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Mangalore or Kudlu or Mangaluru, (call it whatever you want,) will instantly engage you in its scenic land marked by the distinctive coconut palms in the backdrop of gently sloping hills and magnificent streams that flow towards the Arabian Sea. It is surrounded by two rivers - Nethravathi and Gurupura – the former flowing in the south of the city and the latter flowing in the north of the city.
One of the major port cities of South India and India’s ninth largest cargo handling port, the picturesque Mangalore happens to be the administrative headquarters of Dakshina Kannada’s Tulu Nadu district in Karnataka. The name “Mangalore” is derived from the city’s patron deity Goddess Mangala Devi translating to the ‘place (ooru) of Mangala.’
Known chiefly for its renowned roof tiles of red colour clay dug from local places, seafood, coffee and cashewnuts to name a few, this historic port city becomes the perfect destination for a tourist to have a relaxed and excited holiday because of its beautiful sandy beaches, ancient temples, lighthouses, etc.
A distinct flavour is what differentiates Mangalorean cuisine from any other Indian cuisine. Generally, the food of Mangalore is spicy and uses a lot of fresh coconut alongwith rice, which forms the overall staple food. Also, fish becomes a regular thing for the non-vegetarians. Apart from these, fruits are also important in the food habits of the Mangaloreans. The most popular fruits that are used in various recipes are jackfruits, bamboo shoots, breadfruit, raw banana, sweet cucumber known as taute, etc.
Mangaloreans also use a great amount of sweetness in their desserts for which they prefer using palm jaggery instead of sugar. Also, the three main ingredients adding flavour to any Mangalorean dish are raw mango, tamarind and kokum.
Some of the most popular Mangalorean dishes include idli-sambar, kane (lady fish) curry, kori rotti, ole bella (palm jaggery) and sweet dishes that include Mangalore halwa available in three flavours guava, wheat and banana and gudbud ice cream.
As Christianity forms a major part of the religion in Mangalore, the typical Mangalorean Catholic Cuisine is a cuisine that is largely influenced by the Mangalorean, Goan and Portuguese cuisines. The Mangalore Roman Catholics are Konkani people and thus, majorly follow Goan customs and traditions.
Some popular Mangalorean Catholic dishes are balthazaar chutney, the pollu (a type of sambhar) with galmbi (powdered dried fish) or kambulmas (dried tuna), fode (traditional pickle), thail piao (boiled vegetables in oil), karamb (cucumber salad), foka (lady’s finger combined with cashewnuts), appam (rice balls), panpole (type of congee), thath bakri (red boiled rice mixed with raw scraped coconut and roasted on a tawa on a banana leaf) and mitais, mandas, ushae, pitae and mani as sweet dishes.
Christmas forms a major part of the Mangalorean Catholics and kuswar is a term often used to mention a set of unique Christmas goodies and forms a vital part of the festive cuisine. Some of the traditional Christmas delicacies include neuries (puffs stuffed with plums, nuts, sesame and sugar), kidyo/kulkuls (curly concoctions dipped in sugar treacle), pathekas (savoury of green nandarkai bananas), theel laddoos, golios, macaroons, rose cookies, plum cake and patrode/pathrade (colocasia leaves stuffed with rice, dal, jaggery, coconut and spices).