Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lot of fun as State turns one ..



Article in  The Hindu Metro Plus on June 1st


There’s fun, food and lots of folk festivities planned for the first anniversary celebrations of the Telangana State.
The celebrations resemble no less than a child’s first birthday festivities. Telangana State is all geared up to ring in its first anniversary in a big way.. The march past teams are putting their best foot forward at a rehearsal session, unmindful of the soaring sun. Streets are being spruced up, their pot holes getting filled. Venues are bustling with activities. But what good is a celebration without a feast where the food of Telangana is at forefront?
Hotels and restaurants in the city are digging into their Telangana recipes to treat their customers on the occasion.
Food consultant and author of the recipe book Telanagana Inti Vantalu, Jyothi Valabhoju says she is delighted to share her knowledge with the chefs of Novotel where a food fest is being planned. Shyam Sundar, F&B manager at Novotel Hyderabad and a former chef, says, “The entire session was a mind opener. It is the use of certain ingredients that makes Telangana cuisine distinct. For me and my team, especially executive chef Muthu, the trickiest part was the demarcation of Telangana from Andhra cuisine, because both cuisines makes use of the almost the same ingredients in its fresh form.”
Distinct style
Sundar also mentions how Telangana cuisine has more to offer than just a Natukodi pulusu (country chicken curry). Chef Muthu says, “It isn’t only the ingredients, even the cooking style differs; the meats and preferred cuts are also different. We are having to look at a cuisine which mostly has the home-cooked style and uses lentils and vegetables with the meat.”
Jyothi says, “Every cuisine is unique and needs its own importance. While we speak about biryani, we tend to forget what else we have to offer. We use common ingredients. Nothing is out of the world or exotic. The key to the cuisine is to use whatever is easily available. So fresh green chillies are preferred over dry red chillies. Fresh coriander, tamarind and tomatoes for the gravy consistency etc goes into the gravy. The Natukodi pulusu is light so that a jonna rotte can be dipped into it. The other dishes to look forward to are sarvapindi, sakinalu, pachipulusu, boti, gatka, bagaarannam, korrala payasam and bhakshyalu.
Food fests For the occasion the food fests organised in the city include the ones planned at Novotel, at Dakshin in ITC Kakatiya as well as at Deccan Pavilion. Dakshin also offers the ‘Telangana thaali’ which bursts with the flavourful goodness of the state’s myriad culinary traditions; including vegetarian, non-vegetarian and sea food thaalis. The specials to be mentioned are kuntikura pappu (lentils cooked with rozelle leaves and tempered with mustard and chilli). Jonna roti, Telangana Kodi Roast (boneless chicken cooked dry with chillies and garlic), beerakai guddu koora (ridge gourd and egg curry). Royyala dosakai koora (dried prawns simmered with yellow cucumber in an onion tomato gravy).
For a typical Telangana dessert, look out for special millet-based desserts. There’s ragi bellam satyalu (ragi string hoppers served with jaggery and nuts).

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