Andhra Pradesh, drained by two rivers namely the Krishna and the Godavari is known as the ‘Rice bowl of India’, producing vast amounts of rice for the entire country. No wonder then that rice is the staple food in Andhra Pradesh. The cuisine has a wide array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes is known all over the country for being robust, spicy and sumptuous in every way. Come and join us as we take you through the journey of what makes up the Andhra cuisine.
The food of Andhra Pradesh can be categorised into the local cuisine and the Hyderabadi cuisine. While the local preparations use traditionally available ingredients and spices, the Hyderabadi cuisine has developed due to the influence of the Nizam's rule and is an amalgamation of Persian, Arab and Mughlai food. Most Andhra dishes are prepared such that they can be enjoyed with rice and not just flatbreads.
Pulihora is a specialty of Andhra cuisine that is a tangy rice preparation made with tamarind and spices, tempered with mustard seeds, channa dal and curry leaves. The fragrant rice is often served as a Prasad or offering in temples and is a permanent fixture in wedding meals. It is best enjoyed steaming hot but makes for an excellent packed cold lunch as well.
The Nizam's influence in Andhra food is evident in their love for all things meat, especially the biryani or Hyderabadi Biryani as it is popularly known. Fragrant long grained rice is cooked with potent spices and succulent meat in a dum which is a slow cooking process and is flecked with caramelised onions to make the dish that has put Hyderabadi cuisine on the world map. Your trip to Andhra Pradesh is just not complete if you don’t try the Hyderabadi Biryani and we promise you that you will become a lifelong fan once you try it!
Side Dishes and Condiments
Andhra side dishes are rich in textures and flavours, with spices and gravies adding body to meat and vegetable preparations. Guthi Vankaya Kura is a delicious vegetable preparation made of eggplants stuffed with a masala made with sesame, chilli, garlic and onions.
Guthi Vankaya Kura
Mirchi ka Salan which is made with large peppers is a match made in heaven with the Biryani. Kodi Pulusu or chicken gravy and Gongura Mutton which is mutton flavoured with gongura leaves are popular non-vegetarian delicacies.
Andhra Pradesh is also famous for its heavenly pickles and chutneys made with mangoes, chillies and gongura leaves. They are fiery hot and tangy and make for an excellent accompaniment with hot rice, a spoonful of dal and a dollop of rich clarified butter.
While the state is famous for spicy food, they are not far behind when it comes to dishing out delicious sweets to satisfy one’s sweet tooth. Shahi Tukda made from bread and thickened milk is a Persian sweet that is both easy to make and lip smacking in taste. Pootharekulu is a sweet dish unique to Andhra Pradesh that is made with rice flour, sugar and clarified butter. The process of making the sweet is tedious since it is involves making sheets out of rice flour and coating them with sugar and rolling them out to resemble paper rolls.
When in Andhra Pradesh, don’t forget to try this sweet and make sure you carry some back home since they can be stored for a long time.
Andhra Pradesh cuisine is a melting pot of multiple food influences that will leave you with fond food memories. When in the state, challenge your palate and sample the spicy local food and we are sure it will only leave you asking for more!
Image credit: Enticewithspice, Pootharekulu, ndtvfood