Toddy in Mangalore

Toddy in Mangalore and Kerala

When in Kerala or Mangalore or Coastal Karnataka, it is hard to miss tiny rundown wooden shanties with a placard reading ‘Toddy’ tucked into corners encapsulated in greenery. These Toddy shanties (Commonly known as Toddy Shops) are a local wine shop of sorts and serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of palm sap.

You will hear multiple names for Toddy in Kerala/Karanataka – Palm Wine, Palm Toddy, Kall, Shendi (Kannada), Kali (Tulu) and Kallu which are in essence all the product of different species of palm trees like Palmyra, coconut palms etc.

What is Toddy?

Palm wine or Toddy or Kallu or Shendi known by several local names, is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms. It is known by various names in different regions and is common in various parts of Africa, the Caribbean, South America, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Micronesia.

Palm wine production by smallholders and individual farmers may promote conservation as palm trees become a source of regular household income that may economically be worth more than the value of timber sold.

The sap is extracted and collected by a tapper. Typically the sap is collected from the cut flower of the palm tree. A container is fastened to the flower stump to collect the sap. The white liquid that initially collects tends to be very sweet and non-alcoholic before it is fermented. An alternative method is the felling of the entire tree. Where this is practised, a fire is sometimes lit at the cut end to facilitate the collection of sap.

Palm sap begins fermenting immediately after collection, due to natural yeasts in the air (often spurred by residual yeast left in the collecting container). Within two hours, fermentation yields an aromatic wine of up to 4% alcohol content, mildly intoxicating and sweet. The wine may be allowed to ferment longer, up to a day, to yield a stronger, more sour and acidic taste, which some people prefer. Longer fermentation produces vinegar instead of stronger wine.

Toddy in Kerala and Karnataka

Coconut palm trees belong to the palm family biologically known as ‘Arecaceae’. Coconut, derived from the Portuguese and Spanish term coco meaning ‘head’ or ‘skull’ from the indentations on a coconut that resembles a face. Coconut refers not only to the fruit but includes the palm and seed too. Highly maintained palm trees can produce 300 liters of toddy per year, and it is seen that as the tree gets older, it produces over 400 liters of palm toddy.

This palm sap derived from incising the clusters of coconut can be served in two forms. The alcoholic version called toddy in Kerala is mildly intoxicating, and if you’re a fan of sweet alcoholic beverages, you are likely to take a liking to it. The non-alcoholic version called Neera is the unfermented sap from coconut often called sweet toddy and is derived from the immature inflorescence of coconut.

If there was one thing I knew I wanted to try on my travels in India, Kerala or Mangalore, it was Toddy in Kerala and Mangalore.

Toddy is an iconic alcoholic beverage that is sourced directly from palm trees in the area by Toddy tapping! It’s completely organic and has been around for centuries.

As you make your way around the backwaters, it’s hard to miss these tiny shacks serving palm wine and curiosity may get the better of you.

Let’s see how safe the Toddy, how to find a Toddy shop in Kerala or Mangalore, where to watch Toddy tapping and all the essential reasons why you need to try it.

First up, what is Toddy and is it safe to drink in Kerala?
Toddy is an alcoholic drink made from the sap of palm trees. Yes, it is safe to drink Toddy in Toddy shacks if you have it in small quantities. But, as they often mix Toddy with local water in Kerala it can make you sick if you have too much. So, limit to have 1 – 2 glasses and go to the reliable Toddy shop and the shop that is hygienic and sell authentic fresh Toddy . If you buy Toddy from a retailer around the area in a bottle, you won’t have any issues as you can mix it yourself with filtered water.
But, if you wanted a real experience, I would recommend you stop off at a traditional Toddy shop in Kerala on the backwaters. It’s so much more fun to try it this way!

Toddy in Mangalore, Kerala – 7 Essential Reasons Why you Must Try Palm Wine

1. Toddy is a type of wine extracted from palm trees

A lot of foreign tourists call Toddy ‘coconut Vodka’. But, if you’re wondering what Toddy actually is, it’s a type of palm wine where they extract it from palm trees. Palm wine is made from extracting the sap out of palm trees and is a nice little earner for the local farmers in the area if you can master fermenting it.

2. Toddy in Mangalore/Kerala is a tradition that has been around for centuries

I don’t know who first thought of drinking the sap from a palm tree and found out if they left it for a while, it changed and made you drunk. Maybe someone accidentally cut a tree on a hot day, was thirsty, and decided they liked what they saw? Either way, the tradition soon spread and it has been popular here for centuries. You see when you extract the sap from a palm tree, the yeast in the air immediately ferments the white liquid. Within two hours, you’ll have a palm wine that is sweet in taste and has a 4-6% alcohol content!

Today, Toddy in Kerala is sold under a license by the Excise Department and is an industry that has over 50,000 employees! But, it’s not just wine that people use the sap for. “Vellayappam” is a type of hopper in Kerala that is served for breakfast. They use Toddy mixed with rice dough which leavens to make a type of soft bread!

3. Watching (or trying) Toddy Tapping is a must do in Mangalore or Kerala

A Toddy Tapper or Toddy drawer has been a profession here for centuries and is still something that people do today.

While years ago people would climb the tree with just their feet, hands, and maybe a rope for safety. Today, they have more modern methods. A Toddy tapper, will attach grips to their feet and almost ‘walk’ up the palm tree to get to the top. Then, he will attach a bowl to the flower stump and ‘tap’ a hole into the cut flower of the palm tree. The sap will then drip inside in the bowl and be collected later once it has had the chance to ferment naturally. It’s then used in the home for cooking, or sold off to drink in Toddy shops or shacks!

4. Toddy Shops can be found on the backwaters of Kerala

Take the image out of your mind of a Toddy Shop being like your local Bargain Booze! A traditional Toddy Shop is like a shanty bar located in the Backwaters. When we pulled up on our house boat in Kasargod, even though the sign was written in Malayalam (the local language), the big picture of a palm tree and a terracotta pot with palm wine spilling out of it was a big clue. They aren’t anything fancy, they’re very basic. But, they’re usually full of male punters playing cards or watching sports on TV!

If you’re heading to Aleppi or Kasargod or Kumarakom, I’m sure that a trip on the backwaters has already been planned! So, simply ask your guide to make a stop at a Toddy Shop on your way around.

5. You can meet the locals over a Toddy

I think the men in the Toddy Shop will be surprised if any girl go to Toddy shop. Women aren’t often seen in the Toddy Shops in Kerala so it was a wee bit controversial. You get the Toddy in your House Boar as well. You have to pre order. They sell 5 liters of Toddy for RS 500. House boat person stopped at some spot on their way to collect the can full of Toddy for use. It was very morning Toddy and was sweet.

6. Toddy is incredibly cheap to drink

Whereas most alcoholic drinks in India will burn a hole through your pockets, Toddy in Kerala is extremely cheap to drink.

In fact, I think we paid 50 rupees for a liter of Toddy which equates to about 50cents. This is a bargain compared to a small glass of wine which can often be sold for $9-12 in luxury hotels.
After all, It’s the experience that counts, and as I keep saying, it’s a must-try.

7. Be careful, as they often mix Toddy in Kerala with local water

The only thing that does makes you anxious trying Toddy in Kerala was the fact that they mix it with the local water or sometimes mix with some chemical powder that increases the alcohol content.

But, having lived in Mangalore, India before, brushing my teeth with the local water and having drank it on occasion (some, by mistake); I hoped that my stomach wouldn’t mind so much.

Alcohol is also highly acidic and can rip through most things in your stomach, so I threw caution to the wind and just decided to try it.

Toddy Restaurants and Toddy in Mangalore

Known in the local Tulu language as kali gadangs, toddy restaurants used to be seedy places that were not family-friendly and often considered downmarket. However, in recent years, these toddy shops have undergone a sea change to become a huge talking point for those interested in the local fare in Mangalore. Kali gadangs are now big, bright and airy places – some designed to look like a dhaba, others like a fancy lounge and yet others set on backwaters, quite reminiscent of Goan shacks. The food, as good as ever, is spicy bar snacks, usually meat and seafood-heavy.

Toddy in Mangalore – Kalivali The Toddy Lounge Kodikal Mangalore

In fact I stumbled upon Kalivali while on a drive by the riverside resorts in what looked like ideal toddy drinking space – a gentle breeze, coconut trees, tiled roof houses and the smell of Chicken Sukkha which is a local favourite. This no frills place has a great vibe with plenty of spaced out tables. Open air seating is something that is special about this place. For the not so adventurous indoor seating is available as well. The toddy served here in earthen pots is classy tasty and perfectly fermented. It is also very well filtered and clean and gives no headaches or hangovers. The food varieties although limited are extremely well prepared and tasty. Quantity is also decent. The vibe is awesome and it’s a good place to come with friends.
Toddy can be carried home as well. You are welcomed to bring your own bottles. However if you don’t have bottles the place will definitely not disappoint you. The owner Nishant is an awesome guy and runs the place really well. I would recommend this with 4.8 star rating.


If one wants a serene and green environment while tasting the best of the Kudla(Mangalore) oriented food, this is the ideal place reserved alongside a calm and pristine river. This place offers fresh Toddy along with a blissful taste of coastal sea food dishes. Fresh toddy by the riverside in a palmgrove is avaliable here, perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Suggest you go there early so that you get to taste the 3 varieties of toddy that they offer. I understand they have pre-orders and people waiting with bottles and cans even before the place is open. Food is not their strong suit but the toddy, the setting and service of the owner couple makes up for it. Maybe they can try to serve Kappa (tapioca) which is killer combination with Kallu/Kali/Toddy.

Phone Numbers: +919986448841

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Plus Code: WR79+8W Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Toddy in Mangalore – The Toddy House – Talapady

The last great stop before you hit the Kerala border from Mangalore, The Toddy House is designed like a roadside dhaba. It’s large and colourful and has taken the humble toddy to new heights. The toddy shots section has plenty to browse, and the gandhari chilli option is great. Try the ginger-flavoured toddy too. The duck roast, fish rava masala, and the bondas (squid fry) are perfect accompaniments.

Address: The Toddy House Near Talapady Checkpost, NH-66 Talapady, Mangalore

Phone Numbers: +919964812106

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Toddy in Mangalore – Kudla da Paddai – Urwa Mangalore

Set against the Gurupura river in another part of town, Paddai has two large round shacks where you can sit with your toddy and watch the calm waters. The kitchen works in shifts and even in its off hours between 3 pm and 5 pm, you will still get a good kori rotti and squid ghee roast with your toddy. Also, try their prawn vadas.

Address: Kudla da Paddai Kallov, Sulathan Batteri, Road, Urwa, Mangaluru

Phone Numbers: 9148066755, 7892472305

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

The Toddy Palace – Kuloor Mangalore

Plenty of seafood options here to go with your toddy, from tawa fries to Rawa Fry selections, masala fry, the local Uppu-Munchi (salt-tamarind) and more. The Marwai (cockles) Sukka and the Kundapura tawa masala are great. Choose from traditional accompaniments like Neer Dosa, Pundi, and boiled rice among others. A good nostalgic and local toddy shop setting with good ambience and service. The toddy served is good, affordable and plentiful.
Food is very local and good, some items are expensive and some affordable, but must try native food items. Recommended dishes are : Chicken Kebab, Chicken Urwal, Chicken Pepper, Chicken Biryani, Bangude Rava Fry, Chicken Uruval, Pork Chilly, Toddy Sampler Platter. Parking place is somewhat difficult to find. Therefore I would give only 4 star rating to this Toddy shop.


Address: The Toddy Palace Suvarna Building, Kuloor – Kavoor Rd, Padukodi, Mangaluru

Phone Numbers: +919886379610

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Plus Code: WRFH+W7 Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Kali Jiga – Falnir

A traditional setting, yet family-friendly, this toddy lounge is in the heart of the city, right behind KMC Hospital at Jyothi Circle. The crab tawa fry, marwai sukka, mutton roast, and chicken ghee roast are what is on offer here to go with your toddy. They take pride in their masala and tava-fried fish.

Address: Kali Jiga, Near KMC Hospital, Jyothi Circle, Jyothi Falnir Road, New Balmatta Rd, Mangaluru

Phone Numbers: +917676870510

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Palguni The Toddy Court – Kavoor

A cozy place overlooking the Gurpur River with seating indoors and outside under coconut palms. The best time to visit is around 10.30 a.m. when the toddy is the freshest. Classic spicy dishes like the kube sukke (cockles sukka), and the ghee roast in prawn or chicken are what you should order. It is a good place to come with a few friends for a picnic. The view is good and you can have Toddy and Chicken items and sit outside and enjoy the view. The only disadvantage is their cost is high compared to other regular Toddy shops but it’s worth visiting since overall good experience enjoying the ambience and eating.


Cons: Too many mosquitos in the evening. Infrastructure and services is not satisfactory. But there is good view near the hotel there is bridge in that we see train track. Evening time is good to visit that place. It is good for tourist with family and friends.

Address: Palguni The Toddy Court Marakada, Kavoor, Mangaluru

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Toddy Paradise – Ullal

A lovely place to hang out with friends over some toddy. Popular for their seafood dishes, the masala fries, rava or tava fries of prawns, fish and shellfish sell like hotcakes here. Coupled with some fresh toddy, you are sure to have a great time. Most of the reviews in the Google Maps appear to be fake as I don’t see much reviews, only ratings, so I don’t give more than 3.5 star for this Toddy shop.


Address: Toddy Paradise Ullal

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Plus Code: RV27+CQH, Ullal, Karnataka 575022, India

Toddy Village – Moodbidri

In keeping with the old-school toddy houses springing up all over Mangalore and its surrounding areas, Toddy Village is nothing great to look at but serves up some amazing dishes that are the perfect accompaniment to your toddy, any time of the day. Besides the ghee roasts and masala fries, you also have some Indian Chinese thrown into the mix. Toddy village is place where you can feel that you are sitting in a farm house and enjoying your Toddy with your friends, it’s has a very good atmosphere with polite staffs and good food too.


Address: Toddy Village Harmony Enclave Apartment Road, Swaraj Maidan, Mudabidri

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Plus Code: 3X9P+MW Mudbidri, Karnataka, India

Kaliyuga Restaurant and Toddy Café – Malpe

Set by the seaside in Malpe near Kadala Theera, this toddy place is spacious. The Disco fish tawa fry and the squid ghee roast are good options to order here along with their premium toddy. It is a kid-friendly place, but keep in mind that parking is by the gate and not exclusive to the place.

Address: Kaliyuga Restaurant and Toddy Café: Near paradise isle resort, Kola, Malpe

Phone Numbers: +919886379610

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Plus Code: 9M5X+P9 Malpe, Karnataka, India

Arun’s Seafood with Cold Toddy – Kodi Bengare

In the lap of nature, sea and seafood everywhere. This place takes the experience to another dimension. Fresh fish caught beside the sea is served on your plate. Toddy too available if you want. Just come here to forget all the city hussles away and just sink in the sea breeze and goodness of nature. Known for its cold toddy, which often runs out by 3 p.m., you get what the name says – seafood with cold toddy, with the addition of being seaside. The neer dosa, chicken sukka, squid rava fry, pomfret tava fry, kori rotti are all recommended. Nice place to have sea food around kodi bengare. Toddy is available here, but gets sold out by 3pm. Ample parking space and clean restroom are available. Beach is closely accessible from this place (over the rocks). Staff is courteous. Spent a good 1-2 hours here just to beat the mid-day heat.


Address: Arun’s Seafood: Kodi Bengare-Hoode Rd, Kodi Bengare

Phone Numbers: +919880417025

Timings: 10.00AM TO 10.00PM

Google Map Location

Plus Code: CMMW+328, Kodi Bengare-Hoode Rd, Kodi Bengare, Kodi, Karnataka 576115, India

How to Make Toddy at Home Using Tender Coconut Water

Few months back I have seen some YouTube forward that showed how to make Toddy with Tender coconut water that is easily available in any super market or you can order in Amazon too. I was fascinated to see toddy being made easily at home by some Keralites living in the Gulf by fermenting coconut water. I was happy to see the forward to make the Toddy at home in USA too as Toddy is not available in this country.

I did make Neer Dose with toddy, recipe for which I shall post after some time, but first the recipe for making toddy. I used coconut water of about 500 ml from the packet, that I ordered in Amazon as fresh tender coconut is not easily available in USA.


What you Need:
1. A Clean Plastic or Glass Flask
2. A Clean Strainer
3. Clean Cloth.
4. Tender Coconut Water.
5. Sugar
6. Active Dried Yeast
7. Rubber Bands for covering the mouth of the flask.

1. Tender Coconut – 1 large(500 ml) or 500ml of Tender coconut packet

2. Sugar – 3 Table spoon

3. Active Dried Yeast – 1/2 table spoon

Method: Open the tender coconut packet, filter and collect the water in the flask. Add sugar and mix well. Add the yeast and stir once. Cover the mouth of the flask with the cloth and fasten rubber bands. Keep in a warm and dark place for fermentation for 24 hours. After 24 hours, transfer to an earthen pot and allow to cool naturally.

330 ml of tender coconut from each pack and add pinches of Active Dry Yeast from the sachet pack.

Notes: Consume toddy between 24-36 hours of fermenting. You can chill toddy for direct consumption by keeping in the fridge, in an earthen pot, or in PET bottle for future use. Then you better consume it within 2 days for best results. If you add less sugar or keep the toddy at room temperature for more than 72 hours, it will turn into vinegar, which can be filtered and used in cooking.

If you live in the cold place, keep the enclosed container in the oven by setting the warm temperature of 27-29 Degree C for 24 hours. Most of the conventional oven have the minimum temperature setting of 145 degree F(62 degree C), which is going to be too high. You can’t switch on the oven light to keep it warm, because this has to be kept in the dark place for 24 hours. Maybe you can cover the bottle in black cloth if you want to turn on the oven light to keep it warm.

YouTube Video that shows how to make Toddy at home using Tender Coconut

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