Cuisine of Andhra Pradesh
When one thinks of Andhra Pradesh, what comes to mind is the hot and spicy 'Aavakkaaya' (mango) pickle and the 'Gonghuraa' chutney, and not to forget the succulent 'Hyderabadi Biriyani', reminiscent of the Nawabi culture of yesteryears. The exclusive Moghlai flavour of the hot Andhra culinary delights cannot be mistaken.
Andhra Pradesh has been rightly alluded to as the 'rice bowl of India'.
Liberal use of rich and aromatic flavors with sumptuous use of exotic spices and ghee are so typical of Andhra cuisine. Biryani cooked with meat (chicken or lamb) or vegetables is one of the most distinct Hyderabadi foods. An array of various spices are blended and marinated before cooking them. Sprinkling of saffron in the cooking process adds a distinct aroma to the dish. Although there are various ways to cook biryani, the Andhra Hyderabadi style is to cook in the slow process retaining the original pristine and glory of the 'nawabi' biryani.
Typical Andhra cuisine
Pulihara is the tamarind rice that is the main food in traditional Andhra Pradesh. Green chillies add spice to this cuisine. Bagaara Baingam or seasoned eggplant, Haleem or spiced and pounded meat with wheat and Anab-e-shadi, which is fine quality locally grown grapes that help to neutralize the effect of spicy food are other favorites in this part of the country. A typical vegetarian Andhra meal would include a pappadam, white rice, rasam, a vegetable curry, sambar, some vegetable dishes, a spicy mint chutney and curd or buttermilk.
For a light bite there are a range of snacks… worth mentioning are the delightful pakodas, vadas, murrukku, appadams and vadams. A range of sweets adorn the Andhra cuisine. Some popular sweets are boondhi laddu, rava laddu, kihaja, payasam, chakkera pongal and laskora.
There is a wide variety of mango pickles. Apart from Aavakaaya, menthu aavakaaya with fenugreek, nuvvulu aavakaaya with sesame, maangaya which is raw, peeled and unstoned mango, thokku maagaya with includes the mango peel and uduku maagaya which is boiled rather than raw mango, bellam aavakaaya with jaggery, allam aavakaaya with garlic and sengala aavakaaya with bengal gram are some of the other varieties/ variations of the mango pickle.