A fiery Andhra fry cooked with ginger-garlic paste, cinnamon and cloves.
South India’s gravy based curry delicacies are known as koora. If deep-fried or shallow fried without gravy is known as vepudu. A variety of vegetables as ridge guard, bottle guard snake guard, raw bananas, eggplant, lentils are widely used. Many regional speciality sambar, rasam varieties are made with different with homemade powders. Rasam is often accompanied with fry based curries. Garnishing with curry leaves, cilantro, coconut and peanuts are often used to add another level to the flavour.
Some of the most mouth-watering vegetarian dishes are gongura pachadi, snake guard raitha – potlakaya perugu pachadi, fried mung dal fritters (masala vada), pulusu (vegetables cooked in tamarind gravy), Pachi Pulusu (a version of rasam). Gongura is called andhra’s favorite meal (Andhrula abhimana vantakam).
The non-vegetarian affair bristles with zesty chicken and mutton curries like country chicken curry – Natu Kodi kura. Free roaming country chickens are considered most tasty compared to broiler chickens. Country chickens were raised at home in villages back in olden days. When family needs a feast, early in the morning when chickens get out of their coop, owners are ready outside the coop to catch the young chicken. If they can’t catch the chicken at that time, they have to wait till next day. It is impossible to catch the chicken once it is out of coop.
Hyderabad was the former capital of Andhra Pradesh. It is now the joint capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It was once ruled by the Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad, known as the Nizam of Hyderabad for 2 centuries till 1947. In 1589, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah selected a site of the city and named it “Bhaganagar” or “Bhāgyanagar” after Bhāgmathi, a local dancing girl with whom he had fallen in love. During Nizam rule, Hyderabad State became the richest.
Nizam of royal Nawab families have spread their mouth-watering Mughlai food in Hyderabad. From mutton curry, to many distinct versions of Biryanis. When in Hyderabad, one should not miss out on the exquisite kebabs, Haleem (thick stew made of meat, cream and wheat) and the famous Hyderabadi Biryani.
In south india people eat with their right hand and leave the left one clean for drinking water. Licking off your fingers indicate they absolutely loved the food or food does taste really good.
Pickles and pappadams are always served on the side. Yogurt is the closing dish after a spicy set of curries, rasam and sambar. The South of India is known as ‘the land of spices’ and for all the right reasons. Cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, chilli, mustard, curry leaves – the list goes on.
- 2 lbs - chicken pieces
- ¼ tsp - cumin
- 1 1 inch - Vietnamese or Chinese cinnamon stick. These varieties are spicy and are good flavor boosters for dishes other than desserts.
- 5 cloves
- 1 onion
- 3 tbsp - oil
- ⅛th tsp - turmeric
- 10 green chillies or 2 tbsp - red chili powder
- 1 tsp - fresh ground coriander seeds
- ½ tsp - ginger garlic paste
- 1 bunch cilantro
- Pour oil in thick bottomed pan. Heat to medium.
- Add cumin. Fry for 30 seconds or golden brown.
- Add cinnamon and cloves. Optionally you can grind cinnamon and cloves and add after chicken is cooked.
- Add diced onions and slit green chillies. Fry till golden brown.
- Add turmeric and ginger garlic paste. Fry for 30 seconds.
- Add chicken pieces. Stir every minute.
- When all sides are cooked add salt, chilli powder and coriander powder. Stir well.
- Cover lid. Cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cook few more minutes till water evaporates. Turn off stove.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Serve with rice, quinoa, brown rice or roti.