Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:400;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;white-space:pre;white-space:pre-wrap;">A delicacy of Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, the Chepala Pulusu is a spicy fish curry that has a special status in the region’s culinary foodscape. Prepared in a variety of different spices, Chepala Pulusu often has ingredients like mango, tamarind, and ‘bochcha’ fish that go into it. Sesame oil, or more specifically, gingelly oil forms one of the main elements while making this dish, along with ground masala. The Chepala Pulusu is often consumed with Dosa, Idli, Roti, Appam, and even rice.
The main spices that go into this dish are cumin seeds, fenugreek, dried red chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. The major flavour profile for this dish is sour, owing to the healthy amounts of tamarind and tomato that go into the curry. Generally, the kind of fish preferred for the dish is murrel or tilapia.
Historically, the state of Andhra Pradesh has remained divided in its cuisine. There is a large Muslim section who adhere to the Hyderabadi palette (a much milder version of the original spicy Andhra way of cooking), while the non-Muslim sectors have a plethora of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that use a heavy hand in curry leaves and chillies (both greed and red). In fact, Andhra cuisine is famous for being the spiciest of all South Indian cuisines, with a generous use of dried red and green chilli paste.
Since the state leads in production of rice (or paddy), it is famously known as “India’s Rice Bowl”. As a result, the grain is used heavily in their local cuisine. It is either boiled and consumed as rice, or is made into a paste, used in Dosas and Idlis.
That the Chepala Pulusu would be a popular choice of dish is hardly a surprise, since curries and gravies form a crucial part of Andhra cuisine (since it goes well with rice).