The Andhra food fest at Aish in The Park is a celebration of nativity and undiluted cooking. The fest is to treat food lovers with the finger-licking good Andhra homemade food by N Prabhavati and V Lakshmi. The opportunity is also to give the chefs an opportunity to learn what they don’t learn at culinary school. As the two ladies spoke, chef Thimma heard with rapt attention and said, “The ladies cook with absolute love and pays attention of details of combinations. The food they cook compliments every combo and somewhere also celebrates seasonal availability.”
Prabhavati and Lakshmi aren’t professional home chefs but are experts in the kitchen simply because they love feeding whoever loves to eat. Prabhavati explains that some dishes are the result of their own experiments in the kitchen. “Cooking the same is boring for us. So we can imagine the boredom of those have to eat the same dishes. Application of logic and smart use of ingredients can do wonders in the kitchen.”
The pakam garelu were dripping with the aroma and goodness of home made ghee. Without wasting much time and waiting for anyone to spot me eating with my fingers at a fine dining restaurant of The Park, I quickly finished it without an ounce of guilt. Within minutes of me finishing the sweet to mark the beginning of a weekend feast, a set of beautiful utensils came brimming with home made pickles. Pickles made of amaranth leaves, coriander leaves, radish and chicken. Each tasted better than the other and all one could think of with the smell of the pickles is about a cup of piping hot rice. Wish granted! Hot cup rice to fore, the time needed to mix the pickle with rice seemed like ages. Each mouthful of rice with the pickles was simply therapeutic.
The veg combination has dishes that ranges from kanupu chikudu, aratikaya vepudu, capsicum perugu, pachi pulusu, sorakaya nuvvulu kura and mudda pappu. This was served with pulihora annam and puris.
The kanupu chikudu was the best because of the rarity and the simplicity of the style of cooking. Some of the fried items can be called Indian stir fries. As the food is served the ladies took us on a culinary guide journey just the way children hear tales to eat food. The tales here mostly were related to ingredients, style of preparing masalas, origins of dishes and combinations to be tried. Lakshmi who makes most of the non-veg food said “to even drive out the heat in the gut from eating non veg like crab meat and lamb we make sour yellow dal. These are old sayings and we follow them as a rule book.”
True indeed, the fest has yellow dal with crab meat and Andhra style chicken fry. The taste of the dishes were irresistible so a bit of over eating is necessary. To top it all the ladies also had prepared bendakaya, chepa pulsu and this cannot be refused at any cost.
That the fest is authentic is obvious from the endu royyalu vankaya fry(dry shrimp with brinjal).
The Andhra fest will be held this weekend at Aish, The Park, where Prabhavati and Lakshmi will cook up some serious vegetarian dishes.