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A glutton’s guide to Mangalore




Chicken Ghee Roast

Shetty Lunch Home claims to created this dish many years ago. We can’t verify that claim, but every time we eat their chicken ghee roast, we think it just might be true. A true Mangalorean chicken ghee roast is lots of ghee, lots of ghee-roasted spices, and lots of heat, and, obviously, you have it with ghee rice, or neat. Photo by Nikhil Pai

Anjal Masala Fry


Imagine a nice fillet of anjal (king fish). Now imagine a fiery masala being slathered on it. And, now, imagine it being slow-roasted, and making its way towards you. Mangalore’s pride is best eaten along with a generous serving of fish curry and rice at, among others, Giri Manja’sPhoto by Nikhil Pai

Bangude Puli Munchi


The name says it all. Bangude is mackerel in Tulu, puli is tamarind and munchi means chilly. A typical Bunt community preparation, this curry is tangy and spicy at the same time, and should always be had with steaming hot rice. Sample it at Hotel TrishnaMadhuvan’s Village or Meeu Oota Da Mane. Photograph by Nikhil Pai

Mangalore Buns

buns-sambarThe city’s iconic breakfast dish is essentially dough made of flour and extra ripe bananas, and fried to a crispy, crunchy, soft-ish finish. Mangalore Buns are best enjoyed hot along with a cup of tea. Try them at New Taj Mahal Café, or Sagar Ratna at Ocean Pearl. Photograph by Nikhil Pai

Khottige/Mudde Tovey


Khottige and mudde are essentially Idlis, but the former is steamed using a jackfruit leaf, and the latter a kedige (screw pine leaf). The end result is a soft, heavily fragrant Idli, which you have with tovey, a Goud-Saraswat-Brahmin Konkani style dal preparation. The tovey is made using copious amounts of asafoetida, and that gives it a wicked kick. New Taj Mahal Cafe, or Dosa Camp’s – AnmolPhotograph by Nikhil Pai

Pork bafat with Sannas


Pork bafat is what Sunday afternoons are made for. The bafat is a Portuguese-influenced spice-powder mix made primarily of chillies, coriander and peppercorn. The pork is slow-cooked in the bafat masala and the aromatic curry is almost always eaten with fluffy, cotton-wool-like sanas, a cousin of the idli that is usually fermented with toddy. Sample it at Mangala Restaurant & Bar,  or William Pereira HotelPhotograph by Nikhil Pai

Kori Rotti


Kori is chicken in a spicy gravy that is redolent of coconut. Rottis are crepes made of dried rice paste heated to crispy thin layers on large tavas. The magic begins when the mildly spiced curry is poured on top of the rottis. Shetty’s Kori Rotti, or Suvarna Fast FoodPhotograph by Nikhil Pai


Nikhil Pai and Colin D’Souza are co-founders of the 3Hungrymen.com, a Mangalore-based food discovery platform