Telangana Cuisine: Exploring The History; 7 Dishes You Must Try
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While Hyderabadi cuisine gains its richness from the influences drawn from Nawabi kitchens, Telangana cuisine boasts of the rusticity of the people that inhabit its regions. A cuisine that is traditionally designed to suit the scorching climes of the Deccan plateau, Telangana cuisine can be characterized by the liberal use of tamarind, fiery red chillies and plenty of peanuts and coconut. Since hot regions in tropical countries like India tend to have a direct impact on appetite and digestion, the spicy food is meant to boost metabolism and aid in digestion.

Since the ancient ages, people inhabiting the plateaus of the north-central region in the state were known to own farmlands that cultivated sugarcane, as well as hunt for food by killing wild boars. One of the few communities in southern India that consumed millet rotis of jowar and bajra, the choice of delicacies like sajja rote (pearl millet), johnna rote (jowar) and sarva pindi came about as the arid region was favourable for the cultivation of millets. Another key ingredient of the cuisine that is used most commonly in regional savoury preparations was tamarind.

The communities of the past who belonged to the region were also known to consume wild, uncultivated weeds – case in point being the multitude of gongurra-based dishes, and conducted festive ceremonies during harvest season cycles in the winter, to celebrate the ready crop of jaggery. If one would have to largely classify some of the associated flavours with Telangana cuisine, it would mostly have to do with sour, spicy, tangy flavours that are also punctuated with intensely savoury dishes. Here are seven traditional dishes you must try, for an authentic Telangana cuisine experience.

Gongurra Mamsam

A sour-tangy curry made with tender cuts of lamb simmered in a gravy made of pureed sorrel leaves, the gongurra mamsam is a favourite in most Telangana homes. Lamb is first cooked with salt and chillies, before being simmered in the tangy mixture of ground gongurra leaves. Best enjoyed when eaten with steaming hot rice and ghee, this dish is a Telangana cuisine classic.

Royyala Kura

Imagine freshly caught, plump prawns cooked in a tamarind-onion mixture – the royyala kura is a quick Telagana-style prawn curry that is best eaten with rice or rotis. Meant to be a cross between a curry and pickle, the recipe for this thick prawn curry varies from one family recipe to another, as some recipes also employ the use of tomatoes in the curry, for a balanced sourness.

Alugadda Kura

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Also known as alugadda vepudu kura, this dry preparation of a spicy potato curry, flavoured with curry leaves, is the perfect carb-loaded accompaniment to curd rice, tamarind rice, rotis, parathas and more, this simple potato fry dish is Telangana’s take on the Indian staple aloo sabzi. Based on personal preferences, the dish can also be made with a thick gravy to be mopped up with sajje rotis.

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Veggie Delight: Sampling Telangana Cuisine's Rich Non-Meat Heritage

Potlakaya Pulusu

A vegetarian preparation made with snake gourd, that is cooked with green chillies, tamarind extract, jaggery and peanuts, this sweet-sour gravy dish makes for a great accompaniment to rice or traditional jowar and sorghum rotis. The sourness of the tamarind is offset by the use of jaggery, and highlighting the vegetal flavours of the snake gourd.

Pacchi Pulusu

The raw variation of a classic rasam, the pacchi pulusu – or raw tamarind water is an uncooked version of the rasam that uses chopped onions and fresh coriander. A popular summer dish, the pacchi pulusu is eaten with rice, pappu (cooked lentils) and a generous dollop of ghee. Compared to the rasam, the pacchi pulusu is lighter on the palette, spicier in taste and packed with pungent flavour.

Sarva Pindi

A savoury pancake-like preparation exclusive to the Telangana region, the sarva pindi is also known as tepala chekka or ginne appa. Made with a mix of chana dal, peanuts, sesame seeds, chopped onions, green chillies and curry leaves, the dough is smeared on a hot pan by hand and poked with fingers for even cooking. Eaten for breakfast with a spicy tamarind chutney, the sarva pindi also makes for a great tea time snack.


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Telangana’s version of the puranpoli, is made by stuffing a mixture made with chana dal, jaggery, cardamom powder and lots of ghee. Made during festive occasions or auspicious events, the bobbatlu is often made in homes during Ugadi, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Gudi Padwa. The all-purpose flour dough used as the outer covering for the sweet filling often results in a crisper, flakier layer when cooked, allowing one to experience contrasting crunchy and soft-fluffy textures at once.