Andhra Pradesh is known for its spicy food plate. Each region of this state has a different style of cuisine. Most of the dishes would be hot and spicy with strong flavours. Many elements of this Deccan cuisine have been derived from Persia and Afghan.
Mostly, the food includes rice, vegetables, cereals, fish and meat. Nizams have altered the cuisine of Andhra into an interesting platter. Though this cuisine is known for strong and spicy foods, a lot of sweet based delicacies of this state are world famous.
When it comes to cuisine, the Andhra is divided into three regions. The Telengana cuisine consist of millet based Indian bread as their staple food and not rice like other parts of South India. Rayalaseema and Andhra regions in coastal area have rice as their staple food.
Where to Eat in Andhra Pradesh
1. Coastal Andhra Pradesh
This region of state has a lot of fields due to the fertile delta region. Thus, rice is the staple food and you can find a lot of vegetables in their menu. Since the delta region is a lead producer of chillies and other spices, the flavour of their dishes would be hot and strong.
Ulava Charu is a famous soup made from horse gram. This is one of the top dishes that you ought to taste in this region. A stew made of fish is also top notched dish of this cuisine.
Since it is bordered by Bay of Bengal, you can find a lot of sea foods in their cuisines. Rice, cereal and sea food are inevitable part of their plate.
2. North East Andhra
Vishakapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and other regions that border the state of Orissa and Bay of Bengal are collectively called as Uttarandhra region. This region’s cuisine would be sweeter than others. They make all their dishes slightly sweet by adding jaggery to it.
They cook their vegetables in fenugreek paste or mustard paste. Vegetable cooked in onion paste is an important dish in this region. Soaked chickpeas are ground and seasoned. This is served with rice as an important dish during festivals.
A sweet and sour soup made with hing and tamarind is the delicacy of this region. Stew made with jaggery, rice and corn is also another important dish to taste. This is called as Bellam pulusu.
Pickles of Andhra are something that you should never miss. They make excellent pickles out of almost everything.
Starting from chillies to spinach, everything can be found in pickled form here. The top pickles to try are chilli pickle, mango piece pickle and spinach pickle.
Since the region is very near to the sea, people used to make pickles out of almost everything to preserve them from their high moisture temperature.
3. Southern Andhra
Southern part of Andhra is called as Rayalaseema. Since it is very close of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the cuisine of South Andhra would mostly resemble these states. They add ghee to almost everything.
The most important dish of this region is ragi sangati with spinach. Rice based Indian donut (vada) made with jiggery is the top delicacy of this region. You ought to try Pakam undalu, a mixture of groundnut, jiggery and rice.
This region’s staple food is roti or Indian bread. Curry made with strong tamarind flavour is consumed with broken rice. Red sorrel leave is an important dish.
What to Eat in Andhra Pradesh
1. Hyderabadi Biriyani
When it comes to Hyderabad, the first dish that comes to mind is biriyani. The Hyderabadi biriyani is a Nawabi styled spicy meat rice with aroma and taste of all spices. This style of biriyani would be very hot, spicy and juicy.
This is a meat stew made by cooking mutton for many hours till the bones and flesh becomes a mess with mild flavour and a sweet taste. It is an important dish during Ramadan season.
It is a dish made with soaked green gram. The soaked gram is ground with chilly, salt and ginger. This paste is mixed with water and made into pancakes. It is consumed with pickles.
4. Chilly Bajji
This is a large chilly which is very spicy. This chilly is soaked in butter milk and fried after dipping in a gram flour. It is an important appetizer that you ought to try with water and napkin.
5. Ulava Charu
If you are in coastal Andhra, you ought to taste this soup made of horse gram. It is a delicacy that is served in almost all hotels.
6. Maamsam Koora
This is a very hot and too spicy dish made out of mutton. The meat is cooked with green chilli, red chilli, ginger and garlic. The aroma of this dish would be welcoming and it is served with rice.
7. Bommidala Pulusu
Pulusu means curry. This is a curry made with dry fish. It is a very tangy dish that is available in almost all cities of the state. Yet, Nellore Bommidala Pulusu is the best in this state.
8. Bongulo Chicken
It is translated as bamboo chicken. Chicken is stuffed into short bamboo sticks and are cooked in a traditional manner. This delicacy is best cooked by tribal people and is usually available in districts like Papikondalu and Araku Valley.
9. Pootha Rekulu
This is a sweet made in the thickness of a tissue paper. It is made of starch, ghee and sugar powder. It is an important dessert to taste in Andhra. If you get a chance to watch how they make this, never miss it. It would be a treat to your eyes.
10. Gongura Mutton
It is a south Andhra styled food. In this, mutton is cooked with sour gongura spinach leaves. This dish would be spicy and tangy.