Andhra cuisine

Rice is the staple food of the southern state of India, Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh is the second largest producer of rice in India, after West Bengal. Naturally, a lot of local food is rice based.

Regular meal (భోజనము)

A full Andhra meal generally consists of some or all of the following:

  • Cooked Rice
  • Pappu, the Telugu word for cooked Redgram / Pigeonpea seeds.
  • For vegetable entrees/curries a wide variety of vegetables are used which also includes green leafy vegetables. Non-vegetarian curries include "Kodikoora" (Chicken), "Vetamamsam" (goat mutton), "Chepakoora" (Fish) and "Royyakoora" (Prawn). Pork is also consumed, if not widely.
  • Vepudu - Fried vegetable curry
  • Podi - Various types of powders eaten along with ghee(Neyyi).These are dry powders made of different lentils or chillies
  • Patchadi (Pickles), e.g., Uragaaya, Aavakaaya (spicy mango pickle) and one made of a leafy vegetable called Gongura. Pickles, fresh as well as preserved, are made from all kinds of fruits and vegetables.
  • Vulavacharu (cooked Horsegram soup) with cream is fast becoming an international recipe.
  • Pappuchaaru - (Lentil / Redgram based vegetable soup)
  • Pulusu - A vegetable broth resembling sambar, but very different in preparation and taste
  • Chaaru - A lighter version of Sambaar without vegetables
  • Perugu (Yoghurt) or Majjiga (Buttermilk)
  • Appadam (Papadums) usually eaten with pulusu or sambar.
  • A sweet dish or two.
  • Bananas
  • Tamboolam (Also called Killi, Beeda or Paan) made of fresh Betel leaves and Arecanut pieces and Lime.

(Among the above mentioned items either Pappucharu or Pulusu and either Buttermilk or Yoghurt are consumed. Tamarind rice is consumed on special occasions or during travel because it can be preserved for one to two days).

Andhra Pradesh is also the largest producer of chilli pepper and the local cuisine tends to use it a lot. Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh is famous for its Hyderabadi Biryani.

Breakfast foods

Idlis are commonly eaten as breakfast item or as a full meal along with Coconut Chutney, called Kobbari Patchadi in Telugu, and/or sambar. At times, Ginger Chutney (Allam Pachadi), Chilly powder (Kaarampodi) and Ghee are also eaten along with Idli.

Minapattu (Dosa) is also commonly eaten for breakfast or the evening snack. There are several varieties eaten such as the Masala Dosa, Rava Dosa, Sada Dosa, and Rava Masala Dosa. Generally, Andhra-style versions of these Dosas are spicier and crispier than those of its other South Indian counterparts.

Pesarattu is also a key item in Andhra cuisine. It is more similar to Dosa but the batter is made of green mung beans, the taste of which is unique. It is usually thin and crispy, with onions, green chillies, ginger pieces and coriander chopped and filled. It is accompanied by Chutney mainly made of ginger. MLA Pesarattu is a more popular variety of pesarattus which has Upma as filling.

Uppu Pindi or Uppidi Pindi is equivalent to Upma, commonly consumed as breakfast item or as a full meal along with Patchadi (Chutney) in Telugu. This dish is prepared with Rice Ravva (split/broken rice), mung dal (split green gram), freshly grated coconut, fresh green chillies and curry leaves.


Lunch is an elaborate affair in many households.

A typical lunch in a traditional household is served on a plantain leaf (arati aaku) or vistari, a plate made of broad leaves sewn together (badamaaku vistari or kuttudakula vistari ). Now a days it is mostly served on a broad steel plate(kancham). However the plantain leaf and the vistari are still a must have on festival days, special events like marriages etc.

All the items for lunch are served on this plate in a specific order - curries and pappu on the right hand side of the person , chutneys , pickles or podi on the left hand side, special items like pulihora , garelu at the top right opposite to the person seated and rice in the middle. A very little amount of pulusu, ghee and buttermilk is typically sprayed on the leaf.

Starter - Rice with some podi or khaaram or a certain variety of pickles and ghee is consumed as the modati mudda (the first bite). All of the modati mudda items tend to be sour or hot in taste, are very aromatic, include ingredients with medicinal values like dry ginger and curry leaves and are supposed to simulate appetite and aid digestion. The amount eaten is very small - 4-5 balls of rice called muddalu. In some districts like Guntur, any chutney is also considered a modati mudda item and is consumed before anything else.

Some of the typical Modati Mudda items include

  • Dhaniyala karappodi - roasted chillies ground with coriander seeds
  • Karivepaku karappodi - Roasted chillies and curry leaves
  • Shonthi podi - Dry ginger ground with a pinch of salt
  • Nuvvula podi - Sesame seeds ground with roasted chillies
  • Kottimeera khaaram - Coriander (cilantro ) leaves ground with raw or roasted red chillies
  • Karivepaku Khaaram - Curry leaves ground with raw or roasted red chillies
  • Allam Khaaram - Ginger ground with raw or roasted red chillies and green chillies
  • Pachimirapakaya Khaaram - Roasted and ground Green chillies
  • Usirikaya pachadi - a pickle made of Indian gooseberries - typically mixed with roasted red chillies or chilli powder
  • Nimmakaya pachadi - a pickle made of Indian key lime
  • Dabbakaya pachadi - a pickle made of Indian grape fruit

Main Course There is a great regional variation in terms of what is consumed after the modati mudda. In some districts like Krishna and Guntur, koora (curry ) is consumed next. In districts like West Godavari Pappu (daal) is consumed after the modati mudda.

A variety of Kooralu (curries ) are made across the region

  • Vepudu - Fried vegetables. Typically include bendakaya (okra), dondakaya (tindora), Bangaladumpa (Potato), Colocasia (Chamadumpa )etc. Crispy in nature.
  • Kaaram Petti Koora / Koora Podi Koora - Sauteed vegetables cooked with Curry powder / Curry paste. The curry will be a solid mass - not individual fried pieces like vepudu, nor gravy like pulusu koora. At times the vegetables are stuffed with Curry powder / curry paste and cooked in whole (andhra gutti vankaya, Gutti Kakarakaya, Beerakaya etc )
  • Pulusu Koora / Aava petti Koora - Boiled vegetables cooked in Tamarind sauce and mustard paste.
  • Pappu Koora - Boiled vegetables stir fried with a little amount of half cooked dal.
  • Others - Other typical gravy based curries that are chiefly made with vegetable cooked in tomato sauce and onion with coriander powder and cumin powder.
  • Pappu - Toor Daal (Kandi Pappu ) or Moong Daal (Pesara pappu ) cooked with a vegetable or green. No masala is added to the dal. Some regions include garlic and onion in the seasoning while some regions prefer hing (Inguva). Some times the cooked version of the dal is replaced with a roast and ground version of the dal like Kandi pachadi (roasted toor daal ground with red chillies ) and pesara pachadi (soaked moong daal ground with red chillies or green chillies ).

Pulusu / Charu - This is the most important liquid item of the meal. Some of typical items include

  • Kharam Pulusu - Any vegetable cooked in very dilute tamarind juice and pulusu podi (made of roast red chillies, coriander powder )
  • Tiyya pulusu - Mild and sweet vegetables like Pumpkin or sweet potato cooked in light tamarind juice with jaggery
  • Pachi pulusu - Unheated version of the pulusu . It is typically finely chopped raw onions in a very dilute tamarind juice with jaggery. In hot summer season when mangoes are abundant, tamarind is replaced by stewed raw mango.
  • Pappucharu - Vegetables boiled with cooked toor dal and tamarind. No powder of any sort is added.
  • Sambar - Vegetables boiled with cooked toor dal, tamarind and sambar powder.
  • Challa Pulusu / Majjiga pulusu - Sour buttermilk boiled with channal dal and coconut paste
  • Menthi Challa / Menthi Majjiga - Sour buttermilk seasoned with ginger / green chilli paste and menthi seeds fried in oil.

Evening snacks (ఫలహారము)

At home, many savory snacks make appearance during evening time. These are

  • Kaarappoosa
  • Chekkalu
  • Sakinalu or Chakkiralu
  • Chuppulu
  • Chegodilu
  • Guggillu
  • Pakodi
  • Boondi
  • Mixture'(Boondi mixed with onions and lemon)
  • Ponganalu
  • Punukulu
  • Upma
  • Bondaalu or Punukulu'with Spicy touchings(allam pachadi)
  • Mirapakaya Bajji (a local variety of extre-hot chillies stuffed with spices and dipped in chick pea batter and fried).
  • Ullipakodi (fritters made with sliced onion and spices in chickpea batter).
  • Gaare (similar to Vada). Gaares are deep fried and spiced dough
  • Perugu gaare / Aavadalu (Gaare are marinated in a yoghurt-like sauce).


Regional Variations

There are regional variations in Andhra cuisine. Telangana, the western region of Andhra Pradesh has some unique dishes in its cuisine. Dishes like Jonna Rotte (Sorghum), Sajja Rotte (Penisetum), Uppudi Pindi (broken rice) are common. Telangana cuisine is influenced by Persian and Afghan cuisine as Telangana was under the control of Muslim kings for a long time. In northern Telangana districts the cuisine has dishes similar to those found in Maharashtra such as Kadi.

See also

External links

Simple authentic Andhra recipes

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