Tickle your taste buds in Car Street with yummy snacks

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network

Mangalore, Aug 25 : Those who bemoan that traditional food habit of Mangaloreans is vanishing, a casual visit to the busy Car Street area in Mangalore, will hold many a surprise.  The street is a potpourri of many things that are part and parcel of our good hold tradition especially with regard to food and cuisine.  So find vendors just outside the Venkatramana Temple selling flowers and local vegetables. 

There is a charmuri shop doing brisk business just at the beginning of the Car Street, a shop that sells all traditional food items and one or two eateries filled with people enjoying some of the delectable and fresh snacks or those who drop in, to parcels on their way home.  There are a few flower women who make garlands from some of the local flowers, some who keep chudis for sale or those busy preparing ‘moode containers’ prepared with a traditional leaf.

Mangalorean cuisine offers wonderful gastronomic delights to food lovers and Konkanis who miss some of the traditional or seasonal vegetables or food items at their homes due to various reasons, can take heart from the fact that in Car Street they can lay their hands on them.  It is a common sight to see people parking their vehicles on roadside and enjoying fresh and hot pan cakes or traditional food items offered by some of these small but well-known eateries located in this area.  

Name them and you have these eateries doling out hot and lip smacking snacks that have been part and parcel of the traditions of Konkani people.  When it pours cats and dogs outside or after a hectic day’s work in office, people relish some of these snacks available on a platter.  It is not just local Konkani’s who have found a fondness for these delicacies.  Foodies from different parts of city drop in here with family or friends, to savor some of these traditional snacks.

Just as one enters Car Street on the verandah of the School Book Company one can see a group of people waiting for their plate of churmuri prepared by Raghuram Shenoy.   A B.Com graduate, Shenoy is continuing his father late Sukrunde Vittal Shenoy’s business of selling churmuri  for the last 11 years.  There is no shop but only the Verandha belonging to School Book Company and with their permission Raghuram Shenoy opens his  churmuri business in the evening hours.  

He starts his business at 5pm and closes it at 9.30pm.   He sells two types of Charmuri – one plain and one special with beetroot, carrot and tomato.  Plain is priced at Rs. 10 and special at 15/-.  He says he has regular customers who used to frequent the shop even when his father was there.  Raghuram has worked as accountant   for 15 years but decided to opt for self employment by  continuing  his father’s business. 

Just a few furlongs from here, near Corporation Bank office in this street there is Dinesh Kamath who sells all traditional food items both ready to eat and those to be used as vegetables or for curries.  Those who still remember their mother’s recipe of good old salted mango (wet) chutney or salted raw jackfruit (wet),  can buy them from here and take home to prepare the traditional curries or chutneys.  There are pappads made of jackfruit, chilly, ragi, sweet potato, potato, bamboo, banana, or even salted jackfruit.   Sandige made up of garlic, onion, wheat, rice, drumstick leaves, palak, pudina, salted jackfruit or of bamboo is available in his shop.  Rice, raagi and wheat semige is also sold here. 

His shop is just an extension of the verandah of his house  (possible after the broadening of this street) and he has been selling them for the last three years. 
He also sells various varieties of ready to eat pickles and chutney powders like garlic, hagala kai and kultachi chutney (horse gram).  Dinesh says “these days people don’t have time to all these at home.  Nowadays eating them is not out of necessity but out of craze.  

So when they feel like eating them they come and buy from me”.  Most of Dinesh’s customers are those who come from abroad on holidays or from different parts of India and want to carry these things with them when they go back.  Dinesh prepares only some varieties of pickles at his home and gets his stock from small scale and cottage industries of Udupi,  Kallianpur, Barkur and other places.  

Those who want to buy the local and traditional vegetables of this region Bhaskar Shetty’s vegetable shop at Venkataramana temple square is the choicest destination.  People having  penchant for locally grown vegetables be it ladies finger, alsande,  ridge guard, bamboo, kaat peere, Pendar, alasande, ambade, alva kando (colocasia root),  Thaikulo (Thojank), Brahmi (thimmare) colocasia leaves for preparing pathrode,  Haldi paan (turmeric leaves), maralu dento, goint (a kind of cucumber)  bamboo, bibbo (raw cashew nuts)  banana flower (Bondi),   Theppal,  and even jackfruit seeds are available here. 

Bhaskar Shetty who speaks chaste Konkani gets these vegetables from growers of Neermarga, Merla Padavu, Bajpe, Kulur and other neighbouring areas.  His shop is open by 6 am and closes only after 10 pm.  

Just opposite the Kalikamba temple in lower Car Street there is a Kusum food eatery which is always crowded with people.  While some come there to take a bite of hot and tasty   jackfruits kebabs, chilly  fry or hagala kai podis(bitter gourd)  many drop in to get a few snacks parceled to be eaten leisurely at home.    One can take a pick from a variety of mouth watering fried snacks like pathrode fry, jackfruit fritters (gaarige),   special fried snack prepared with onion and bamboo shoot,   mirchy fry, Hagal Kai roast,   bende kai pakoda, palak pakoda, cabbage vada, bread fruit podi, sweet potato podi, drumstick podi and special and fast moving snack – baby corn fry.
Since the items prepared in these eateries move faster ones gets fresh snacks here most of the time.   People come searching for these eateries as they are quite reasonable and fresh.  Venkatesh Bhat who manages the Kusum eatery says  “people get fresh and tasty food here at a reasonable price and that is why they come searching for us”.

Venkatesh Bhat says he sells a plate of podi for Rs. 10/- whereas in the hotel the same is available for Rs. 15 and above.  These eateries are able to provide them at reasonable cost because they don’t incur overhead expenses unlike hotels.  There is no headache of washing dishes, appointing waiters, providing chutney, water etc.    When people buy these snacks it is given to them in a piece of paper without chutney.  When they take parcel also it is packed in a piece of paper.   Venkatesh says “in the hotel people pay double the cost for chutney, for sitting under the fan and for other services.    Here we have provision for people to sit and eat or take parcel.   This arrangement suits both our customers and us”.  Baby corn fry is the fast moving item here and one tray of it gets sold within 10 minutes.  Onion pakoras are also quite a hit especially during the Ramzaan fasting.  Though onion prices have skyrocketed this eatery has provides 3 pakoras for a plate of Rs. 10/- as they feel the need to retain their customer base.  

So whenever you feel the urge to tickle your taste buds with some traditional, deliciously satisfying and mouthwatering snacks saunter along the street you and don’t have to scout for some of these eateries.  All you have to do is get near the shops which are crowded and you will be in for a surprise.  The choice of snacks available in these small shops will overwhelm you and will appeal to all age ranges and varied palates.  More than that, they will not dig deep into your pockets.  So, take a break and enjoy your evening out on Car Street.


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Comment on this article

  • vasavi, mangalore

    Fri, Feb 14 2014

    Some of the vegetable vendors shown in the picture have a weird way of talking to their female customers. Many women feel uncomfortable and dont go there to shop for vegetables anymore. Certainly not a place for womenfolk.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sandesh Shetty, Bangalore/Kudla

    Tue, Aug 27 2013

    Bali podi is ofcourse very famous in carstreet. Also there is one podi shop near Venkatramana temple that's also very good. Along with the charmburi of ramdas and his brother. Also the famous sukrunde charamburi which is near school book company. Yummy. Thanks Daiji for the wonderful s.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Eulalia D'Souza, Bijai / Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 26 2013

    Thank you Daijiworld for this article. In fact, few days ago,I bought some salted jack fruit ( wet ) for frying, it was superb. All traditional food is available with this person and it is quite tempting to buy them. Car Street can be called as " Food Stall " Street becoz the food that you get on that entire street is yummy, mouth watering..!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Suresh Shenoy, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 26 2013

    Dali Tove is available at Usha Kiran Hotel @ lower Carstreet..

    DisAgree [2] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • florine roche, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 26 2013

    Dear readers, in fact i did not miss Balli podi shop but they who missed it. I had approached Balli Podi shop but the concerned person refused to give any information or even his telephone number so that i could talk to him leisurely. It felt it was not proper to write about them without their consent.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Devdas Baliga, Mangalore

    Mon, Aug 26 2013

    Nak maraya kasal thel galtat the ? cholestrol zauka euch ka.....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • mohan bhat bantwal, mangalore

    Mon, Aug 26 2013

    As already few readers have pointed out, the writer has missed BALLI'S PHODI SHOP. Mr.Balli (Rajesh Prabhu) a graduate is successfully managing the Phodi shop which is very popular among the people. Balli has also figured in prominent magazines and also in HIGHWAY ON MY PLATE.

    Another shop, the writer has missed is Ramesh Mams Goli Soda Shop. Here the VIMTO and SHARBAT is most popular. You also get nice Kashmiri Soda.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • sundari ashoknagar, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    Balli podi shop photos came last year. I have seen. I am a frequent customer of them. All mouth watering snacks. Nice GSB snacks.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • N.Miranda, Moodbidri/Mauritius

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    Mr. Dinesh Shetty, This is for you you can prepare and eat it is very easy to prepare. Boil Toordal in a pressure cooker with little salt and haldi, Let the dal dissolve completely now season it with little oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and little jeera and hing. your Dali tove is ready. enjoy. When you dont get onions, garlic, tometos in the market then you go for tove because you dont need all this in the tove.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    @Mr Dinesh Shetty...
    Always welcome to my place for 'Dali Thove'.
    @ Mr Nelson...No I do not own any shop In Car Street unfortunately.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    Last Two Photos Mar Daala.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • pradeep, mangalore

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    The writer seems to have missed BALLIS PODI SHOP.His shop is the BADSHAH of car street eateries.......

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • nelson, mangalore/kuwait

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    Bandarkar saab which one is your shop in here. I need to visit.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    One thing is for sure...You tickle
    not only your taste but all 'buds' walking down Car-Street.
    Yes...Flo must have missed Balli,the
    'Podi Raja'of Car street or Mangalore. Vegetables are doubly expensive in this street. It has lost it's landmark the 'Taj Mahal Cafe'a few years back, which has now shifted to near Nav Bharat Circle.For GSB's Car Street holds memories innumerable, most of them treasured for it's the abode of
    Lord Veera Venkatesha.....
    Srinivasa Badarayana Govinda...Govindaa....

    DisAgree [4] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    Bandarkar Mam,
    Where Dali Tove is aevilable?
    That is my Favourite dish.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse


    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    The snacks prepaired by GSB people
    are very tasty.I really love it.So,
    next time while coming in vacation
    I surely visit this place.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    The colour of these items is enough to attract any passerby.Should be delicious !

    Mouthwatering. I will make it a point to visit and pack some snacks from this eatery, when I visit Mangalore next time.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shankar, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    Did you just miss Balli's podi shop?

    DisAgree [3] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jude, Mangalore Dubai

    Sun, Aug 25 2013

    I think Balli's is the best snack shop in Mangalore

    DisAgree [2] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

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