Cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is well renowned not just in the country but also amongst the gourmet all over the world. The most enchanting factor of the cuisine of Andhra Pradesh is the amalgamation of the delicious Southern and genteel Deccani style of cooking.
Andhra cuisine is largely vegetarian but the coastal areas have a large repertoire of seafood.
Staple food of the people is rice. Food of Andhra Pradesh is known for its heavy use of spices and chillies. Its huge assortment of spicy pickles and chutneys are a rage all over the country. Curd is also a part of the meal in the Andhra Pradesh as it helps to neutralise the spicy nature of the food.
Fish and prawns are curried in sesame and coconut oils, and flavored with freshly ground pepper. Andhra food is served with rice. Rice, sambar and other lentil preparations, and steamed vegetables delicately flavored with coconut, spices and fresh herbs.
Snack or tiffin time is made of many preparations like onion pakodas; vadas or savory lentil doughnuts dunked in steaming hot sambar; and steamed rice muffin like dumplings called idlis. Savories are murku, roundels of rice flour paste deep-fried; and appadams. Desserts include payasam, which is a pudding made with rice and milk and the popular Sheer Khurma - a Hyderabadi delicacy with dry fruits and dates.
The Trump card of Andhra Pradesh food culture is its world famous Hyderabadi Cuisine. This has a strong influence of the Mughlai food. It is said that the royal Hyderabadi cuisine is prepared by meticulous nurturing of Mughlai flavours with the blend of spices. The end dish is rich in aroma and taste.
Hyderabadi Cuisine: The City of Hyderabad was founded in 1589 by Mohammed Quli Qutbshah, and Muslim royalty there created a whole cuisine of very distinctive foods.
The Hyderabadi cuisine is an amalgamation of Muslim techniques and meats with the vibrant spices and ingredients of the predominantly local Hindu people. Hydrabadi cuisine is the ultimate in fine dining. Its tastes range from sour and the sweet, the hot and the salty and studded with dry fruits and nuts. One of India`s finest foods, the biryani or rice with meats and brinjal (or eggplant) or baghare baiganis are the jewels of Hyderabadi cooking.
Among the leavened, oven-baked breads are kulcha, a square product often marked with two cross lines and sheermal. Both are eaten early in the morning with gelatinous narahari, which are lamb trotters and tongue that have been cooking slowly all night.
Qabooli is a mix (khichdi) of rice and Kabooli chana, in contrast to moong dhal, which is a usual pulse in a khichdi that is eaten with keema. The famous Hyderabadi kacchi-biryani is another delicacy of the region in which the meat almost disintegrates while the rice remains firm. There is no overall coating of gravy or ghee, only irregular saffron staining. Accompanying this light, dry biryani is the rather watery onion raita called boorani. Biryani is said to be different from pulao when the meat takes precedence over rice in the mix.
Haleem is one of the most popular dishes of Hyderabad. It is a finely ground paste of both water and meat, delicately spiced. Full boiled eggs in a minced meat coating constitute nargisi kofta which when broken open, the golden yolk surrounded by egg white against an earth-brown meat background recalls the narcissus flower nargis sprouting from the bare earth.