Andhra food in Mumbai

It is so heartening to see luxury establishments going back to our roots to bring out regional cuisines which define India. JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu recently hosted the Andhra food festival, to break the myth, especially for a north Indian like me, whose exposure to South Indian food is restricted stereotypically to Idlis and Dosas.

Moreover, my knowledge of the state and the food came from a pilgrim visit to Tirupati 10 years back, when, neither did I understand the food, nor the language.

High on the spice scale, Andhra food has a very tangy play of flavours and very interesting non vegetarian content. Hosted by Chef Naidu from Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre, we tried two set menus—vegetarian and non vegetarian—which included starters like Masala gaare, Kodi Vepudu (Wok-tossed spicy chicken) and Aratipandu Uttappam. Something the vegetarian me loved was the tangy tamarind rice and the Mullakada Ullipayalu Sambar.

Other Andhra specialties included Palak Mokka-Jonna masala (tempered spinach and corn), Dabbalam (traditional red pumpkin stew), Mamsam Pulusu (lamb cooked in broth), Muvva Vankaya (stuffed brinjal with tangy spices) and Andhra Vegetable Kurma. For seafood lovers there was Royyala Iguru (roasted andra prawns “coastal style”), Neerulli Lobster (simmered in tangy masala) and Nepore Chapala Pulusu (authentic nellore style fish curry).

The dinner concluded with Payasam and the forgotten treasure—double ka meetha, a royal sweet, traditionally served at Hyderabadi weddings. A culinary expedition of a culture indeed! 


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