On the event of the start centenary of the late legendary actor-politician N T Rama Rao (NTR), meals lovers are attending to savour his favorite dishes at The Spicy Venue at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad. Popular for its Andhra-styled thali, the restaurant has put up a particular meals fest within the title of NTR and his followers and meals lovers are loving each little bit of it. Sampath Tummala, who owns The Spicy Venue says the meals fest has been designed after lots of analysis and dialogue with NTR’s members of the family.
Clearly, the meals fest is a really private tribute from Sampath; his grandfather, and later his father, used to run the well-known Nataraj Hotel in Vijayawada the place NTR had been an everyday diner. Sampath says, “My grandfather and father were closely associated with the legendary actor turned politician, so they knew the actor’s favourite foods well. On several occasions, the food would to be ordered from our hotel in Vijayawada.”
The particular menu for this fest in Hyderabad has dishes that are quintessentially Telugu, with a spread of NTR’s favourites. Known to be very keen on non-vegetarian meals, NTR cherished particular mixtures. “We recreated some of the dishes based on discussions with family members and his friend Bhaskar Rao of Vijaya Pictures that used to distribute all NTR movies ,” shares Sampath, including“Bhaskar Rao garu helped me with some of the special combinations like fish fry with pappu charu, garelu with natu kodi pulusu, nethi pulao with mutton iguru etc,” provides Sampath.
The barbecue with pappu charu is a homely presentation, mild and easy. Those who aren’t consuming mild should go in a giant group in order that the complete menu could be ordered and shared.
The a la carte menu lists 13 dishes together with two desserts and three starters of which the new vendor is the crunchy mirchi bajji filled with finely chopped onions and roasted peanuts and served with a coconut chutney. Another dish that’s rising as a favorite is kalchina natu kodi (open flame-fired nation rooster roast). “Kalchina natu kodi was his regular breakfast, even when he was put on a diet after his heart surgery. I am told that this dish, also his first meal, was his absolute favourite and he would have it religiously before heading out to work,” added Sampath.
A number of strictly vegetarian dishes shocking diners with their style and presentation are the gundu jeedi pappu koora (entire cashew curry)and thatimunjalakoora (ice apple curry).
Talking about ice apple curry, Sampath explains, “This is an Andhra speciality that is made in many households in summer. Mature munjal or ice apples are selected for this curry as they are not sweet. The slightly hard texture and neutral taste makes it suitable for use in a curry.” The fruit is first shallow fried with salt and turmeric to seal the flesh for the curry. “If added without shallow frying, the munjal will melt in the masala gravy of onion, spices and cashew paste,” explains Sampath.
Other frequent Andhra favourites of the late legend that discover a place on the menu embody curd rice and mango, and palthalikulu, a rice flour-based dessert.
The fest at The Spicy Venue is on until May 28 for lunch and dinner.