Flavour – The Essence of Telangana Cuisine

Telangana has been part of several Indian kingdoms. The most prominent being Kakatiya empire, Vijayanagar empire, Bhuvanagiri and Western Chalukyas.
Due to the subsequent foreign rules and post independence merge with Andhra Pradesh, the cuisine of Telangana has not been promoted.

The unique aspect of the Telangana cuisine is its rich flavours. Due to the semi-arid nature of the land, several tropical fruits, condiments and seeds make part of the cuisine and help give an rich and intense flavour to the food. Rich flavour is not “chilly”, it is the type of flavour – the various leafs, berries and seeds have a unique flavour that are included into the various tune tasted food preparations for broad appeal.

A few things to know about Telangana cuisine

  • The flavouring condiments are native to the semi-arid regions and are either cultivated or part of the wild. As these shrubs and trees grow for several years and through the various seasons, they develop a rich flavour that is masterfully adapted into the foods of Telangana.
  • The rich and middle class of Telangana had not only access to the local condiments. They could also get hold of the species from other areas of south India. The net result is a food that is very flavourful and a variety of dishes or items.
  • This food does not use much of basmati rice and wheat, since it is not available locally. Rice dishes made from basmati rice play a spoilsport as they don’t gel with the other Telangana dishes. For this reason, basmati rice is avoided in Telangana cuisine. Like wine and food – the various flavours in the food items needed to be matched properly to get best effect.
  • Mutton is the main stay of the non-vegetarian food. The perception of people is that mutton also has a distinct flavour if the live stock is from Telangana. They believe it is due to variety of flavours in the various leaves that are eaten by the live stock. Mutton that is not from Telangana is avoided and much cheaper due to the lack of flavour or taste.

Partly, most Telangana families do not eat outside because the taste of the food in restaurants outside does not meet the standards of food cooked at home.

Spices and condiments:

  • Cubeb (Thoka miriyalu)
  • Biryani leaf (Bay leaf)
  • Curry leaf
  • Tamarind
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Coconut
  • Poppy seeds
  • Charoli (Sarapalku)
  • Jeera
  • Methi seeds
  • Mint
  • Coriander (Kothimir)
  • Black pepper
  • Pulses