On NTR's 100th Birthday, Revisiting His Andhra Cuisine Faves
Image Credit: NTR Sr. Photo via Twitter/@tarak9999

NANDAMURI TARAKA RAMA RAO, affectionately known as NTR, not only left an indelible mark on the world of cinema and politics but also had a profound love for food. His culinary preferences reflected his Andhra roots and showcased his appreciation for the rich and diverse flavours of the region. 

Join us as we delve into some of NTR's favourite dishes, offering a glimpse into the delightful world of Andhra cuisine. Whether you're a die-hard NTR fan or simply curious about the flavours that captivated his palate, this article will satiate your hunger for knowledge and culinary exploration.

Kalchina Natu Kodi

Kalchina Natu Kodi, also known as Idli, holds a special place in NTR's heart. These fluffy and light steamed rice cakes are a quintessential South Indian breakfast dish. Served with a side of coconut chutney and sambar, this delicacy offers a comforting start to the day.

Tamarind Rice (Pulihora)

Pulihora, a tangy and flavoursome tamarind rice, was another favourite of NTR. This traditional dish combines perfectly cooked rice with a blend of tangy tamarind, aromatic spices, and crunchy peanuts. It is a popular choice for festivals and special occasions, leaving a lasting impression with its distinctive taste.

Horse gram Soup (Ulava Charu)

NTR had a penchant for healthy and nutritious food, and Ulava Charu, a hearty horse gram soup, perfectly fit the bill. Packed with protein and essential nutrients, this traditional Andhra soup is known for its earthy flavours and comforting warmth. It is often enjoyed with steamed rice or roti for a wholesome meal.

Gulab Jamun

No Indian meal is complete without a touch of sweetness, and Gulab Jamun, soft milk dumplings soaked in fragrant rose syrup, was one of NTR's all-time favourites. The melt-in-your-mouth texture and the delicate blend of cardamom-infused syrup make this dessert an irresistible indulgence.

Guntur Gongura Pickle

NTR's love for spicy flavours found its perfect match in Guntur Gongura Pickle. Made from the tangy leaves of the gongura plant and infused with fiery spices, this pickle packs a punch. It adds a burst of flavour to any meal, especially when paired with steamed rice or Indian bread.

As a true connoisseur of Andhra cuisine, NTR relished the fiery and tangy flavours of Bezawada Avakaya Pickle. Made with raw mangoes, mustard seeds, red chilli powder, and a blend of spices, this pickle is a staple in Andhra households. Its bold and vibrant taste adds a zing to any meal, leaving a lasting impression.

Banana Fritters (Aratikaya Bajji)

Aratikaya Bajji, or banana fritters, were a favourite snack of NTR. Slices of raw banana are dipped in a spiced chickpea batter and deep-fried to crispy perfection. The golden-brown fritters are served hot, accompanied by chutney or a cup of steaming tea.

The tangy and refreshing flavours of Lemon Rice were also enjoyed by NTR. This simple yet flavoursome dish combines cooked rice with a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, and a generous squeeze of lemon. It is a popular choice for a quick and satisfying meal, bursting with citrusy goodness.

Fried Rice

NTR had a fondness for Indo-Chinese cuisine, and Fried Rice was one of his preferred dishes. This delightful medley of fragrant rice, assorted vegetables, and subtle spices is stir-fried to perfection. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a standalone meal or paired with delectable gravies.

Mixed Vegetable Curry

NTR appreciated the wholesome goodness of a well-made Mixed Vegetable Curry. A medley of fresh vegetables simmered in a flavoursome gravy, this dish offers a delightful burst of colours and textures. Served with roti or steamed rice, it makes for a fulfilling and nutritious meal.

Ladies Fingers Fry

NTR's culinary journey would not be complete without the mention of Ladies Fingers Fry. This simple yet delicious dish showcases the humble okra, sliced and seasoned with spices before being shallow-fried to perfection. The result is a crispy and flavourful accompaniment that adds a touch of crunch to any meal.


In addition to his love for traditional Andhra dishes, NTR also had a soft spot for the luscious Rasmalai. These sweet dumplings, made from cottage cheese, are gently cooked in a creamy milk syrup infused with aromatic rose water and cardamom. The result is a heavenly dessert that delights the senses with its delicate texture and exotic flavours. NTR would often indulge in this delectable treat, savouring each bite with joy.

NTR's culinary journey was a testament to his appreciation for the diverse flavours of Andhra cuisine. From traditional dishes like Pulihora and Ulava Charu to indulgent treats like Gulab Jamun, his culinary preferences celebrated the rich flavours and diverse culinary heritage of the region. Whether you're an ardent NTR fan or simply curious about the flavours that captivated his palate, don't miss the opportunity to experience the tantalising delights of Andhra cuisine.