Andhra Cuisine comes from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which is generally known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste. All the sub regions like Uttarandhra, Seema Andhra, Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh along with Telangana form this Andhra Cuisine. The staple food of Andhra Cuisine is annam (rice). It is consumed with varieties of kura, vepudu, pachhadi, pulusu, pappu, podi, sambar, appadam and curd. Andhra Cuisine is famous for both its vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu. Sea food forms a major attraction for non-vegetarian lovers in this cuisine.
Food is a very elaborate affair in many households of Andhra Cuisine. In a majority of urban households, the food is served in stainless steel or porcelain plates. In traditional and rural households, the food is served on Ariti Aaku (banana leaf). Ariti Aaku is also vastly used during festivals and special occasions. Dried banana leaves are used for packing of long journeys food items. At times, vistari (a larger plate made of several leaves sewn together) is used. In rural Andhra Cuisine mud pots are widely used for cooking since ages and slowly migrating to steel and aluminium utensils. The urban Andhra Cuisine has substantially migrated to modern day utensils for day to day cooking and consumption.
Basic Terminology of Andhra Cuisine:
- kura refers to curry of any of the vegetable
- vepudu refers to again curry of any kind but is made after deep frying the vegetable then prepared like a curry
- pachhadi refers to pickles of many varieties
- pulusu refers to curry like stew which is generally sour and cooked with tamarind base
- pappu refers to dal of various lentils / pulses
- podi refers to powdered lentils / pulses based seasoning
- appadam refers to Indian papad which is mostly fried
- perugu refers to curd / yogurt
- annam refers to rice
- neyyi refers to ghee
Andhra Cuisine shares its breakfast menu with the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala but with a very distinct flavor of its own. The famous breakfast dishes include idly, dosa, vada (gari), pongali, upma, pesarattu and poori. The varieties of chutney’s served along with these breakfast dishes are made mostly with coconut, groundnut, ginger, chillies, onion and tomato. Pulihora (tamarind rice / lemon rice) is widely popular across Andhra Cuisine for its mouth watering sweet and sour taste made of tamarind and lemon base for its long duration, freshness and tangy flavor. In lunch this Andhra Cuisine has a concept of meals (thali) where you can get substantial quantities of all the varieties to satisfy your taste buds and relish flavors.
The flavors of Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is world famous and has a big influence in Telangana region and Andhra Cuisine. The city of Hyderabad also has many other flavors to its glory like bun maska, baked cookies, double ka meetha, plum cakes, irani chai and osmania biscuits. Also Hyderabad has many dishes in similarity with Awadhi Cuisine due to the common influence of Nawabi culture in the food habits and cooking techniques. The kababs, tandoori dishes, kulchas, koftas, paneer and meat dishes share a lot of similarity with Awadhi Cuisine in Lucknow. During the festival season of Ramadan, Hyderabadi Haleem tops the list in festival specialities menu. Hyderabad can also be counted as south food capital of India for its diversified food cuisines and cultural influences. The city of Hyderabad has a cosmopolitan culture where inhabitants of all states, traditions and cultures are prominent. So the spread of food dishes here resembles the vast menu of Delhi Cuisine covering almost all other cuisines.
The street food in Andhra Cuisine offers mouth watering snacks like punugulu, mirapakayi bajji, aratikayi bajji, vullipayi bajji, tamata bajji, vankaya bajji, dal wada and dumpakaya bajji. Andhra Cuisine includes many popular sweets and savouries to its credit which are a must for special occasions. A few famous sweets include boondi, rava kesari, pootarekulu, sunnundalu, kaja, poornalu, bobbatlu, chakra pongali, paayasam (kheer) and many variants of laddus. Here varieties of savouries are commonly referred as murukullu (jantikalu), chakralu, chakodi and varieties of pakodi.
After a meal, killi (paan) or vokka / vakka (betel nuts) are commonly served as digestives and mouth freshener.