Spicy and Savory Dishes of Andhra

Spicy and Savory Dishes of Andhra

Andhra Pradesh is widely known for it’s spicy, tangy, and unique cuisine. It is the perfect mix of some of the best sweets, non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian foods that everyone, irrespective of their state, love. The diversity of food available in the state makes sure there is something or the other for every foodie out there and satisfies their soul with great food! Here’s a list of some of the dishes not to be missed from this exquisite cuisine that is sure to confuse your taste buds in the best way possible!

1. Gongura Mutton

It is a dish made of mutton in sorrel or gongura leaves. It is a very simple delicacy to make and doesn’t take very long. All you have to do is cook your mutton in a mixture of select spices on one side, and reduce your gongura leaves to a paste with some oil on the other side. Once the mutton is cooked, add it to some sautéed onions and green chilies, and finally your gongura paste and season it with salt and pepper! A stark contrast between the savory meat and tangy gongurais what makes this dish a popular favourite among meat lovers.


2. Chepala Pulusu

This dish basically is fresh fish from the sea served in a thick broth made from a base of cumin and fenugreek seeds. The broth has very subtle flavors that don’t overpower the dish, but in fact, accentuate it, and give it a touch of Andhra spices that will leave you wanting for more!


3. Guthivankay

Any person who loves traditional Andhra food will tell you how this dish holds a special place in their hearts. What makes this dish that different is the way the brinjals are cooked. They’re not cut but left as a whole, and two slits are made into it for the stuffing. It is a curry made of luscious brinjals stuffed with spices and cooked in a thick gravy of tomatoes, onions, and spices. If you like your food spicy, this is definitely something you can’t miss!


4. Pulihora

Mainly a festive dish, pulihora is another delicacy loved by most people. A thick slurry made by boiling tamarind, some sugar, and salt with water is mixed into rice cooked with a little bit of turmeric. It is topped with peanuts, mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chilies fried in oil. You can add your own twist to the traditional pulihora by substituting tamarind with lemon juice or shredded raw mango. It is very easy to make, definitely delicious, and very filling. So if you are craving for something tangy, but feel lazy, this is your thing!


5. Chekkalu

For all those times when you are not really hungry but want to eat something crunchy and noisy, these little rounds of goodness come to the rescue. Chekkalu is the Indian version of crackers. There are made mainly with channa dal and rice flour. Rice flour is flavored with a paste of unique spices and seasoned well. Then, it is mixed with water until it obtains a dough like consistency, after which the dal is added. Small amounts of this mixture are taken, rounded up, and pressed into flat circles and deep-fried. We can even add some butter to enhance these already delicious crackers.


6. Kodikura

Chicken is one of the most widely eaten meats in India. And no food-related list is complete without at least one chicken dish. And this Andhra style chicken curry is definitely what makes this list complete. Each region has their own variation of this, but the most popular are from the konaseema area and has coconut, sesame seeds and poppy seeds as the main ingredients. The chicken marinated in spices, against the creamy gravy of the coconut and other ingredients tingles your taste buds.


7. Uppudipindi

It is a dish made from rice rava and moong dal and is one of the easiest and fastest recipes if you are extremely hungry and want something filling. Add mustard seeds, red chilies, jeera, and curry leaves to a little bit of oil in a cooker, and once the mustard stops popping, pour some water and add the rava and moong dal. Close the cooker and leave it on a low flame for sometime, and you’re done. Even a small portion of this dish will leave you as full and content as you would be after eating a thali.


8. Bobbatlu

The PuranPoli of the south is this mouthwatering dessert called bobbatlu. The filling is made of jaggery, coconut, Bengal gram, sugar, and water, but you can add dry fruits as per your liking. This filling is put into rotis rolled out of a maida dough and pan fried in a little bit of ghee and oil until the top is crispy and golden brown. Add a dollop of ghee on top, and eat it hot. Trust us, you can’t stop at just one. They’re that good.


9. Punugulu

These little balls that can be made either from idli batter or dosa batter, make for the perfect tea-time snack. The best part is that they require little or no effort to make them. Heat oil in a pan, add the batter little by little with a big spoon and fry it until it is light, golden brown and crispy. If you have a little patience, add some chopped onions, green chilies, coriander and even cashew nuts if you for an even better experience. It is crisp and greasy on the outside, plain and fluffy on the inside and leaves you wondering about who came up with something that tastes this good!


10. Pesarattu

This breakfast dish is like a dosa in shape, but that’s where the similarities end. It is green in color, but tastes nothing like those green leafs most people don’t prefer! You will not understand how a green looking dish tastes amazing. It is made with whole moong dal batter, with onions, ginger, carrots, coriander, and jeera sprinkled on it.  An accompaniment to this green wonder dish is a chutney, which can be made of peanuts, or coconut and Bengal gram, or peanuts and tomato and what not! The possibilities are endless. While it is traditionally a breakfast dish, some people also eat it with ghee rice, and it is definitely worth the calories.


11. Burelu

Burelu is similar to bobbatlu in their outer covering and filling, except that these are round, and are deeply fried, leaving the crust so good, you can’t stop with just a bite. They are made especially during festivals as a notable offering to the Lord. Pulihora and burelu are the most widely made festive delicacies in Andhra.


12. Annam Payasam

This dessert proves to whoever thought rice cannot be savory, that they couldn’t be more wrong. Annam Payasam is a rice-based sweet that is so easy to make, you can’t believe it. All it takes is rice, some milk, sugar, and cardamom to make this incredible dessert. Toss it all into one pot, and let the rice cook. And your job is done. You can choose whether you want to eat it hot or cold because however you eat it, all you’ll see is heaven.


13. Daddojanam

This is another rice-based dish that is a different take on the plain old curd rice. Add mustard seeds and Bengal gram to a little oil and drop a few curry leaves and green chilies as well. Once the seeds start to pop, pour it all onto curd rice, add salt and a little bit of pepper to it. That’s daddojanam for you in the traditional manner, but there are contemporary approaches to the same. In one version, cucumber carrot is added, while in another, maybe pomegranate seeds. It is generally served as prasadam in South Indian temples, and each temple has its own signature style of making it.


14. Royyalukura

As part of Andhra Pradesh is along the coastline, it is no surprise that this list contains a good number of seafood dishes. Royyalukura is a curry made of prawns fresh from the sea. The prawns are tossed in a gravy either of onions and spices or anything that interests you. What makes this dish even better than it is, is frying the prawns lightly on a pan before putting them into the gravy. This brings out the flavor of the sea from the prawns.


15. Avakai Pickle

Avakai is what every resident of Andhra Pradesh lives for because it is that good. Every summer, raw mangoes are cut and mixed with chili powder, mustard powder, salt, and oil, and are left for two days to marinate. Then, the mixture is mixed thoroughly and is ready to eat. This is a very elaborate process, but the pickle, once made, can last for at least a year and still be fresh, depending on the proportions of ingredients. There are at least different varieties of mango pickles made annually, but avakai is love. It is best paired with plain dal, or muddapappu, or can be mixed in hot rice slathered with ghee! Yummm!


16. Panasapottu Kura

This is a curry made out of the husk of jackfruit. It may sound weird, but the taste is simply too good to be true. And it is as healthy as a bowl of leafy greens. It is a dry curry made of finely shredded jackfruit husk. The usual mustard seeds, jeera, and other ingredients are added to some oil, once the seeds pop, the washed and cooked jackfruit is put. Add some tamarind paste, mix it well, and you’re done. You can go that extra step, and add some mustard seeds, a few drops of water and red chilies all made into a coarse paste to make this dish better.


17. Ulava Charu

It is a liquid soup like dish made of horse gram lentils. Charu or a soup is a must in any traditional South Indian meal. It is mostly made among farmers on a regular basis, but this variant is widely popular even among others and is in fact served at weddings as well.


18. Karapodi

Though not a dish in itself, Andhra is known for its karapodi. It is an accompaniment with dosa or idli, and is what makes them so popular and loved by everyone. It is an elaborate process of dry roasting all the ingredients separately in specific proportions, then seasoning the mixture once it has been powdered in batches. Once made, it can last for a few months based on the variety of karapodi made.


19. Garelu

Garelu, or vadas, are one of the most loved breakfasts of all time. Making the batter not an instantaneous process, but it is entirely worth it! Garelu can be served hot alongside chutneys in the winter, and in summer as dahivada which is a version that involved marinating vadas in curd flavored with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and the regular seasoning. This dual ‘personality’ is what makes it so distinct and loved by one and all!


20. Bongu Chicken

This is an Andhra version of the best kind of chicken there is Tandoori chicken. It is widely popular in the hill stations like Araku, where many street hawkers can be seen selling this delicacy every few kilometers! It is marinated chicken that’s cooked in hollowed out logs of bamboo, which gives it a unique smoky flavor.