp
  • Ginger (finely chopped): 1-2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves: Few
  • Green chilli (chopped): 2-3
  • Coriander leaves (chopped): Few sprigs
  • Black pepper powder: 1 tsp
  • Salt: To taste
  • Oil: To deep fry

Total Cook Time

  • 15-20 minutes

Servings

  • 10-12 people

How to Make

  • Blend the soaked dal to form a thick paste.
  • Mix all the ingredients with the paste. This will be your batter.
  • In a kadhai, heat oil.
  • With wet hands, take out a scoop and drop it in the hot oil.
  • Fry the bonda until golden brown.

8. Kodhel

Kodhel or the Udupi style sambar is a bit different than the other sambar recipes.

What You Will Need

  • Toor dal: 1/2 cup
  • Tomato (diced): 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind pulp: 2-3 tbsp
  • French beans (chopped): 8-10
  • Jaggery: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 Tsp
  • Dried red chillies: 5
  • Urad dal: 1 tsp
  • Chana dal: 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Coconut: 1/2 cup
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves: Few
  • Asafoetida: 1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: To taste

Total Cook Time

  • 30-45 minutes

Servings

  • 4-5 people

How to Make

  • Lightly fry dried red chilli, urad dal, channa dal and coriander seeds.
  • Add the coconut and stir it.
  • Once cool, blend it all together with a little water.
  • In a pressure cooker, cook toor dal along with tomato, beans and a little turmeric.
  • Mix the tamarind pulp with water and boil it along with the jaggery.
  • Add the cooked dal and vegetables to the jaggery and tamarind.
  • Boil the dal and vegetable mix and add salt.
  • Lastly, add the masala paste and cook the sambar some more.

9. Holige

Holige is a popular sweet dish prepared during festivals.

What You Will Need

  • Maida: 1 cup
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Toor dal: 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery (grated): 1 cup
  • Coconut (grated): 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom: 2 pods
  • Salt: 1/8 tsp
  • Oil: As required

Total Cook Time

  • 1 hour

Servings

  • 5-6 people

How to Make

  • Add maida, turmeric and salt along with water to knead the sticky dough.
  • Add a spoon of oil and knead. Keep adding oil and kneading till the dough is soft.
  • Keep it aside for 6-8 hours.
  • Boil the dal in a vessel and strain the water.
  • Blend the dal, jaggery and cardamom in a grinder.
  • In a pan, cook the paste until there is no moisture left.
  • Make balls from both the mixture and the dough.
  • In a greased sheet, press down the dough ball to shape it like a puri.
  • Place the sweet mix in the centre and seal it.
  • Roll it out into a circle making sure the sweet mix is spread uniformly.
  • Cook it over a tawa with very little oil. Serve hot!

10. Mangaluru Fish Curry

The coastal town of Mangalore is where you get most of the non-veg Kannada recipes from and this simple fish curry is also no exception.

What You Will Need

  • Fish (fillets): 250 grams
  • Tomato (chopped): 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind pulp: 1 tbsp
  • Ginger (finely minced): 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves: Few
  • Green chillies (slit): 2
  • Coconut milk: 100 ml
  • Saru Podi (Udupi style rasam powder): 1 tsp
  • Salt: To taste
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

Total Cook Time

  • 30 minutes

Servings

  • 2 people

How to Make

  • Pour oil in a kadhai and add curry leaves and ginger to it.
  • Add the onions and fry. Once soft, add the tomato.
  • Pour the tamarind pulp, one cup water, saru podi and salt.
  • Give it a stir and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the fish fillets and cook them for some time.
  • Add coconut milk and let the mixture simmer for few more minutes before turning off the flame.

11. Neer Dosa

This variant of dosa is extremely popular in Karnataka and is usually eaten for breakfast.

What You Will Need

  • Rice: 1/2 cup
  • Coconut (Grated): 1/4 cup
  • Salt: To taste
  • Oil

Total Cook Time

  • 10 minutes

Servings

  • 2-3 people

Cooking Method

  • Make a smooth batter by grinding together the rice that has been soaked overnight and coconut.
  • Pour the batter into a vessel and mix half a cup water in it.
  • Add salt and stir it well.
  • The consistency should be watery but slightly thicker than milk.
  • Heat a non-stick pan and pour a little batter on the pan and swirl it around for the batter to spread evenly all over the pan.
  • Place a lid over the dosa and cook it for 30 seconds.

12. Ragi Mudde

This is a staple made of ragi flour and can be served with curries.

What You Will Need

  • Ragi flour: 1/2 cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Salt: To taste

Total Cook Time

  • 10 minutes

Servings

  • 1 person

Cooking Method

  • Add salt to some water and heat it in a vessel with a wide opening.
  • As the water starts boiling, add 2 teaspoons of ragi flour and give it a good mix.
  • Once it thickens and starts to bubble, add the remaining flour but do not stir it.
  • As soon as you see water rising around the dry flour, with a ladle push the dry flour downwards so that the liquid covers it.
  • Let it cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes.
  • Then, remove from the heat and mix so that there are no lumps.
  • While still warm, wet your palms with water and make balls with it.
  • Cover them up with a damp towel until served.

13. Nalagree

This sweet and tangy gravy curry is one of the most popular dishes among Kannadigas.

What You Will Need

  • Cowpeas (soaked): 1 cup
  • Potatoes (diced): 2 cups
  • Onion (chopped): 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind pulp: 1-2 tbsp
  • Sambar powder: 1 tsp
  • Curry powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Grated coconut: 1/2 cup
  • Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Salt: To taste

Total Cook Time

  • 30 minutes

Servings

  • 5-6 people

How to Make

  • Cook the soaked cowpeas in a pressure cooker until you hear two whistles.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, onion, asafoetida, and grated coconut.
  • Then, add the diced potatoes, salt, turmeric powder, tamarind pulp and 1 cup of water.
  • Put the lid on and let the potatoes cook until they are soft.
  • Then in a bowl mix together the curry powder, sambar powder and grated coconut together. Add 1/4 cup of water to it and make a smooth paste.
  • Add the paste to the pan, along with the drained cowpeas.
  • Let it simmer for 6-7 minutes. Stir occasionally when needed.

Try out these authentic recipes and enjoy a delectable experience!

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