I am from Bangalore, which belonged to the old Mysore State. Conservative Brahmin recipes are pure vegetarian and strictly prohibit the use of Garlic and Onions and also several other vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflower, cabbage, drumsticks, etc and also several fruits like watermelon. The reason for not using these vegetables is the belief that the food we eat, influences the way we think. Vegetables like onion and garlic were considered pollutants of the mind, and came under the ‘thamasic’ group. More information about food types in can be found here-
My family back in Bangalore still follow many of these customs. I have deviated a bit, I do eat and cook other vegetables, except garlic, mostly because I don’t find the smell very appealing.
A typical festive meal is supposed to be very well balanced and nutritious. It is served on a plantain leaf. Salt is always served first, in the top leftmost corner of the leaf. The other dishes that follow include-
1. A Pickle
3. Salad- Called kosambari generally 2 types
6. 2 types of cooked vegetables
7. A fried fritter
10. Flavoured rice
11. Plain rice
16. A little bit of ghee, served on the Rice before starting the meal
Buttermilk or curd is always served at the end of the meal. It is said to aid digestion and cool the body.
The recipes of the Bangalore-Mysore region, where I am from, generally use fresh coconut or dry coconut is most dishes including sweets. The use of just a dash of jaggery or sugar to balance the sourness in sambhar or rasam is also typical of this area.