The flavors and textures of south Indian food are so varied and vast that I have often felt a food map of south India would help people understand the beauty that lies behind the south Indian style of cooking and the exquisite south Indian recipes. I looked around for a few, but nothing seemed to be able to cover the vastness of what south Indian food comprises. Then one day a gentleman asked me if the origin of the Udupi cuisine lies in Tamil Nadu…this is when I decided I needed to take matters into my own hand.
This 4 part blog series is a humble attempt at giving food lovers a map, or maybe a gist, of the various contours that shape south Indian food. For all the culinary artists reading this, I’ll also be sharing some exquisite South Indian Recipes from all the regions we cover in the blogs to follow, for you guys to get your hands dirty.
In part-1 of this series, we journey across Andhra & Telangana regions to map out what makes the cuisine and recipes this region special. Over all 4 blogs, our map will cover the 5 major south Indian states; Telangana, Andhra (erstwhile Andhra Pradesh), Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu. The eating habits and lifestyles of the people in these regions have shaped what has now become the famous ‘South Indian Food’
Let’s start with the teary & fiery Andhra Cuisine -
Andhra Pradesh Cuisine: The Cuisine of Andhra is considered the spiciest cuisine among all of the five south Indian States. Food habits & staples across the Rayalseema and Coastal Andhra region have shaped this famous ‘Spicy Andhra Cuisine’. Rice is a staple in this regions and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh was aptly called the rice bowl of India. The milder Telangana & Hyderabadi cuisines add to spectrum of flavors that you can encounter in a food journey across this region. <MUST TRY DISH>
Rayalseema Cuisine: The rayalseema region in the southern part of Andhra has a variety of unique dishes in its cuisine. Ragi Roti with a combination of ghee as well as Ragi Sangati usually served with Pulusulu or spinach are examples of such exquisite dishes. Rayalseema cuisine is known for its sweets, snacks & savories. It’s really hard to keep your fingers of the plate at a household meal in this region.
Coastal Andhra Cuisine: Coastal Andhra is renowned for its rich & diverse agricultural produce. The abundant water supply from rivers in this region has made paddy a main crop of coastal Andhra. Sea food forms a large part of the Andhra Cuisine and generally comprises of fresh water and river water fish. I’d like you to guess what the staple with the seafood of this region would be, and unless the gentleman who got confused with origin or Udupi cuisine is reading this, I am sure you’ve guessed right. Rice it is again. This region also boasts to be the largest producer of Chili in India, which explains the Andhra Spice.
Telangana Cuisine: Telangana is the Hardy countryside in North Central region of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. Owing to its proximity to the Andhra region, both cuisines have many dishes in common; however the preparation methods and ingredients used gives the distinct flavor that differentiates the cuisines of these regions. The food in this region has the capacity to heat the body but the taste of the Sarva Pindi and Gongura Kora gives this cuisine a flavor which makes us all return to its charm.
Hyderabadi Cusine: Hyderabad is the capital City of Telangana and the erstwhile Andhra Preadesh. The city was ruled by the Nizams for many years and its influence can be seen in the many variations of the non vegetarian dishes of this cuisine. The food at Hyderabad has a heavy Arab and Persian influence. The Hyderabadi Biryani is the best example of the marvel that lies in the food of Hyderabad. The distinct flavor of the Hyderabadi biryani has attracted millions from all over. Also Hyderabadi Biryani has always originally been served with tender mutton.
Rice, spice and some fish would be good brief about the cuisine in Andhra Pradesh. Do follow the blog to find out more about the splendor of South Indian Food.