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The cuisine of Karnataka includes many vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines. The varieties reflect influences from and to the food habits of many regions and communities from the three neighbouring South Indian states, as well as the state of Maharashtra to its north. Some typical dishes include Bisi bele bath, Jolada rotti, Chapati, Ragi rotti, Akki rotti, Saaru, Idli-vada Sambar, Vangi Bath, Khara Bath, Kesari Bath, Davanagere Benne Dosa, Ragi mudde, and Uppittu. The famous Masala Dosa traces its origin to Udupi cuisine. Plain and Rave Idli, Mysore Masala Dosa and Maddur Vade are popular in South Karnataka. Kodagu (Coorg) district is famous for spicy varieties of pork curries while coastal Karnataka boasts of many tasty seafood specialities. Among sweets, Mysore Pak, Holige, or, Obbattu, Dharwad pedha, Chiroti are well known.

Although the ingredients differ from one region to another, a typical Kannadiga Oota (Kannadiga meal) includes the following dishes in the order specified and is served on a banana leaf: Uppu (salt), Kosambari, Pickle, Palya, Gojju, Raita, Dessert (Yes, it is a tradition to start your meal with a dessert - Paaysa), Thovve, Chitranna, Rice and Ghee.

After serving ghee to everyone, one may start the meal. This is done to ensure that everyone seated has been served all the dishes completely.

What follows next is a series of soup like dishes such as Saaru, Muddipalya, Majjige Huli or Kootu which is eaten with hot rice. Gojju or raita is served next; two or three desserts are served; fried dishes such as Aambode or Bonda are served next. The meal ends with a serving of curd rice.

There is some diversity in core food habits of North and South Karnataka. While northern-style dishes have jola and rice as the primary cereals the south uses ragi and rice.