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Food of Telangana


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Food of Telangana

Telangana may be a newly formed state in India but its cuisine retains the old Midas touch, flavour and traditional ways of preparing various dishes is still prevalent! Yes, there is a way of serving various dishes and relishing daily meals.

Festivals are times when special desserts are prepared with the whole family participating in the affair. Well, it is as much a family union during preparation of pickles to naivedyam as it is during celebrations of any family event with music and dances!

Tangy and Spicy Food of Telangana

The cuisine of Telangana is known for its hot and spicy taste. Hot pickles are a must with daily meals. Curry is cooked using lentils (dal), tomato and tamarind. The way Telugu speaking people in Telangana cook food, prepare snacks, curry (known as kora) and sweets also varies according to the place they are residing in due to local influence and community they belong to. For instance, in Telangana, staple food includes millet bread or roti. In neighbouring Andhra, people prefer to eat rice while in the Rayalaseema region, ragi is more popular.

Breads  eaten in Telangana also include those made of jowar and bajra apart from the daily bread prepared using millet. Some characteristics of the cuisine of Karnataka state, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh too can be found in the Telangana cuisine.

sarva pindi dish

Common and Popular Dishes from Telangana

The cuisine of Telangana is the spiciest of all Indian cuisines! Koora means curry and people relish both vegetarian as well as non vegetarian dishes. Sajja rotte, makka rotte, uppudi (broken) rice, jonna rotte (sorghum), vankaya brinjal pulusu, arintikaya banana pulusu or vepudu, palakoora (spinach dish with lentils),boti, thunti koora (prepared using red sorrel leaves), sarva pindi (spicy pancake eaten for breakfast) are some popular dishes of the region.

Jowar roti, jowar ghatka, maize vadas (makka garelu) are staple breads eaten during meals. Vegetable curries include tomato kura, salla charu, dosakaya pappu, pachi pulusu among other dishes.
Non vegetarian dishes include kodi pulusu, mamsam (meat) vepudu. Other popular non vegetarian dishes are spicy mutton fry known as golichina mamsam, Telangana mutton curry, mutton pulao, kodi pulao, komzu pitta roast, talakaya kura, mutton liver fry and flavoured chicken curry known as oorru kodi pulusu.

Sweets and Savouries in Telangana

Savouries and snacks in Telangana state comprise of chakinalu or sakinalu (prepared during Makar Sankranti), garijelu cooked with sweet stuffing or even with mutton and chicken keema, madugulu, crispy pharda pheni etc. Bobbattu is a snack made from wheat or sooji and filled with lentils and jaggery. Ariselu is a sweet prepared using jaggery and rice.

Well, one of everyone's favourite is chakodi snack! Boondi mithai can be commonly seen during festivals and auspicious occasions. These also make for a tasty evening snack!

Other sweets prevalent in Telangana include boondi laddu, rava laddu, ariselu, poornalu or boorelu, bhakshalu or bobbatlu (polelu), kakinada khaja, payasam, gavvalu, chakodi, sugar pongal or chakkera pongali and laskora undalu (coconut ladoo).

Other sweets which are as popular in Telangana are boondi, jeedilu, malai khaja, palathalikalu, ravva kesari, pappuchekka, kobbari lavuju, vannappalu and pootharekulu.

rava laddoo dish

Rural cuisine is cooked on matti poyyi which is a century old stove still used in villages. Mud pots are also used for cooking. Jowar, bajra and ragi are used along with rice which is regarded as a symbol of prosperity.

How Does Telangana Cuisine Differ from Andhra Cuisine

The way of preparing dishes differs in both the regions. People in Telangana love to add spring onions, coriander seeds, lot of sesame, tamarind, green chillies, spices to impart an exclusive flavour to the dishes. Red chillies (koraivikaram) and asafetida are also used in dishes in Telangana.
People residing in coastal Andhra do not use much of sesame and love to add hot Guntur chilly and coconut to their dishes.

As far as preparation of pickles is concerned, in Andhra, pickles are prepared by adding oil without first heating it. However, in Telangana,  it is a must to boil oil and cool it before adding it to the pickle.Gongura or Puntikura is extensively used in curries and pickles.

Hyderabadi Biryani

Hyderabadi Biryani of Telangana

The capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad is very famous for Hyderabadi biryani which is prepared by traditional method of dum pukht, that is, slow heating. Cuisine in Hyderabad has inherited its delectable taste from influence of Muslim Nizams and also bestows Persian and Arab influence.

Kodi (chicken) palav is a loved dish across the state. Mutton biryani, kaaja biryani, kunda biryani (pot biryani) and chicken biryani are as popular.Gravy dishes also include kodi (chicken) koora and mutton (lamb) koora prepared using coriander, tomato, onions and tamarind and eaten with steamed rice.

Also Read: Food of Hyderabad | Cuisine of Secunderabad | Cuisine of Warangal

Typical Breakfast in Telangana

Breakfast may include light and tasty preparations such as idli, vada, upma and dosa. People also savour milk, tea or coffee with breakfast. Variations in dosa range from atukula dosa (dosa made from poha), wheat upindi upma with curd, godhuma uppindi upma (upma made from broken wheat flour), upma made from sooji, saggubiyyam (sago) upma, punukulu (deep fried dish) etc.

Presentation of Food on the Platter

Lunch and dinner time is when the entire family gets together and relishes traditional cuisine. Dishes are served on porcelain or stainless steel plates known as kancham. In rural households, food is served on banana leaves known as arati aaku. These arati aaku or banana leaves are also used during festivals. Sometimes many banana leaves are joined or sewn together to form a large plate known as vistari! Even small restaurants serve meals on such banana plates in several cities. These banana leaves may be fresh or even sun dried ones known as ariti mattalu.


Famous Dishes of Telangana

  • Sarva Pindi: A spicy pancake mostly eaten during breakfast. It is made from rice flour, chana daal, ginger, curry leaves, green chillies, sesame seeds and garlic.
  • Madugulu: This is a sweet prepared using milk, butter and is coated with sugar.Pharda pheni is also a wafer sweet which is sugar coated and crispy.
  • Idli: This is a steamed cake made of rice and lentil eaten with chutney, sambar or just with kaara oodi (chili dal powder).
  • Chakinalu or Sakinalu: A deep-fried snack made of rice flour, sesame seeds and carom seeds (ajwain --- vaamu in Telugu). It is prepared during Makar Sankranti festival.
  • Dosa: Pancake made using urad dal and rice and eaten with sambar and chutney.
  • Pesarattu: Pancake prepared using moong dal and served with ginger chutney (pachadi). When filled with upma, it is called upma perasattu.
  • Roti or chappati: flat wheat dough heated in an open pan and served with dal and chutney or with meals. When deep fried, it is called puri which is served with potato bhajji and chutney.
  • Ooragaya pickle: This is prepared by using chilli powder, methi (fenugreek) powder, mustard powder, oil. It is eaten as a side dish with meals.
  • Gongura Chana dal: This dish is a vegetarian alternative to non vegetarian dish Gongura gosht. Chana dal is cooked with many spices, curry leaves and mustard.
  • Bachali Kura: Spinach curry cooked with tamarind paste.
  • Pachi Pulusu: Spicy rasam prepared using chillies, tamarind and onions.
  • Sunnundallu: Laddu prepared using roasted urad dal (minapappu) and jaggery (bellam).
  • Telangana Sakinalu: Crispy snack prepared using rice flour and sesame. This dish is especially prepared during Makar Sankranti.

Irani Cafes in Hyderabad

There are a number of Irani Cafes in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. People love to come to these cafes especially to have special tea which is both milky and sweet! People of all age groups visit these Irani cafes. They come here just for a tete-a-tete with their friends savouring osmania biscuits which are really tasty. Tea can be had with other snacks such as samosas and mirchi bhajjis. To be safe, you must have mineral water bottle in these cafes. Cost of tea, samosas, a plate of mirchi bhajji is about INR 3 each. Biscuits are INR 5 per plate.

Also Read: Mcdonalds in Hyderabad | Pizza Hut in Hyderabad | Vegetarian Restaurants in Hyderabad | Coffee Shops in Secunderabad | Restaurants in Secunderabad | Biryani Restaurants in Warangal | Fast Food Restaurants in Warangal | Multicuisine Restaurants in Warangal

Know More About Dum Pukht Cooking in Telangana

Dum Pukht cooking is especially used for preparing Hyderabadi Biryani and other vegetarian and non vegetarian pulao dishes. It is a slow method of cooking which dates back to 16th century and was introduced in India by the Mughals.

Handi (round spherical clay pot) is used for Dum Pukht cooking which is a Persian word meaning baked or air (steam) cooked. Smaller version of handi is known as handiya. The lid of the handi is sealed with flour so that the aroma of spices used do not escape and the rice is cooked by the steam formed inside the container.
  • Par-Cooking: Handi is placed on open wood fire, spices are sautéed and raw materials like rice and vegetables are added only to be half cooked.
  • Dum Cooking: minimum water is added to par-cooked food kept in handi. The lid is sealed with kneaded flour. The flames are put out and the handi stays on a bed of hot charcoals! The steam thus created cooks the biryani rice.



Telangana Cuisine Preparations during Bathukamma Festival

Bathukamma is a floral festival of Telangana. It is celebrated during September-October every year for nine days during Durga Navarathri.  It is followed by Boddemma, a 7-day festival which marks the beginning of Sarath ritu.

Each day of the festival marks offering of naivedyam (food offering). These include sesame seeds (nuvvulu) with rice flour (biyyampindi) or coarsely ground wet rice known as nookalu. Bellam (jaggery), flattened parboiled rice (atkulu), boiled lentils (mudapappu), wheatlet pan cakes (uppidi pindi atlu) etc. are prepared and offered as naivedyam during the festival. Ninth day of Bathukamma known as Saddula Bathukamma is marked by cooking of five types of rice dishes:
  • Perugannam saddi (curd rice)
  • Chinthapandu pulihora saddi (tamarind rice)
  • Nimmakaya saddi (lemon rice)
  • Kobbara saddi (coconut rice)
  • Nuvvula saddi (sesame rice)
Ingredients of various dishes prepared during the festival are corn, sorghum, bajra, black gram, wheat, rice, cashew nut, jaggery and milk. Maleeda is prepared by mixing roti and jaggery and distributed to everyone present at the end of the event.

There is no doubt that Telangana has a rich cuisine. People eat meals in a traditional way, sitting on the floor and on banana plates using their hands. Meal time is an elaborate family affair.  Nevertheless, urban population has taken to eating on stainless steel plates and dining tables. However, the traditional spiciness and flavours remain the same!

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