A major chunk of tourists visiting the city seem to prefer the hot and spicy recipes of Andhra, including the ret hot avakaya pachchadi and perugannam (curd rice), over the famous Hyderabadi dum biryani.

Chefs in star hotels and restaurants are witness to this trend among tourists, especially business travellers from north India. Most of them are eager to taste delicious Andhra recipes like a gongura (kenaf) dish or Ulavacharu made with horse gram. Of the wide range of delicacies that find place in the cuisine, including the north Indian thaali, most visitors evince interest in the food and sweets that are popular here.

“We first explain to them about the lip-smacking flavours famous in this region and then take their order and accordingly prepare the spicy recipes,” explains Somnath Das, Executive Chef of The Gateway Hotel. Curries like natukodi chicken and dosakaya (cucumber) and mutton, besides chicken and fish fries, avakaya and tomato rice are most preferred by tourists from the North.

“We have on our menu several north Indian dishes along with different types of parathas, but most of our guests want to explore Andhra food,” says Mr. Das. Even after including Hyderabad’s dum-ka-biryani in the menu, many ignore it and opt for Andhra thaali that comes with a wide variety of curries, rice and desserts.

“We also provide Andhra dishes in buffet lunch apart from thaali,” says another chef who informs that businessmen, industrialists and other stakeholders, especially from Hyderabad, have been visiting the city regularly to enquire about availability of land and other investment opportunities after bifurcation.

They go back only after relishing the tasty Andhra dishes of the region. The star category hotels have been registering nearly 70 per cent occupancy everyday and the list of visitors include foreigners coming to attend meetings in religious places, he says.

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