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Bangalore to Mangalore - A culinary adventure

Last Friday, the wonderful chefs from JW Marriott led by Chef Jolly, Director of F&B embarked on a culinary trip to Mangalore and surrounding south western coast of India. The idea was to explore the unique cuisines of the region and learn the tricks from the natives. I was lucky to join the adventure. Here's what my camera captured... 

The plan was to travel by road, halting at interesting places. The three main destinations were Mangalore, Udupi and Coorg (Madikeri). A total distance of around 600 km...

Early morning, I had some snacks from JW Kitchen...

Shapely cut tender coconut were pouting at me...

I went for the coffee...

Soon the cars arrived and we set out...

It was still dark at 5:30 AM and we were cruising along the National Highway 48...    

 Daylight brought us closer to our first pit stop...

At Hassan, we saw street food vendors along the highway and decided to halt for breakfast...

 Dosa was being made with skill...

 The crepes were very tasty...


 A man was selling green chickpeas...

 We resumed our journey after having the most satisfying breakfast...
Our next stop was at Sakleshpur, where we ventured inside a restaurant that specializes in Akki Roti (bread made of cooked rice). Cooked rice is kneaded into a dough without adding water... 
 The dough is then pressed...

Flame puffs up the roti...

Here's the simple Akki Roti with the right amount of char...  

After some more coffee we continued our journey to Mangalore...

I found Mangalore to be pleasant...

 It was time for lunch, and we headed straight to Foodlands to try some authentic Shetty cuisine...

 Pomfret masala fry...

 Kane Rawa fry - Lady fish marinated in red chili paste, coated in semolina and fried...

 Kori rotti -  A crispy rice bread...

Ashish, the owner of Foodlands explaining the nuances of Mangalorean cuisine. Chef Jolly is all ears...

Next, we headed north along the coast to Udupi...

 Deep in interior Udupi we halted...

The place was covered with coconut trees...

 We were here to experience the traditional Udupi Brahmin spread from Mr Bhat who is quite accomplished in Udupi Brahmin cuisine...


The Bhat family greeted us with smiles...

 They served simple vegetarian dishes. Gula Huli is a sour eggplant dish...

 Kosambari - Lentil and vegetable salad...

They demonstrated the making of Holigae, a sweet bread made by stuffing lentils...


Holigae turned out to be really good with its mild sweetness and flavours...

 Mr Bhat is good at drums and soon we have his young son performing the tiger dance. And our good chef joins with his own version of tiger dance...

We call it a day and head back to our hotel rooms in Mangalore. We plan to go to the Mangalore Jetty to buy some fresh fish. Early morning is the right time as the fishing boats are unloaded. It was still dark at 5:30 AM. Here's my shadow at the Jetty...

There were a variety of fishes...

 The large one got the chefs excited...

I liked the patterns on these...

This is me with a big one...

I took a time-lapse video of the commotion at the fish market...
A video posted by Shiju Sugunan (@shijuvenate) on

A slow motion video of a man crushing ice...
A video posted by Shiju Sugunan (@shijuvenate) on

More commotion at the fish market...
A video posted by Shiju Sugunan (@shijuvenate) on

With the fish we sailed to a small island to do the cooking...

Mangrove around the island...
As the chefs started setting up for the cookout with the native expert, I walked around the island for some photography inspiration...

 I liked the pattern on the dry leaves...

Pomfret fry...
 Prawn curry...

An impromptu return gift from chef Jolly. On an abandoned terracotta tile he found on the island, he lays marinated tiger prawns on a bed of cilantro leaves...

As the prawns sizzle, he pours his special spicy glaze...

It turned out to be a masterpiece with amazing flavors...

After the cookout we returned to the mainland. Saw a couple of fishermen trying their luck...

In the evening we went to the famous ice cream joint, Pabba's...

 Gadbad ice cream...

Pabba's special ice cream...

Dinner was had  at Tandoor...

 It was a great selection from the Mangalorean cuisine. I liked the Mutton Ghee Roast best...

 The third day saw us heading south to Coorg...

The early morning drive was comfortable...

We stopped at a small hotel on the highway for breakfast...

We found this unique cake from Kasargod called Kalathappam. It is a delicious rice cake made of ground rice, water, coconut oil, jaggery, fried onions or shallots and coconut flakes...
Some Betel nut trees around the hotel...

The hills became prominent as we were nearing Coorg, which is a hill station...

We reached Coorg well before noon...
The market at Coorg sold spices, coffee and Coorg chocolates...

We were hosted by a Kodava couple at their beautiful home...
As the chefs and the host got busy with cooking the traditional Kodava lunch, I decided to explore the views in their backyard...

Manilkara Zapota tree...

Hydrangea flowers...

Ornamental strawberry...

 Lunch was ready.
Kumbla curry made from pumpkin...

Koli Curry...

Kadambuttu rice balls...
My favorite of the day, Pandi curry - pork curry...

Overall it was a pleasant experience. I am eager to see how Chef Jolly and his team will incorporate the learning from this trip in their delectable menu at JW Marriott.


  1. Hello, looks like a fantastic trip! Yummy food and amazing scenery! Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  2. Wow that was a lot to take in. - Looks like quite the trip. All that food has made me hungry. I enjoyed the scenery.

  3. What a great trip! I would love to visit!

  4. wow! what a road trip for food! i like that idea and saw several good fences along the way. :)

  5. A wonderful travel and culinary post! Unfortunately, I'm reading this just before dinner and I'm very hungry!! The food looks wonderful.

  6. I love this post, the food, the scenery, and just enough information. Thanks for sharing your experience, followed you here from the Family Fun Friday party.

  7. Love it! Almost felt like I was right with you experiencing it! What a wonderful time!

  8. Oh, my goodness!

    What a wonderful trip you took us on. I'm a bit of a sissy when it comes to spicy food, but I certainly would have tried everything.

    Thanks for Sharing Your Cup!

  9. Great post.. loved reading it..

  10. Very interesting your trip. I like your pictures and I am glad to see and learn about indian dishes.

  11. Wow - that's a crazy busy place!
    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/01/eat-your-greens-fruity-ones.htmlhttp://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/01/eat-your-greens-fruity-ones.htmlhttp://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/01/eat-your-greens-fruity-ones.html

  12. Thank you for taking us along your journey with you - so many beautiful captures, and some delicious looking food!!

    Sharing snapshots at Captured By Jade

  13. That looks like an awesome trip. Dosa is one of my all-time favorite foods. My husband and I read this post together and jotted down the names of some dishes for us to try. Thanks!

  14. What an all encompassing post. You shared with us a little bit of everything. I am about to begin a memoir entitled “Climbing the Mango Tree.” It is by Madhur Jaffrey. I heard her on PBS talking about the Indian people do not use utensils but eat with heir fingers....even soup. Did you see this? I cannot wait to start the book tonite. It is going to be wonderful.

    1. Hello Genie,
      Thanks for stopping by. Most Indians prefer to use their fingers to eat. It is a matter of convenience as most Indian food requires the added capabilities of one's fingers to eat. It is almost impossible to enjoy a Naan or Roti using fork and knife. I feel no harm in eating with fingers if they are sanitized. I have never seen somebody having soup with their fingers though. Hope you will enjoy your book reading.

  15. Wow!!! Too many photos to comment on. What a wonderful trip you had & so many interesting places. The food looks incredible. I've had Roti Bread but never realised it was made from Rice. Did I mention how beautiful the food looked. The pattern on the Squid was interesting. JW Kitchen... Jehovah's Witness Kitchen perhaps??? Would you like a Watchtower Magazine with your food??? ha ha!!! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful photos for us to enjoy Shiju. Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you Tony for stopping by. I like your humor. Roti's are usually made of wheat flour. The one displayed in this post is a kind specific to the region I visited in the trip. I am glad it's not Jehovah's Witness Kitchen. Quite a pain when they come knocking at the door. You too have a great weekend.

  16. Hello!:) Amazing photos of deliceous looking food. Glad you enjoyed your trip, and I learnt about some dishes that I would'nt otherwise have known about, thankyou!:)

  17. Hello, just stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  18. Wonderfull post and photos, greeting from Belgium

  19. Great trip and photos


  20. I really enjoyed the trip along with you. I studied each photo and took my time scrolling. What fun it has been for me! Thanks for the post!

    1. Thank you Jeannie. When I was writing this post, I thought nobody will have the patience to scroll through these 85 photographs and post a comment in the end. Glad to have people like you here who really cheer me up.

  21. It was like a progressive dinner type meal through an exotic land. - Margy

  22. Thanks for sharing your foodie adventures with us and for sharing the love up-close with I Heart Macro!

  23. Wow....lots and lots of photos!!! What an adventure. I'm happy you took us all along with you.

    Thanks so much for using the linking tool this weekend at I'd Rather B Birdin'...it's appreciated!!!

  24. Excellent pictures. Now I need to go brew some coffee!

  25. Wow lots and lots of pictures. Interesting to follow your adventure.

  26. My favorite would have to be those prawns! They really look yummy. Thank you for linking in with "Through My Lens".

    Mersad Donko Photography

  27. Wow what a great few days! love those snippets of the markets, amazingly different world. Thanks for showing me around and all that beautiful food!

  28. I feel like I've had a full meal and not taken a bite! The food looks so delicious! And your photos are grand!! Have a wonderful day!

  29. What a wonderful culinary trip! The foods look amazing...so exotic (to us here) and delicious! Great photos of everything! You must have enjoyed this immensely!

  30. Gorgeous series - such wonderful photos!@
    Thank you for linking up at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/02/abstractions.html

  31. enjoyed these wonderful photos, now i'm hungry

    have a good Tuesday

    much love...

  32. My kind of trip! Fantastic food, amazing pictures.

    A taste of Scotlandl

  33. What an amazing trip with all the culture of the foods, families, your photos are amazing!!

  34. What a culinary trip!

  35. Oh my goodness! What a food fest!!!!! Great trip!

  36. I loved traveling along on your journey! These are some beautiful pics and the food is making us hungry! Found you over at Stephs Joy's link up. ~Lowanda from Sunshine and Elephants

  37. oh my gosh- what feasts you had! Thanks for taking us along! Cheers!

  38. The food really pulled me in. Exotic and well photographed!

  39. Hi Shiju,
    A photo blog! This must have taken you so long to upload all these photos! I liked the coconuts. Thanks for bringing this to Bloggers Pit Stop.

  40. What a fabulous trip you had and the pictures are so tempting! Great photo story. You let the food do the talking which is super smart. Good job! :)

  41. Another awesome journey that you have taken us along. This post will be FEATURED in the next Blogger's Pit Stop.
    So interesting,

  42. An exciting journey! I didn't know you used so much fish in indian cousine. At the indian restaurants here it is mostly meat and prawns.

    1. India is a vast country with a variety of cuisines. I've covered only the south west coastal region in this post. Here fish is abundant and that explains the preference of fish.

  43. Thank you very much for sharing this extremely interesting post with Today's Flowers. It was a wonderful and fascinating journey and your photos were fantastic.

  44. look at all those delicious food. So colorful and full of flavour I bet..

  45. What a fun adventure. I've never been to that part of the world. Your photos are beautiful.

  46. My goodness, Shiju, what an incredible experience you had! I wish I could be so lucky. In all my visits to India, I've never been quite that lucky. Of course, I have had some really special times, thanks to dear friends who have opened their homes and hearts to me and treated me like family. I've had some amazing feasts and seen so many special places and have grown to love your unique country more every time I visit. I thank you for your sharing it daily, with me, through your wonderful blog and friendship.

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