Pappu charu and fish fry | Photo credit: Dinesh Kakolu
On the occasion of the birth centenary of late legendary actor-politician NT Rama Rao (NTR), food lovers are getting to relish their favorite dishes at The Spicy Venue in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Popular for its Andhra-style thali, the restaurant has organized a special food fest named after NTR and his fans and food lovers are loving every bit of it. Sampath Tummala, owner of The Spicy Venue, says the food fest has been designed after a lot of research and discussion with NTR’s family members.
NTR’s grandson Chaitanya Krishna (Jaya Krishna’s son) was at the food fest to celebrate his birthday
Clearly, Food Fest is a very personal tribute from Sampath; His grandfather, and later his father, ran the famous Nataraja Hotel in Vijayawada where NTR used to dine regularly. Says Sampath, “My grandfather and father were closely associated with the veteran actor-turned-politician, so they knew the actor’s favorite foods very well. On many occasions, food was ordered from our hotel in Vijayawada.
Garelu with Naatu Kodi Pulusu | Photo credit: Dinesh Kakolu
The special menu for the festival in Hyderabad features dishes that are quintessentially Telugu with a range of NTR’s favourites. Known to be very fond of non-vegetarian food, NTR loved special combinations. “We recreated some of the recipes based on discussions with family members and his friend Bhaskar Rao of Vijaya Pictures, who used to distribute all NTR films,” says Sampath, “Bhaskar Rao Garu came up with some special combinations helped me like Fish fry with pappu charu, Garelu with natu kodi pulusu, Nethi Pulao with Mutton Iguru etc,” says Sampath.
Fish fry with pappu charu is a homely rendition, light and simple. Those not wanting a light meal should go in a large group so the entire menu can be ordered and shared.
a la carte The menu lists 13 dishes including two desserts and three starters, the hot seller of which is the crispy mirchi bajji, made with finely chopped onions and roasted peanuts and served with coconut chutney. Another dish that is emerging as a favorite is kalchina natu kodi (Open Flame-Fired Country Chicken Roast). ,kalchina natu kodi It was his regular breakfast, even when he was put on a diet after his heart surgery. I am told that this dish, also his first meal, was his favorite and he would eat it religiously before going to work,” said Sampath.
Some strict vegetarian dishes leave diners in awe of their taste and presentation. Gundu JD Pappu Koora (Whole Cashew Curry) and thatmunjalakura (Ice Apple Curry).
Mirchi bajji | Photo credit: Dinesh Kakolu
Talking about Ice Apple Curry, Sampath explains, “It is an Andhra specialty made in many households in summers. adult Munjal Or snow apples are chosen for this curry as they are not sweet. The slightly stringy texture and neutral flavor make it suitable for use in curries. The fruit is first fried with salt and turmeric to seal the flesh for the curry. “If added without shallow frying, then Munjal The spice of the onions, spices and cashew paste will meld into the gravy, explains Sampath.
Other common Andhra favorites of the late legend that find a place on the menu include curd rice and mango, and PalthalikuluRice flour based dessert.
The fest at The Spicy Venue for lunch and dinner is on till May 28.