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Andhra Pradesh Cuisine History

Telugu cuisine is a cuisine of South India native to the Telugu people from the states of Andhra and Telangana. Generally known for its tangy, hot, and spicy taste, the cuisine is as diverse as the people and regions in which it is consumed.

Andhra Pradesh is the leading producer of red chili and rice in India, and Telangana is the leading producer of millet. The concentration of red chili production in Andhra Pradesh has led to the liberal use of spices in Telugu cuisine. Vegetarian dishes, as well as meat, and seafood in coastal areas, feature prominently. Tomato pappu, gongura, and tamarind are widely used for cooking curries. Spicy and hot varieties of pickle are also an important part of Telugu cuisine, including avakaya.

The eating habits of Hindu royals and Brahmin, as well as Muslim Nawabi royal families have historically had a heavy influence on Telugu cuisine.

Rice, lentils, and seafood becoming dietary staples in the region. Andhra cuisine has its own variations, but dishes are predominantly rice-based. The Nellore region in the south has its own unique recipes, markedly different from those in Uttarandhra. Ulava charu is a soup made from horse gram, and bommidala pulusu is a seafood stew that is considered a specialty of Andhra Pradesh.

Vegetables are often cooked in a gravy of menthi kura (fenugreek seed paste), avapettina kura (mustard seed paste), or nuvvugunda kura (sesame paste). Ullikaram is another popular dish in which vegetables or corn seeds are flavored with shallots or onion paste.

Poori and patoli are popular breakfast or festival dishes. Patoli is composed of soaked split black chickpeas (senagapappu or chana dal) ground to a coarse paste and seasoned with coriander seeds, onions, and sometimes cluster beans (goruchikkudu kaya). Upma or uppudu pindi is coarsely broken rice steamed with vegetables and seeds. This dish is eaten on feast days, when people fast during the day and eat at night. Attu, also called dosa, is a standard breakfast in Andhra Pradesh, which may also include coconut or tomato chutneys. Idli is also very common. Karappoddi is a popular curry powder that is served with idli, dosa and upma.

Inguva charu is a sweet-and-sour stew made with tamarind and hing. It can be eaten with rice or uppupindi. Bellam pulusu is another flavorful, thick, sweet stew made out of rice flour, jaggery, corn cobs, and whole shallots.

Avakaya is a mango pickle which is part of a standard Andhra meal. Pieces of mango are coated with mustard powder, red pepper powder, and salt, then sun-dried, and finally soaked in sesame oil to give the pickle extended shelf life. The result of this process is a darker hue and a sweeter taste than other pickles. This method helps preserve Uttarandhra pickles better amidst the high moisture from the Bay of Bengal coast.

A complete vegetarian Andhra meal typically consists of rice served with ghee, pulihora, chapati or puri, pappu (lentils), sambar, chaaru (rasam), fried and wet curries, appadam (papadum), odiyalu, chutney, pachadi, avakaya, yoghurt and a sweet for dessert. In general, food from the Vijayawada-Guntur region contains more chili and spices than food from the rest of Andhra Pradesh. Rice is considered the main dish and everything else is considered a side.

Meal presentation:

Pappu (dal/lentils) and kooralu (curries) are placed to the right of the diner, while spiced pickles, pachadi (chutney/raita), a saucy condiment with dahi (yogurt) , vegetables, pappulu podi (dal and dry red chili-based powdered condiment), and neyyi (ghee) are placed to the left. On some occasions, special items such as pulihora (tamarind or lemon rice) and garelu (vada) are placed at the top right. A large scoop of annam (plain white rice) is placed in the middle. Small amounts of neyyi are added on the rice. Avakaya (mango pickle) and gongura (roselle leaf pickle) are often served with the meal.

Courses and servings:

Dibba rotti or minapa rotti is a classic Andhra dish eaten for breakfast, brunch, or evening snack with a chutney or pickle

Rice is the main dish, eaten by mixing with the side dishes using the right hand, and the primary source of carbohydrates. Spiced pickles, pachadi, podi, and papadum (appadam) are typical side dishes.

A meal traditionally starts with modhati muddha (first bite), an appetizer of spiced pickle followed by a pappu(dal) dish, which can be made with vegetables added or eaten plain with a pickle. This constitutes the main source of protein for vegetarians. This is followed by a couple of koora varieties, which provide vitamins and minerals. A pappu or rasam (Telugu: charu), usually kadi, is the third course. The fourth course of the meal is either a perugu (curd or yoghurt) or majjiga (buttermilk) accompanied by a spicy pickle or other condiments.

After the meal, paan or somph (areca nut/betel on pan leaf) is traditionally offered. On festival days or other auspicious occasions, a sweet, usually paravannam, is served with the meal, which is usually eaten first.


Pappu (dal)

Ridge gourd with moong-dal pappu

Pappu (dal/lentils) dishes include toor daal (kandi pappu) and moong daal (pesara pappu), which are usually cooked with a vegetable or other green. No masala is added to the dal. In some areas, garlic and onion are included in the seasoning, while in others asafetida (hing/inguva) is used. Kandi pappu is often cooked with leafy vegetables such as palakura (spinach), gongura, malabar spinach, and other fruits and vegetables such as tomato, mango, or aanapakaya. Sometimes the cooked version of the dal is replaced with a roasted and ground version, like kandi pachadi (roasted toor daal ground with red chilis), or pesara pachadi (soaked moong daal ground with red or green chilis).

A very popular combination in Andhra is mudda pappu (plain toor dal cooked with salt) and avakaya.


Moong-daal pulusu

Pulusu (meaning sour) is a curry-like stew that is typically sour and cooked with tamarind paste. Other common bases include tomatoes or mangoes. The mixture can be flavored with mustard, chilis, curry leaves, jaggery, onions, or fenugreek. Fish, chicken, and eggs are typical meat additions. Pachi pulusu is an unheated version of pulusu, typically made of mangoes or tamarind, and eaten during the warmer months.


Pachadi and ooragaya are two broad categories of pickle that are eaten with rice. Pachadi is the Telugu version of chutney, typically made of vegetables/greens/lentils and roasted green or red chilis, using tamarind and sometimes curds as a base. It is prepared fresh and must be consumed within two days due to having a short shelf life. Ooragaya is prepared in massive amounts each season. Preparation includes using large amounts of chili powder, as well as menthi (fenugreek) powder, mustard powder, and groundnut (peanut) oil or sesame or mustard oil. It is either consumed on its own, mixed with rice, or as a side dish with pappu/koora.

While a sizeable portion of the Telugu-speaking population are vegetarian, the majority also consume non-vegetarian dishes. The state of Andhra Pradesh produces abundant seafood and has an established poultry industry. Lamb meat has also been consumed for centuries in the region. Andhra restaurant chains and hotels are very popular in other states due to the extensive variety of meat featured on their menus.

Hyderabadi biryani and palaav, or "Andhra biryani", are popular dishes within the region. Royyala palav, made with shrimp, is considered a delicacy in coastal Andhra Pradesh. Mutton biryani and mixed biryani (chicken, mutton, and shrimp) are other popular biryani dishes, generally available in restaurants. There are many local variations as well, such as kaaja biryani, kunda biryani (pot biryani), avakaya biryani, ulavacharu biryani and panasa biryani.

Kodi (chicken) koora and mutton koora are two popular meat dishes, often made with a range of spices and condiments. The base usually consists of onions, tomato, coriander, tamarind, and coconut. These are mixed with steamed rice on the plate during the meal. Pepper is also used on fried meat dishes. Popular dishes commonly served in Andhra-style restaurants include the spicy Andhra chili chicken,[11] chicken roast, and mutton pepper fry. For seafood dishes, a tamarind base is generally used. Shrimp and prawns are widely available for use in cuisine, due to the state's extensive shrimp farming industry.

Here are few Cuisines of Andhra Pradesh, HAVE A LOOK'

Click below for Andhra Pradesh videos in YouTube

Check out my next cuisine on Arunachal Pradesh recipes in next blog.


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