Full Meals Food

Rolled in the taste of tradition

Thali at The Spicy Venue   | Photo Credit: @SERISH

In the year 2000, when Sampath Srinivas Tummula was 20, his father Tummula Ravindra Kumar decided to open a restaurant serving Andhra thalis in Jubilee Hills. Back then, he was one of the first restaurateurs to do so in the area.

Much to his delight, he realised that his restaurant was the only one to serve a minapappu-ulli chutney with a recipe from Usha Naidu, wife of the Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu.

Thus came The Spicy Venue in Jubilee Hills, serving traditional Andhra meals in the land of biryani lovers. The idea took off well, thalis flew off the kitchen counter and 19 years later, the eatery has more than 50 people waiting for a table during lunch hour.

After his father passed away, the responsibility of running the business fell on Sampath. What draws people to dine at this restaurant are the curries and freshly made chutneys apart from the regular sambar, rasam and pappu — the seasonal favourite being raw mango pappu. Thalis here don’t include any non-vegetarian curries; these have to be ordered separately.

For a fair idea, this eatery sells at least 300 thalis every day at lunch (1 pm to 3 pm) during weekdays; the number triples on weekends, says Sampath.

Chutney champs

“There’s a lot of appreciation for our chutneys, they are all freshly made every day. Some of the popular chutneys at our restaurant are pacchi jamakaya (raw guava), gongura, dondakaya-beerakaya, vankaya, dosakaya, pacchi mamimidi-kobbari and the minapappu-ulli pachadi which is my personal favourite,” smiles Sampath. Explaining what makes the range of podi and vadiyalu (the fried accompaniments with the thali) special, he says, “They come from our village in Vijayawada. We have a team of 20 women who are experts in making them. This is the only way we can encourage them to keep traditional food alive. They make unique podis with oori mirpakaya (green chillies soaked in buttermilk and sundried) oori natu yendu mirchi, pappula podi, karvepaku podi and many more.” The thali comes with 10 accompaniments that include a chutney, dal, sambar, rasam, majjiga pulusu, one curry for puri, one dry crispy vegetable, one dry vegetable fry, veg biryani or flavoured rice, ulavacharu and a bowl of curd. All this with two varieties of fried vadiyalu.

A veg thali here costs ₹179.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 4:38:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/the-spicy-venu-sampath-srinivas-tummula-venkaiah-naidu/article26875869.ece

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