I’ve been in Bengaluru for 12 years now. Being the son of an airforce pilot, we moved cities every few years. This exposed me to more cultures than your average Indian citizen. I call this city my home now, and its food does not seem alien to me anymore. But not everyone in Bengaluru is from here, and some of the dishes here might confuse anyone not from here. Here are a few I found extremely fascinating:
Mudde or the Ragi ball was an unusual discovery for me. Usually served at Military Hotels in the city, this is a slow-cooked ball of finger millet. The mudde itself lacks any flavors. The flavor of the mudde is defined by the saru (gravy) that is served with it. Usually served with either a chicken or vegetarian gravy depending on your preferences. What’s unusual about this dish is that it is not chewed, but swallowed. We even made a small tutorial for you to check out.
Kori Roti is a popular Mangalorean dish. When we say “roti”, you imagine a round-wheat-bread. This is nothing like that. The Kori Roti is a combination of a thick chicken curry eaten with thin and crunchy rice crepes. The rice crepes make up the base of the dish, onto which the thick gravy is poured. Without the gravy pour, the crepes would be flavourless. Now though, the crepes soak in the gravy and are bursting with flavor. The result is a magical flavour combination. With the passing of time, these roties stopped being prepared at home. However, they can be sourced locally from stores dedicated to Kori Roti.
Churumuri is a popular road-side from Mysore. Since it’s base ingredient is puffed rice, it's often confused for Bhel Puri. But unlike the Bhel Puri, it does not have the sweet and spicy chutney. Churmuri is a rich, tangy snack made from puffed rice, chopped onions, carrots, a paste of coriander and chillis,a generous squeeze of lemon and a few peanuts. Around mango season, the flavors are elevated with the use of finely chopped raw mango. It’s one of those snacks you need to try first hand to know “What’s so special about this?” a.k.a “Yaar, isme kya rakha hai?”.
A sweet dish with an unusual flip, Chiroti is often found at auspicious events like a wedding. Made from rava or plain flour, Chiroti is a hard dish to get right. It has a thin fibrous texture molded into flat cakes. Served in a shallow bowl with a topping of powdered sugar and badam milk (sweet almond milk), once the milk is soaked, the dish feels a little like kheer. Although an unusual dish, this recipe has a comforting and familiar flavor when made right.
The Bonda Soup is exactly like the name suggests. A mild dal soup with floating urad dal bondas. It's a popular breakfast dish in small native Bengaluru establishments. The dal bonda is deep fried and added to the slow cooked soup. A popular choice during the cold winter mornings, it has a blast of spices and flavors that are perfect to kick start chilly morning… or mornings in general. It’s delicious!
Here are the few that could make the list, there are way more! When it comes to local food in the city, there is stuff as fascinating as you can let your imagination run!