Amazing Andhra Food

Mallika Basu - Amazing Andhra Food

Posted 30th October 2006

The number of recipes on this blog certainly has no relation to the amount of food I’ve been consuming lately. The weekend was a food fest. I made two kinds of risotto on Friday night for guests and then on Saturday totally pigged out on superb home-cooked Indian food at my Telegu friend Rithika’s flat. She’s promised to give me the recipes for her sinful lamb chops.

Remember I posted a while ago about Bengali food? Today is Andhra Pradesh day.

Padmaja, who blogs about all things Andhra food-related, kindly put together a crash course on food in the South Eastern state of India.

The cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is reputedly the spiciest of all Indian cuisine. Rice is the staple food and is eaten pretty much with every meal along with a variety of vegetable and meat curries.

The state has a rich variety of cuisines, which changes widely from region to region. The Vijayawada/Guntur region is known for extremely spicy dishes. The capital city, Hyderabad is known for its Biriyani and one would do very well to savour it. Because of the rule of the Nawabs there is also a strong Muslim influence on the cuisine in the form of rich, spicy local dishes, especially in the area around the capital.

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, a blend of rice and meat cooked over hot coals is a delicacy cooked with generous amounts of exotic spices and ghee, nuts and dry fruits. The popular Nahari, the Kulcha and the Kebabs have a lot in common with Mughlai cuisine served in northern parts of India.

In terms of typical Andhra food Gongura, also known as Andhra Maatha (Mother of Andhra Food), is a delicacy and no religious festival is complete without it. Pulihara or tamarind rice is the main food here in Andhra Pradesh, and green chilies add spice to the cuisine. Andhra pickle, sharp and extremely hot—is a favorite all over the country.

Other very famous dishes are the Bagara Baingan, or seasoned eggplant, Pesarattu Upma ( Moong Dal Dosa)and many more. Chepala Pulusu (Fish in tamarind gravy) is one of the popular dishes among the varieties prepared from fish.

Sweets and ‘kheer’ are not everyday affairs but form part of the meal on special occasions in any part of the State. It is mainly during festivities that full rein is given to the preparation. Among the popular sweet dishes are sheer khorma (a milky vermicelli sweet), double-ka-meetha (a bread pudding) and khubani-ka-meetha, a syrupy speciality with apricots and lots of sugar.

Moghlai cuisine definitely tops the list of favoured foods, with typical Andhra food coming a close second.

The trend definitely seems to be for spicy and sour food with influences from the Mughal rule. I’m hungry and I may just do some Indian cooking today…

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