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Gongura , Idli / Dosa Milakai Podi & Vadams

Posted Mar 03 2009 2:49pm


Gongura is synonymous with , and virtually sacred to Andhra cuisine. Authentic gongura chutney or pickle , eaten in the Guntur district of AndhraPradesh, is guaranteed to leaves your stomach lining singed for days together , if you aren ’t used to this potent relish.

Gongura leaves ( botanical name : hibiscus cannabinus ) are versatile and can be used in many ways. It is best known in the memorable and spicy dish – GonguraMamsam – a mutton curry made using these green leaves.

The leaves belonged to the hibiscus family , and gongura is rich in iron and closely resembles the leaf of the lady’s finger ( okra ) plant. When gongura is in season , it is usually cleaned and wiped free of all moisture and then made into a chutney or pickle with oil. This pickle is preserved for the whole year and then used either on its own or in combination with other ingredients to make a variety of interesting chutney and curries.

Idli / DosaMilakaiPodi

In South India , the combination of hot , crispy golden ‘ dosais ( as they are called down there ) , and fiery orange milakaipodi splashed in a puddle of gingerly oil form a holy culinary trinity, sacred to the enjoyment of this type of ‘ tiffin ‘ food.

The powder is a staple accompaniment to idlis and dosais, along with chutney and sambar. Quite often , although the essential ingredients remain virtually the same, the milakaipodi from household to household will differ in taste and texture.

Made essentially from a dry combination of red chillies and gram dals, you can have fun while eating this. You first put a spoonful of milakaipodi onto your plate. Pretending the heapful of fiery podi is a mini volcano , you make a crater in the centre using your index finger and pour a little gingerly oil or ghee into this edible volcano, till the oily lava spills over. Then , as the volacano mixes with gooey lava , it forms an oily paste. The dosai or idli is then dipped into this oily podi mixture , and popped into the mouth. Too much podi on a small bit of dosai will result in definite volcanic rumblings in the stomach – beware !!!!!


These crisp and crunchy wafers are deep – fried delights that are eaten along with a South Indian meal. Vadams are usually made out of rice paste and nowadays , they come in some exciting colours that include a bright fluorescent green and festive orange , apart from the usual white ones.

Papadams are usually made out of besan flour , but can also be made with tapioca , rice or potato flour. The small , opaque yellow discs are fried in oil until crisp. They are particular favorite along the Malabar coast , where it is not uncommon to see neat rows of freshly – made , wet papadams drying in the sun outside small houses.

Papadams, although very closely related to ‘’ appalams ’’ are different from them . Appalams are usually larger , while papadams are smaller in diameter. Papadams are also made using more baking soda than appalams and the North Indian pappads, and hence tend to puff up more when deep – fried . Today , vadams and papadams are fashionable cocktail snacks that come in all kinds of combinations and sizes to be nibbled over a margarita or before a meal.
Nellore Food Fest at Malgudi – Hotel Savera till 8 th March

Experience an unique & exotic culinary adventures from Nellore….

Come celebrate the festival of ethnic flavors…

The dishes includes Nellore Chepala pulusu , Korameenu vepudu , Peethala masala fry , yendu mirchi vaeta mamsam vepudu , Noone venkaya masala , Gummadikaya theeya koora , Yerra gadda pulusu and Gongura kodi iquru .

Timings – Lunch ( noon to 3.30 pm) and dinner ( 7 pm to midnight )

Malgudi – Hotel Savera
146 , Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai
Tel #28114700 / 9841056078
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