Egg Dosa To Gongurra Mutton; Exploring Tenali’s 7 Famous Dishes

Guntur – located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and its cuisine is a reflection of the broader culture of the region. Famous for its spicy food, and accredited for being the major producer of red and green chilies, a fiery flavour dominates most vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Along with the staple consumption of rice that is often served with a variety of spicy condiments and accompaniments, the cultivation is an integral part of the agricultural practices in the region. Another widely used ingredient of the cuisine – tamarind, contributes to the tangy and sour taste, thus reflecting the preference for bold and contrasting flavours in local culinary traditions.

Thanks to the long coastline in Andhra Pradesh, a variety of fish and prawns are consumed, along with traditional cooking practices of deep frying, roasting and pickling being dominant in most delicacies. While many traditional vegetarian dishes showcase a wide variety of locally grown vegetables, non-vegetarian dishes often feature an array of preparations with chicken and mutton. The region is also known for its robust chutneys and pickles, often adding layers of flavour and elevating the taste of meals where ingredients like gongurra, cauliflower, tomato, prawns and chicken are some of the popular preferences. Given below is a list of some of the most iconic dishes from Tenali:

Egg Dosa

Image Credits: Senthil's Kitchen

The lacy dosas blanketed with a whisked egg and lots of black pepper is the cornerstone dish of Andhra cuisine. Popularly eaten as a dish for breakfast – where it is topped off with onions and a generous dusting of podi (gunpowder) or as an accompaniment to the fiery curries. Known to be a popular and hot-selling item at push carts as well as small-scale eateries, the egg dosa is an inexpensive option for those who are looking to experience local food.


As interesting as it might seem to one for a sweet dish with Middle Eastern origins to enjoy popular favour in this southern city, the Tenali jilebi is a must-have for all kinds of special occasions. What started off as a culinary invention in 1965, where it was first made with black jaggery, the jilebi is made with a mix of gram flour and rice flour, along with some maida. The addition of black jaggery as the sweetener gives it a signature flavour akin to a deep caramel, amplifying its deliciousness.

Gongurra Mamsam

Find an authentic recipe of the delicacy in Telegu below:

This spicy mutton curry that uses gongurra or sorrel leaves as its gravy base, is an iconic Andhra staple meat preparation that has its own version in households and restaurants across the city. Tender chunks of mutton on the bone are simmered in a fiery and sour flavour base, which may or may not contain tamarind extract. Eaten by being mixed into hot rice and ghee, this distinctive mutton curry can also be cooked down further and enjoyed as a pickle.

Allam Kodi Kura

A spicy chicken curry that uses poppy seeds, ginger and dried coconut as the key ingredients, the allam kodi kura is a uniquely spicy preparation with a nutty undertone. Typically served with rice, this chicken curry is a vastly dry preparation that is as popular as the gongurra mutton. With warm and deep sources of heat in the curry, its interesting flavour profile was traditionally cooked over a wood fire or hot coals to add a smoky flavour.

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Rage Sankatti

What the state of Karnataka identifies as ragi mudde, Tenali defines as sankatti or kali – which is a lump of dough, made with finger millets and is packed with nutrients. Made by a slow stirring process of cooking the millet flour in water and allowing it to steam for a few minutes, the sankatti is eaten as a substitute for rice, especially in the summer season. While the mound of ragi is paired with buttermilk for breakfast, it is also eaten with pappu chaaru or vepudu as a meal for lunch or dinner.

Bommidayila Pulusu

A traditional fish curry from Andhra Pradesh, made with the region’s popular catch called bomidala or eel – this deeply tangy curry made with tomatoes and Guntur chillies packs quite a punch. A by-product of the rich coastal culinary heritage enjoyed by the state, the long and slender fish is simmered in a red gravy until firm but tender and enjoyed with rice. With aromatics like fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, onions and turmeric, the pulusu tastes best when eaten the day after it is made, for deeper flavours.

Mirapakaya Bajji

Image Credits: Farmizen

A deep-fried snack of fat green chillies dipped in a batter made with gram flour and rice flour, the mirpakaya or mirchi bajji is a popular street food offering around Tenali. Unlike the North Indian version that uses a stuffing of spiced potatoes, the mirpakaya bajji is stuffed with a mixture of onions, coriander, thick tamarind paste, lemon juice and chilli powder. Some recipes also choose to skip the stuffing and simply deseed the chillies before dipping them in batter and deep-frying until crispy on the outside.