Express News Service
HYDERABAD: ‘Authentic’ food is the catchphrase in the culinary industry today. From niche regional cuisines to globally famous dishes, the selling point is to provide an eating experience tempered with local flavours. This is the reason why home chefs are in demand too, as people look for dishes which are cooked using traditional methods.
Adding to the authentic-eating scene in Hyderabad, 67-year-old D Vijaya Murthi, has authored a book, ‘Authentic Godavari Non-Veg Recipes’. This native of Rajahmundry is well-known on a popular food channel, and has collected recipes passed on by her parents and in-laws. Whether it is Prawns Ghee Roast, or Chicken with Coconut Masala, this book has over 50 non-vegetarian recipes with the quintessential Andhra touch.
Talking about the unique appeal of preparations from the Godavari districts, she says: “The chilli powder we use makes all the difference. It gives the dishes its characteristic red colour, and adds to the flavour as well. I buy Guntur chillies and grind them myself so that the flavour can be as close to the original recipe as possible.”
Cooking has always been a source of joy for Vijaya, and the love that her food received from her family members and friends made her explore more. She has been collecting recipes for years, and enjoyed sharing her recipes on the internet immensely.
Going into the secrets behind her flawless cooking, she says: “There is a time limit for every process like frying, grinding, marinating etc. If you fry the onions too long, or grind the garlic too fine, it will make a difference in the taste. Once you have mastered the nitty-gritty, anyone can reproduce these dishes and spread the love of eating. I have explained these methods in my book.”
Why did she think about writing the book when she was already sharing recipes online? “I am happy to have been able to capture my life’s learnings from the kitchen into a book and pass on these family recipes to future generations. A lot of the traditional recipes are being forgotten, thanks to the fast food culture. I do not want these family recipes to be lost forever,” she says.
CHICKEN WITH COCONUT MASALA
Chicken – ½kg | Ginger-garlic paste – 1tsp | Coriander powder – 1tsp | Raw coconut paste – 2tbsp | Poppy seeds (Gasalu) paste – 1tsp | Onions – 2 (medium size) | Turmeric powder – ½tsp | Garam masala powder – 1tsp | Red chilli powder – 2tsp | Oil – 2tbsp | Salt to taste
Clean and wash chicken pieces and make slits in the leg piece and chicken breast so that spices are absorbed.
In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add onions, fry until the onion turns golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder, raw coconut paste, poppy seeds paste and salt.
Stir the mixture for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken pieces red chilli powder and allow it to cook for 10 minutes. Then add a cup of water and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles and switch off the flame.
Once done, allow the pressure to release naturally. Open the lid, place the cooker on medium flame and stir until gravy thickens. Add garam masala powder and switch off the flame. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
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