The 29th state in the Republic of India came into being three years ago. It is said that Telangana leaders in 1955, accused the people of Andhra of "colonising the region" and then merged with the state of Andhra in 1956 to create Andhra Pradesh, a united state for the Telugu-speaking populace. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and the Union Cabinet approved a Bill for the creation of Telangana State with 10 districts, paving the way for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, and consequently creating the youngest state of India in 2014.
Situated in the hardy Deccan countryside of north-central Andhra Pradesh, Telengana was ruled by the Nizams of Hyderabad, and today, the region is a confluence of several cultures and identities.
Quite like the innumerable delights and surprises that every regional cuisine in India offers you, the cuisine of Telengana has its unique selections that seem similar to a dish you may have tasted in and around, but not quite.
Though it is neighbours with the Andhra state, its pickles are prepared with boiled oil, unlike the cold oil that Andhra Pradesh prefers to use. Then, somewhat akin to its other neighbour, Maharashtra that serves up the karanji snack, the Telengana karijelu may have a sweet or savoury stuffing with mince.
Like many ladies of the house, cooks and chefs have repeated endlessly, it’s the style of preparation that does the trick. With Telengana cuisine, expect the tamarind, green chili and spices to fire your palate, with an extensive use of sesame too. The traditional millets grown in the region - jonna (jowar, or sorghum), taida (ragi, or finger millet), korra (kangani, or foxtail millet), saama (kutki, or little millet) and sajja (barley, or pearl millet) – have more protein, fibre, iron and calcium than rice, and require less water for irrigation, giving a flavour that calls out to the land.
Celebrate the third anniversary of Telangana Statehood, with a festival that includes an array of specially crafted preparations that bring out the amazing flavours of this culturally rich province. The Telengana Food Festival is being celebrated till June 30, at ITC Kakatiya’s Dakshin.