Mande or Mandige- A Sweet Tradition

mande1by Sameer Majli and Uday

Bella Vista Belagavi

The tradition of a population and the area it inhabits is often represented by the eating habits of the residents. Certain food preparations stand out as unique symbols of a region.
The city of Belagavi is also known as “Kunda Nagari” on account of the sweetmeat “Kunda”, a milk based preparation, making which is an art mastered by sweet shop owners in town.
Living in the shadow of the “Kunda” is another dish which has gained its own unique repute and spot in “Indian Cusine”. This wheat based preparation called “Mandige” or “Mande” has made its presence at select occasions and culinary celebrations around town.
The sweet meat is also a part of festive menus in Maharashtra and Karnataka and it is purchased from Belagavi to serve the purpose. Although it is commonly consumed now-a-days, traditional practice was that it was served only during festivals as part of the offering to the Gods.
It is not really clear as to who introduced this culinary delight in Belagavi but the man who is known to have patronized it was Shri Krishnamurthy Saralaya, in 1965. His sons Vijay Kumar, Prabhakar and Laxminarayan continued the legacy of their father and continued the making of Mandige on commercial basis. mandige belgaum
The ingredients that go into making Mandige are wheat flour, sugar powder, ghee, cardamom and poppy seeds. The dough is laced with a mix of powdered sugar, sesame, and ghee, rolled very thin, carefully transferred to be cooked over spherical pots that resemble large inverted karahis, and deftly folded into neat bundles as it cooks. The cooks work in the early hours of the morning. Each piece is separately packed and stored in baskets.
The existing price of is Rs. 280/kg and the same is packed in four packets of 250 grams each. Mandige is crushed and eaten with warm milk or only with ghee. Microwaving the Mandige enhances the flavour profile owing to the fact that the ghee rises to the surface and there is also an enhancement in the texture, mouth feel and the toasted flavour. The first Mandige was made at their residence, the “Krishnamurthy Saralaya” at Konwal galli and presently it is also made at their Tilakwadi residence. The making of Mandige finds reference as an art that has been passed from generation to generation in many families in the region; presently, however, most other families have given up on this tradition. Changes in eating habits of households and the shift to the savouries, fast food and fried food in place of sweets, especially the traditional ones, is threatening this culinary tradition. One can only express a sense of gratitude to the Krishnamurthy family that has upheld this tradition and helped sustain this art which once was part of many occasions and families in town.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. My family loves mandige. I live in Chennai. How do Ii place order to be delivered in Chennai? Please let me know if you have any outlets in Chennai or Bangalore with contact details.

  2. I request the people who are maintaining the tradition to copy right to generate royalty and open lot of shops by giving franchise outlets.

  3. We love this Mandige. Mandige is offered as Naivedya to Lord Ganesha during Ganesh Festival every year in our home. God Bless Prabhakar Saralaya (Son of Krishnamurti Saralaya). His house is in Konwal Galli, near Tilak Chowk.

  4. Can any body give the Adress & Telephone no. of Krishnamurthy / his family in Belgaum so that I can buy Mandige when I visit Belgaum

    Is there any outlet in Bangalore where the Mandige from Belgaum is sold

    • Hi Nagabhusan,

      You can get the Mandige near Tilak Chowk towards Ramling Khind galli. Taste is good too there. You can have a try.

      Regards,
      Vinni

  5. Mande..or Mandige is a very very good sweet…Mr Krishnamurty has been making this many years…I always make it a point to buy Mande in Belgaum when I come back to Bangalore..

    Awesome Food….Wish Krishnamurty all the success and best of Health !

  6. My family is very proud to have Shri.Krishnamuthy as our family friend in late 1960’s .My mother Sarojini .Potdar has taught him preperation of Mandige in our home near venkataramana temple Naragundakar Bhave chouk in Belgaum.Very friendly and kind person we have come across in our child hood and we are very grateful to him for being with us in our bad and good days till his last day.Very popularly called him “Appi bhattaru” among our community when he was on his peak.I become emotional in his cherished memory.I am glad his children are are carrying forward his work.We wish them well

  7. In marriage of Brahmans it is must ….last so man y years i enjoyed eve n it was sent to USA…play keep tradition…ask younger generation to taste which has rare taste than never….

  8. Mandige is a very old traditional sweet of Kannadigas since centuries together.It was a must for the marrage earlier day night srimanta especially in Brahamin community. Today lot of people in north and south karnataka they prepare big size mandiges in marriages. I remamber one Mrs shamlabai kulkarni and her mother were doing mandiges in marriages some 50 55 years back and they were staying in khanapur road near to the present New uday bhavan. there brother was a teacher in BK model school.

  9. Tremendous job AAB……….people like us from other part of the district know more than the localities all because you………..thanks for giving such information.

  10. As I know, Mandige was prepared in weddings basically in well to do and elite households earlier.
    As the economic situation and earnings improved and thanks to Krishnamurthy,its popularity grew.

    I rarely ate Mandige in the 50s 60s and 70s, whereas Holige ( puran poli) was more common.

    I love Mandige and Holige both and used to carry whenever I visit Belgaum.

  11. ABB – Thanks for this article about Mandige. As long as I can remember, mandige has been central to food served on special occasions in my family. Preparing mandige is no trivial undertaking. I have seen my mother prepare these when I was growing up. It requires the perfect mix of ingredients and great dexterity of the hands – be able to stretch out the dough as thin as you can without breaking it.
    Krishnamurthy and family have perfected the art of preparing mandige. People from other places like Hubli and Dharwad come get it from Belgaum. When I visit home from US, I always make it a point to carry some packets back.
    Hats off to Mr. Krishnamurthy and others who keep this unique regional culinary tradition going strong.

  12. Heard about Mansinalli Mandige ?

    Other info is at ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_Karnataka)

    mandige – huge flat leavened pastry. It is quite a treat to watch chefs making large (>36 inches in diameter) pastries with bare hands and baking them on upturned clay pots over fire.

    This is an ancient dish mentioned in a few inscriptions as the Sanskritised mandaka. For instance, a Western Chalukya inscription of A.D. 1121 mentions that Govinda-Dandadhipa, a famous general of Vikramaditya VI, is said to have made a provision for offering this dish as naivedya to Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara, at Pauthage.[1]

  13. Thank you for the information. There is a tradition in some families where mandige is served for dinner on shrimanth pooja which is the first day of the wedding. Big mandige are added for decoration to grooms family.

  14. Mandige is very popular outside Belgaum. Surpursingly I am born & bought up in Belgaum lived in Belgaum for 22 years and now in Mumbai for last 23 years did not know about Mandige while I was in Belgaum.
    It was only during the recent years I learned about Mandige from my colleague in Mumbai; since then during every visit to Belgaum I pick up Mandige packets along with Kunda.
    Mandige is quite tasty when eaten with warm milk & ghee. I guess like me many people in Belgaum are not aware of Mandige. Hope this article of yours will enlighten them

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