Savour the varied flavours of the Northern Circars at ITC Royal Bengal's Grand Market Pavilion
If you have a palate for the hot spicy Andhra chillies and want to savour the cuisine of the Rayalaseema region, then simply head for then grand fest that's going on at ITC Royal Bengal's Grand Market Pavilion. On till this Sunday, the grand fest, organised by celebrated chef Praveen Anand falls under the aegis of ITC's Kitchens of India initiative.
The Northern Circars was a former division of British India’s Madras Presidency, which consisted of a narrow strip of territory lying along the western side of the Bay of Bengal. The region used to cover the modern-day coastal Andhra region of Andhra Pradesh, including the districts of Krishna, East and West Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Vizayanagaram, Srikakulam, Prakasam and Guntur, as well as Gajapati and Ganjam districts of Odisha.
The food is unique because of local produce, especially the chillies. The chillies produced in this region are many and different from place to place with varied flavours and taste. Each chilli lends a different taste. Mangalagiri chilli is used for ‘curries’ and Pottu Mirapakai for ‘thokkus’ (pickle). "The chillies make all the difference and they are unique to the region, lending the food a distinct flavour," adds Chef Anand.
You can experience the age-old authentic recipes of the ‘Northern Circars’ of British India’s Madras Presidency, rustled up by Chef Anand and the delicacies include Pesara Punukulu (Crispy Moong Dal Chunks served with ridge gourd chutney), Karjam Vepudu, (Pepper Tossed Mutton Liver) Bangala
Dumpa, Masala Koora (Potatoes Tossed with Chilli and kopra) Kakarakaya Vepudu (Bitter gourd Crisps with Onion, Garlic & Chilly), Beerakaya Paalu (Ridge gourd Slow Cooked in Cow’s Milk with Spices) among others.
We loved Palakoora Pappu, Spinach and Lentil cooked together, tempered with Mustard and Cumin, apart from Royyalu (Prawn and Fenugreek leaves tossed in ethnic spices). Palletoori Kodi Koora, a village-style Chicken Curry with drumsticks and Veta Pandi Vepudu (Ethnic Pork Roast) were equally lip-smacking.
Tejinder Singh, Area Manager East ITC Hotels and Cluster General Manager ITC Royal Bengal and ITC Sonar mentions, “We are delighted to present Circar Ruchulu, the unique flavours of the Northern Circars, part of the erstwhile Madras Presidency, researched and presented by Chef Praveen Anand whose lifelong passion is to retrieve and revive lost recipes of Southern India. The local produce and the varieties of chillies of the region impart diverse flavours to the age-old authentic recipes. This is a part of ITC Hotels Kitchens of India series where we showcase India’s wealth of unique, forgotten, undiscovered and regal cuisine in keeping with our ethos of Responsible Luxury".
You can savour the delicacies at dinner buffet (7:30 to 11 pm) at Grand Market Pavilion at ITC Royal Bengal from 8 to 17 January, Monday to Thursday. Rs 1,600 plus taxes per guest and Friday to Sunday Rs 1,750 plus taxes per guest.