Tourism and travel is always changing and evolving. Nowadays going to a new place doesn’t mean just seeing the attractions anymore. There are sports, activities and food tours for the offbeat traveler. If you visit South India, Mangalore Bajji should be on your food tour and trail!
There is a flux of new and interesting ways to travel. Tourists want to do more, see more and learn more. Not for them, the traditional tours and seeing things from an outsider’s view. They want to mingle with locals, live life the way residents do and feel a part of the place. The meaning of tourism is changing and it is bringing people closer in various ways. India’s diverse cultures and regions can act as a boon to the restless soul. Wanderlust is satiated as you are spoiled with options. Coastal towns, beaches, mountains, valleys, hill stations, villages, lakes, oceans, and snowy peaks are available for you to choose from.
Enthusiastic travelers and tourists can escape the tourist traps and see new places by themselves. They do so by using local transport, find secret places or local legends instead of conventional activities. By visiting and trying local foods, restaurants, and eatables they get a sense of the culture. Most cities in India are an amazing opportunity to try famous dishes and do food tours or trails. Mangalore is such a city, full of delectable dishes on offer for every tourist.
Officially known as Mangaluru, it is a major port city. Coconut trees, green lush hills, white beaches, and lapping waves welcome you as you drive through this urban yet peaceful city. It’s strategic location meant a lot of trade happened through Mangalore. The trade opportunities allowed for people of different cultures to visit and even settle in the port city. The influences of these cultures, castes, and religions are visible even today as you savor the dishes and food. The city is easily accessible by train, road, bus, and air from any part of the country. Mangalore has pleasant weather through the year but avoid monsoon season. You can enjoy spacious public parks or strolls along the beach during winters. Or fun activities such as boating, dolphin viewing and swimming during summers. Whenever you choose to go, you must not miss having authentic Mangalorean cuisine.
A mixture of myriad cultures and flavors, Mangalorean cuisine is heavily dependent on seafood. Fresh, local fish and catch is used to create hot, spicy dishes for tourists and residents. South Indian and coastal cuisine is majorly reflected in the dishes available in Mangalore. Iconic dishes include Kori Rotti, Neer Dosa, Mangalore Buns, Pundi, Patrode and Mangalore Bajji. A personal favorite of ours, the Mangalore Bajji is an ultimate snack! Known as Golibaje or Mangalore Bonda, the Mangalore Bajji is a savory fried snack. Fluffy, small balls of flour, gram flour, rice flour and curd they are perfect with tea or coffee. The batter is created by using proportions of different flours, chopped onion, green chilies, salt and curry leaves. It is then shaped into small balls and deep fried in coconut oil. Wait till they turn golden brown and serve piping hot. They are usually served with coconut chutney or sambar, a lentil stew made with spices.
Mangalore Bajjis are best eaten at small, Udupi eateries hidden in busy lanes. Mitra Samaj on Car Street near the Sri Krishna Temple is popular for its Mangalore Bajjis. Don’t let the looks of the place fool you, the food is authentic and served super hot! Anmol Family Restaurant on Main Road is also worth a visit. The small but clean eatery is known for its local dishes and the affordable prices. There you go, the culinary trail of a lifetime and you know where to go find it!
Featured Photo by Santhosh Janardhanan