We asked Sreevalli Emani, who runs the beautiful blog ammajirecipes.blogspot.com, to give us a quick tutorial on the food of Andhra Pradesh. Over to her:

“Andhra cuisine is an integral part of South Indian cuisine. Its signature appeal is in its hot and spicy food. The cuisine of Andhra is divided into coastal Andhra & Rayalaseema dishes as they vary widely in preparation and taste. Rice is staple in all regions of Andhra, but when it comes to Rayalaseema they enjoy raagi sankati: raagi roti and rice as main course. The pickles of Andhra are one of the spiciest and most delicious condiments, served along with rice. Apart from spiciness, Andhrites do enjoy tangy tamarind-based and sweet jaggery-based dishes too. An Andhra household meal consists of rice, dal, veggie fry, pickle, spice powder and rasam or sambar accompanied by yoghurt.

Ghee is served as a side to flavour up these dishes. It also helps in reducing extra spice in the food and improves digestion. Every region has its own unique delicacies but some dishes are enjoyed across the State. Popular Andhra dishes include pulihora or tamarind rice, gongura pachadi which is also known as Andhra Mata, avakaya or mango pickle. Ulavacharu is a rasam made of horse gram, kandipodi or gun powder, pesarattu with upma, mirapakaya bag arisalu, putharekulu, bandaruladoo, Kakinada kaja and many more. The first round of dishes on rice are dal, bhindi fry, toor dal powder or kandipodi. Second round features Gongura pickle (Andhra Mata), Rasam & Avakaya (Mango Pickle). The last round is yogurt and ghee.”