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6 Unique Dals of Rayalaseema Cuisine

Mallika a content writer and a foodie who loves her native Indian cuisine. She enjoys exploring the cuisine and sharing it with others.

A typical Andhra thali including dal in fiery red.

A typical Andhra thali including dal in fiery red.

Rice and dal are the staple foods of South Indian cuisine. There are numerous dal recipes with a variety of pulses and lentils.

Rayalaseema cuisine

It is the cuisine of the Rayalaseema region, located in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh state in South India. This region consists of 4 districts and got its name from the rulers of the Vijayanagara empire from the early 13th century to mid 16th century A.D.

This regional cuisine is the spiciest cuisine of the state and the dals are also spicy. The combination of hot piping steam rice, tasty dal and a spicy pickle is a favourite comfort food of Rayalaseema cuisine.

In the olden days, the dal was cooked in a clay pot. It was tastier and used to remain fresh for 2 days. Nowadays it is cooked in a deep bottomed cooking vessel or a pressure cooker pan retaining the taste. Pappu is the best side dish for rice, jowar roti, chapati and parotta. It is one of the healthy dishes in which oil is not used in the process of cooking but used only at the time of tempering.

The general procedure of cooking Pappu or dal in 3 steps

Step 1: Cook the dal combining the required ingredients in a deep bottomed cooking vessel or a pressure cooker.

Step 2: Mash the cooked dal with a traditional dal masher called "Pappu gutti".

Step 3: Do the tempering in a small frying pan or tempering pan and add the ingredients to the mashed dal. Mix the tempering and dal and serve.

In this article, let us see 6 unique dals that are also ancient recipes of this cuisine. Let's see which dals of this cuisine are unique and why they are unique...

The dals of this cuisine include vegetables and leafy vegetables and can be classified as:

  1. Red chilli powder-based
  2. Green chilli based

a. Red chilli powder-based dals

1. Erra Karam Pappu

Meaning: Erra Karam means red chilli powder. It is called red chilli powder dal.

The dal looks fiery red due to the usage of red chilli powder and is a mouth-watering dish. It is an ancient recipe from the times when tomatoes had not been introduced in India. The chillies were first introduced in the country than tomatoes. Tamarind was used in the place of tomatoes for the tangy flavour. When the tomato was introduced in the Indian subcontinent, the usage of tomatoes increased than tamarind, but a little bit of it is still used in current recipes, for taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 5 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 2 inches tamarind
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • Salt as per taste

Tempering: Ghee, cumin, black mustard, split urad dal, roasted onions, garlic, dry red chillis and curry leaves.

Best combination: Steam rice, Errakaram Pappu and spiced coconut podi.


Tomato dal

Tomato dal

Note:

1. When tomatoes are added to this recipe with less tamarind, it is called Tomato Pappu or Tomato dal.

2. The ratio to toor dal and water is 1:3 i.e, 1 cup toor dal to 3 cups of water.

Chintha chiguru pappu/tender tamarind leaves dal

Chintha chiguru pappu/tender tamarind leaves dal

2. Chintha Chiguru Pappu

Meaning: Tender tamarind leaves dal

Tamarind, a tart fruit used as a spice and souring agent, is important in South Indian cuisine. It is used in many dishes like dals, sambhar, rasam, flavoured rice etc. Not only the fruit but tender leaves are also used in cooking. The farmers collect the tender leaves in the spring season around March to April when the trees grow new leaves and are available until June.

This is a seasonal dal and a summer recipe. The dal looks orange-red due to turmeric and red chilli powder and has a tangy-spicy taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 1 cup tender tamarind leaves, cleaned and washed
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 5 to 6 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • Salt as per taste

Tempering: oil, cumin, black mustard, split urad dal, garlic, dry red chillis, curry leaves and asafoetida.

Best combination: Steam rice, chintha chiguru pappu and mango pickle

Note: In this recipe, tamarind is not used as the tender leaves give the required sourness and tomato can be omitted or used in less quantity.


3. Mamidi kaya Pappu

Meaning: Raw mango dal

This dal is also a summer recipe when mangoes are available abundantly in this season. Raw mangoes are used for this recipe and the dal has a tangy-spicy flavour. Mamidi kaya Pappu is a festival food of Ugadi that is the Telugu new year. At this festival, items like mango dal, mango chutney, mango flavoured rice, Ugadi pachadi etc. are made with raw mangoes and offered to God.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 1 medium-size raw mango, washed and cut into small pieces. Do not peel the skin and discard the seed.
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves or Kasuri methi
  • 5 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • Salt as per taste

Tempering: Oil, cumin, black mustard, split urad dal, dry red chillis and curry leaves.

Best combination: Steam rice, Mamidi kaya pappu, instant mango chutney and curd rice.

Vegetable or leafy vegetable red chilli dal

When a vegetable or leafy vegetable is substituted with raw mango in the above recipe, it is known as that particular vegetable or leafy vegetable dal.

List of vegetable and leafy vegetable dals using red chilli powder:

  • Vankaya Pappu- brinjal dal
  • Budamkaya Pappu- yellow cucumber dal
  • Cabbage Pappu- cabbage dal
  • Beerakaya Pappu-ridge gourd dal
  • Thota kura pappu-amaranth dal
  • Menthi kura Pappu-fresh fenugreek leaves dal

Ingredients for vegetable dal:

  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 1 cup chopped vegetable or leafy vegetable
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1/2 inch tamarind
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves or Kasuri methi
  • 5 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • Salt as per taste

b. Green chilli based dals

In green chilli based dals, green chillis are used in place of red chilli powder and these dals are yellow-green in appearance due to turmeric and green chillies.

4. Pachi mirapakayala Pappu

Meaning: green chilli dal

This dal is one of the special and unique dals of Rayalaseema cuisine and it is very spicy due to the usage of fresh green chillies. The green chillies used are light green, long and slim and are of Gunturu variety. It is one of the daily dishes in Andhra households.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup toor dal
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 1 medium-size tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 inch tamarind
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry fenugreek leaves or Kasuri methi
  • 5 to 9 green chillis, remove the stem and cut into medium size pieces
  • 1 cup chopped vegetable or leafy vegetable (optional)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • Salt as per taste

Tempering: Oil, cumin, black mustard, split urad dal, garlic, dry red chillis and curry leaves.

Best combination: Steam rice, Pachi Mirapakayala pappu, lemon pickle and curd rice.

Vegetable or leafy vegetable dal using green chillis

If a vegetable or leafy vegetable is included in the above recipe, it is known as that particular vegetable or leafy vegetable dal.

List

  • Palakura Pappu- spinach dal; It is one of the famous dals of Andhra cuisine.
  • Chukka kura Pappu-green/garden/common sorrel dal
  • Dosakaya Pappu- cucumber dal
Gongura pappu/Roselle dal

Gongura pappu/Roselle dal

5. Gongura Pappu

Meaning: roselle or red sorrel dal

Gongura or roselle is a leafy vegetable that has much importance in the culinary traditions of Andhra cuisine. Only the leaves are used for cooking but not stems. Gongura comes in two varieties, green- stemmed and red-stemmed leaf. The red-stemmed variety is sourer than the green stemmed variety. It is a rich source of iron, vitamins, folic acid and antioxidants essential for human nutrition.

It has importance in religious traditions as well. It is considered as the blessing of Maa Shakambari Devi, a form of goddess Durga. In the olden days, it was an important and must-have item in the Andhra king's feast and was also mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. The Andhra people consider two items, "avakaya" (mango) and "gongura" as Andhra Maatha- Mother Andhra in culinary culture. Gongura pachadi, gongura uragaya (pickle), gongura pappu, gongura mamsam (mutton curry and fry) are some of the delicacies of this cuisine.

Gongura pappu has a sour-spicy taste and has some additional spices added for taste and flavour. As said earlier, in the olden days, cooked dals used to be fresh for 2 days. The taste of such dals increased as time went by. Gongura Pappu is also one such dal as its taste increases, 5 to 10 hours after being cooked. It is one of the probiotic foods which is healthy and rich in iron.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 1 cup fresh roselle leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1 small tomato
  • 7 to 10 green chillis, remove the stem and cut into medium size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Masala paste: 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 5 garlic pods, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1/4th teaspoon asafoetida; coarsely crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 3 cups of water
  • Salt as per taste

Tempering: Oil, cumin, black mustard, split urad dal, split chana dal, garlic, dry red chillis and asafoetida.

Best combination: Steam rice, gongura pappu, gongura pickle, curd rice, fried appadam (papad), fried oora mirapakayalu (salted and dried chillies), ragi sangati and jowar roti.

  • Jowar roti and gongura pappu is a famous combination of this regional cuisine.
Mudda Pappu with ghee

Mudda Pappu with ghee

6. Mudda Pappu

Meaning: Lump dal.

Mudda means like a lump. This dal is thick like a lump and it is non-spicy dal because no chillies or chilli powder is used in the recipe. It is prepared while cooking sambar as non-spicy dal is first, prepared for sambar. It is also consumed in sickness for quick recovery of health.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt as per taste

No tempering is used for this dal. It is best eaten with piping hot steam rice and ghee roasted garlic spice podi.

In any cuisine, age-old recipes are always unique as they are designed to keep health benefits depending on the seasonal changes of that region. Those recipes are to be preserved and passed onto future generations. Traditions and customs are alive in those recipes.

Happy cooking!


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