Muddapappu Avakai Annam, A Telugu Comfort Food
Image Credit: Muddapappu Avakai Annam

Despite the culinary diversities among the different regions of India, one may find many similarities when it comes to the typical comfort food. The flavours might be a tad spicer, tangier or bland, but the base often remains the same. When the Northern, Eastern, Western and Central parts of the country count khichdi and dal-chawal or dal bhaat, as ultimate 'ghar ka khana', the southern states, particularly Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, have something equivalent. No, it's not Bisi Bele Bhath. The mention is of Muddapappu Avakai Annam. A few years back, I was introduced to this soul-soothing dish as a saviour for my midnight craving pangs. 

There is nothing fancy about this dish. But, trust me, its simplicity makes it a winner.  Often oil or ghee-fried papads or appalams make perfect accompaniments with Muddapappu Avakai Annam. The top layer has a lavish spread of pure ghee or neyyi, and as it soaks slowly, it leaves a lingering aftertaste. A few of my friends say that the dish came into existence to whip an effortless yet tasty dish which can pander to every sense of our taste buds. The mushy mudda pappu or tur dal (yellow lentils) and rice combination, the pungent and spicy punch of avakai (mango) pickle, and the blissful ghee aroma; together make a drool-worthy combination. 

Here is a simple recipe to make this comfort food.

Mudda Pappu Avakai Annam

Image Courtesy: Shankar Tiffin Centre


    1 cup mudda or kandi pappu (yellow lentil)

    1 bowl of cooked rice (around 200-250 grams)

    1 tsp cumin seeds

    5-6 garlic cloves

    A handful of curry leaves

    2 dry red chilli

    3-4 green chill

    1 tsp mustard seeds

    1 tsp turmeric powder

    Salt to taste

    2 tbsp pure ghee

    Pinch of asafoetida

    ½ cup raw mango pickle

Avakai pickle: Image Courtesy: Tahemeem@blissfulbitesbytay


1.    Heat a heavy-bottomed kadhai and dry roast the tur dal.

2.    Keeping it on low flame, stir thoroughly, so that it gets roasted evenly and turns into light brown colour

3.    Turn off the heat and wash the dal. Transfer it to the pressure cooker, and add 2 cups of water, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Cover the lid.

4.    Let the dal cook for 2-3 whistles on high flame. Reduce the flame and cook for a few more minutes. Turn off the gas.

5.    As the pressure releases, mash the dal gently.

6.    For tempering, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a wok, and add the cumin, mustard seeds, red chilli, chopped green chillies, and garlic cloves. Blend in a bunch of curry leaves.

7.    Now pour the dal and mix thoroughly. Let it boil for couple of minutes. Blend in the rice and stir gently.

8.    If required, add little water to get a bit of runny consistency. Cook for 2-3 minutes on low-medium flame.

9.    Now add the mango or avakai pickle. Stir thoroughly, ensuring all the flavours are absorbed.

10.    Turn off the flame. Pour it in a serving bowl and add 2-3 tsp pure ghee.

11.    Serve hot with papad.

Let us know, did it taste comforting!