Thali Menu #146 – Andhra Thali
About Andhra/Telegu Cuisine
Telugu cuisine is a cuisine of South India native to the Telugu people from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Generally known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste, the cooking is very diverse due to the vast spread of the people and varied topological regions.
Andhra Pradesh state is the leading producer of red chili, rice and Telangana state is millets in India influences the liberal use of spices. Vegetarian, as well as meat and seafood (coastal areas), feature prominently on the menus. Dal (lentils), tomato and tamarind are largely used for cooking curries. Spicy and hot varieties of pickles form an important part of Telugu cuisine.
All three regions — Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana — have distinctive cuisines, where in semi-arid Telangana state region millet-based breads (roti) is predominant staple food, while rice is predominant in irrigated Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and ragi is popular in Rayalaseema regions which is predominantly semi-arid.
Many of the curries (known as koora), snacks and sweets vary in the method of preparation and differ in name, too.
This weekend, the thali menu is a curation of the vast offerings of this earthy cuisine.
Recipe of the week
Laal maas - a fiery Rajasthani meat curry with freshly roasted spices and a burst of red chillies
- 2 Small onions (finely chopped)
- 2 green chillies (finely chopped)
- 18-20 red chillies
- 2 tsp coriander seeds (whole)
- 1 tsp jeera
- 1 cup mustard oil
- 10 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 piece small ginger (finely chopped)
- 1/2 kg lamb (cut into pieces with bones)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup kachri powder (Kachri is a dried vegetable, a variety of cucumbers found in Rajasthan and ground into a powder, small. You will find this in an Indian grocery store.)
- 3-4 pods cardamom
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A pinch of mace
- 1 pod black cardamom
- Handful coriander leaves (chopped)
1.Dry roast the red chillies to give it a nice distinctive aroma which adds great flavor to the dish.
- 2.Add to that the coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
- 3.Once done, grind it into a nice fine powder.
- 4.Heat some mustard oil in a pan. Add to this the garlic and ginger.
- 5.Once the garlic turns slightly brown add the lamb pieces.
- 6.Give it a good mix. This is also a good time to add salt.
- 7.Now add the kachri powder. Not only does this powder tenderize the meat, its also adds a nice tangy flavor to it.
- 8.Now add the chopped onions and mix all well.
- 9.Once the onions have roasted well add the whole spices, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, mace, black cardamom. Stir well.
- 10.Now add the red chilly powder and let it roast for about a minute.
- 11.Add enough water to cook the lamb. Cover it and let it simmer for a couple of minutes till the meat is cooked.
- 12.Once the meat is cooked, take out all the pieces on a platter and strain the gravy.
- 13.Straining the gravy gets rid of all the whole spices and keeps the essence and flavors intact.
- 14.Now add the lamb pieces you had taken out to the refined gravy and put it back on fire but on low heat.
- 15.Add about 1/2 cup water and some coriander leaves.
- 16.Let it simmer for a while and when you reach a good consistency of gravy, turn off the heat.
- 17.Serve hot with a good garnishing of chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with Rice or Roti