Getting an opportunity to sample dishes from Telangana right here in Mumbai sounded like an exciting prospect to a gourmand like me. I set out to explore the offerings at the Tastes of Telangana, a festival at Kangan, The Westin Mumbai Garden City, which is on until November 10 for dinner only.
Chef MV Naidu, Executive Sous Chef has especially come in from Hyderabad Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre to curate the festival. With an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, characteristic of this State, he wows foodies who are spoilt for choice.
Start your meal with some hearty appetisers. Savour the fluffy Aratipandu Uttappam – banana pancakes served with a spicy and tangy chutney, the street food delicacy - green gram lentil dumpling, Punugulu, Or Masala Gaare, spicy lentil fritters, as well as Chef’s signature Lamb Chops.
The cuisine of Telangana is undoubtedly the fieriest in the whole Deccan region, owing to the abundant use of red chillies, tamarind and other ground spices. The manner in which these are blended with meats and vegetables, sometimes in the same dish, is what makes this cuisine unique.
Telangana food has the distinction of being true to its key ingredients. In the districts of northern Telangana, the cuisine has dishes similar to those of Maharashtra, while, its close proximity to North Karnataka, results in some dishes from those regions too. The resultant cuisine is thus an exciting mélange of flavours and textures.
A semiarid region, the main food in Telangana is not rice, but millets. Chef Naidu ensures one gets to sample the popular Jonna Rotte which one can pair with Tomato Pappu - yellow lentils cooked with tomatoes or the Oru Gallu Kodi Koora, a spicy chicken curry from Warangal.
Seafood lovers must try the Bandameeda Chepa, a delicious fresh fish cooked on an iron griddle with a drizzle of gingili oil, chilli and zesty lemon. A meal here is incomplete without indulging in the celebrated Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani, which is a perfect balance of bold robust flavoured meat and well-spiced aromatic rice. Round off your meal with Khubani Ka Meetha Or Double Ka Meetha, the quintessential desserts of this region and you have relished an authentic meal.
You are bound to leave Kangan with your taste buds pampered with the spice-kissed cuisine of Telangana.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.