All in the Same Field…

The watchman came running from across the road when he saw tresspassers in his orchard. The orange trees had bamboo supports and the fruit was turning slowly into an orange shade. Beside the trees were a few cotton shrubs, some jowar, green chillies and some Gongura.
A pink Cotton Flower
Did you also think that cotton had only white flowers? So did I. But Lo! There are pink ones too and I like them better than the white ones. Prettier.
White Cotton Flowers
Jowar Crop
Some Oranges
Gongura Shrub

If you have stayed in Andhra for some time, eaten from an Andhra mess or dined at a friend’s place you would know what Gongura is. They make chutneys (mixed with tamarind), dal like the palak dal, and pickles out of it. It is a difficult taste to sink in immediately. Like the Amla, if we keep on chewing it for a while the sourness will definitely lead to sweetness.

Three things that put me off in the state of Andhra Pradesh initially were the too much of groundnut in their coconut chutney (I loved groundnut chutney by itself, but this was too much to take), the green dosa (Pesarattu, officially….green because the key ingredient is moong dal) and anything with gongura in it. (Gongura is sour/bitter) I used to find it difficult to put a morsel into my mouth with these dishes around (that too when I’m not fussy about what I eat)!! Skipped breakfast whenever they served the green dosa (the mess secretary lived next door), had lunch and dinner with lots of Priya pickle (my saviour). Thank Heavens, that I just came down with Gastroenteritis once while at the hostel. No ulcers or permanent disorders to the digestive system. But how long can one ignore the pangs of hunger when the stock of bread, biscuts and cornflakes are over and you forgot to buy them? I started feeding on  the Andhra delicacies and interestingly began liking all of them to the extend that I made Pesarratu once at home with the help of my roommate’s mother who was visiting us. I still have a bottle of Gongura pickle in my room now.

Called the MLA Pesarattu as hungry Mlas used to sneak upma in these green dosas during those long assembly sessions:)) Restaurants serve both versions, the one with the upma (like potato masala in masala dosa) and the plain one with onions usually with a nice tangy ginger chutney…yummy

I travelled to Chikaldhara last weekend and these are the pictures from the wayside fields we enchroached into!!

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pins & ashes

An Aquarius Woman

6 thoughts on “All in the Same Field…”

  1. I was in Andhra for some 5 years.And I used to love their food. There was a mess in Nandigama which used to serve 50 different variety of pickles.My mouth waters thinking of it. The Pesarattu with upuma. I am drooling….. Hey what do I call you? Pins is so impersonal. Great Post. You have brought out the saliva in me. 🙂


  2. Yeah cheers to Andhra cuisine…the cleaning lady in my clinic is from Andhra,over last 14 years we have become very good friends(its true),she always gets me mango,lemon picle…too hot but i like the taste,for the last two years she is bringing readymade pulao mix with lots of soyabean chunks in it…it tastes good. Hey,thanks for visiting me,lovely blog you have here.btw,i liked the pictures too a lot.


  3. @Kavitha: Welcome to PNA and keep coming… Andhra pickles are a too good if one likes really chilly stuff….enjoy ur pulao and picklesPNA


  4. PNA, thanks for dropping by at my blog. My first time here. lovely stuff. So you hit the great outdoors AND are gastrosexual. That's good. Versus folks like me who just eat.My exposure to Andhra cuisine is restricted to Hotel stays at Hyderabad and Vizag on a work and a bored to death week at Vijaywada a decade back. The impression I have is rice, rice, rice. Wish I could have explored more and done proper justice to the food there


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