This year, many restaurants, cultural and political parties organized ‘Telangana Food Festivals’ at Hyderabad and major towns of Telangana during Navarathri celebrations and until Dasara. This concept was started in the recent years but it was never held on such a large scale. Some political party or a cultural organization used to organize a Telangana Food Festival at one or two places, at some popular grounds in the city. And with heavy crowds converging at such few points, the experience in the past was not very satisfactory. This year it was different, it was at many places and I hope everyone enjoyed their experience, like us. We went to the ‘Telangana Food Festival’ at ‘36 Bar-B-Q Restaurant’, which is just adjacent to our house and enjoyed the food. It was a memorable evening not just because of the food but due to the ‘local theme and decorations’ there, and a very enthusiastic congregation of connoisseurs and admirers of Telangana food.
Telangana cuisine; in all its variety exists and survives only in the rural areas of Telangana. Elsewhere, especially in Hyderabad, though the locals stick to Telangana cuisine, they do not go for the entire variety, as in the past. At the time of festivals and some celebrations it is strictly or mostly traditional Telangana food all over the region.
Authentic Telangana cuisine is predominantly very hot, spicy and sour. Liberal usage of Red Chillies, Chilly powder, Green Chillies, Green Chilly paste, Ginger-Garlic paste, Garam masala and Tamarind is common. The above photographs are just a few of the many Telangana foods. Some of the items are common to other regions and look alike but have a slightly different taste and a different name. All the Telangana savories depicted in the above pictures like Sakinalu, Chegodilu, Murukulu, Vadappalu, Segu, Sundelu, Masala Puri, Bajjilu, Garelu, Makkajonna Garelu, Vadalu and Sweets like Ariselu, Laddulu, Polelu, Garijelu, Kheer and many more are very popular. Some of the sweets are made out of Jaggery. Items like Jonna Rottelu, Gummadikaya Kura, Mamidikaya Thokku or any other Thokku, Muddha Pappu, Pachi Pulusu, Salla Charu, Mamidikaya or Tamarind Pulihora, Daddojanam and a variety of Non-Veg. preparations shown in the above pictures are common food. However foods like Ambali shown in 4th picture top left and many varieties of green leaf curries and several other foods are slowly vanishing from the urban areas. The Food Festivals have showcased many foods of Telangana. The Restaurant we have been to, served 150 different and exclusive dishes of Telangana during the weeklong festival. And on the day we have gone there, the spread was quite large. I picked a little here and there without missing much and found all of them tasty. As all restaurants seem to have done good business last week with Telangana Food Festivals, I wish they conduct them more often and revive the grand old tastes.
P.S. You may click on the link below to watch the preparation of a simple, and an exclusive dish of Telangana called Pachi Pulusu (Rasam), presented by Hyderabad’s world famous Chef, Sanjay Thumma: