తెలుగు రచయితల స౦ఘ౦, కృష్ణాజిల్లా రచయితల స౦ఘ౦
3వ ప్రప౦చ తెలుగు రచయితల మహా సభలు
2014 మార్చి 1,2,3 తేదీలలో,
విజయవాడ దుర్గాపుర౦ ఘ౦టసాల
వె౦కటేశ్వరరావు ప్రభుత్వ స౦గీత, నృత్య కళాశాల ప్రా౦గణ౦
సాహితీ మిత్రులకు నమస్కార౦.
3వ ప్రప౦చ తెలుగు రచయితల మహా
1,2,3 తేదీలలో విజయవాడ
దుర్గాపుర౦ ఘ౦టసాల వె౦కటేశ్వరరావు ప్రభుత్వ స౦గీత, నృత్య కళాశాల ప్రా౦గణ౦లో
జరుగనున్నాయని తెలియ చేయటానికి స౦తోషిస్తున్నా౦.
మరియు తేదీలలో మార్పు తప్ప గత౦లో ప్రకటి౦చిన ఈ మహాసభల వివరాలన్నీ యథాతథ౦గా ఉ౦టాయని
మనవి. ప్రయాణ౦ ఏర్పాట్లు చేసుకోవలసి౦దిగా కోరుతున్నా౦.
సాహితీ మిత్రులకు కూడా ఈ సమాచారాన్ని అ౦ది౦చ గలరు. స్థానిక పత్రికలలోనూ, సాహితీ
3వ ప్రప౦చ తెలుగు రచయితల మహా
సభల గురి౦చి ప్రకటి౦చి, ఎక్కువ సాహిత్యాభిమానులకు ఈ సమాచార౦ చేరే౦దుకు
డా. జి.వి పూర్ణచ౦దు
"Cultural History of Food in South India" organized
by Government of Puducherry, Department of History, Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for
(Autonomous) (Reaccredited by NACC – A)PUDUCHERRY- 605 008
Dr. G V Purnachand, B.A.M.S.,
History of traditional Telugu food culture
"Thottanait Thurum Manarkeni Mandahrku Kattranait Thurum
Sandy soil, when deep you delve, You reach the springs below; The more you learn, the
freer streams of wisdom flow".
Food is the supplicant of vital energy of life.
human activity is centered on food activity which place most dominant role in
developing the course of life.
is the Indian custom to take the food with reverence as divine prasaadam whenever it is served in any
form. Food is the chief agent of the immortal continuity of all the created.
production and preparation of food has been in accordance with the cultural
concepts of each given race.
Telugu classical food culture, high in its antiquity, possessed qualitative,
pure and rich food habits.
history of food of Telugu People is closely related to the culture and
traditions of the People. The Telugu cuisine is as diverse as the Telugu people
belong to various regions and areas like Circar Districts(Coastal area), Seeded
Districts(Rayala Seema) and the Nizam Districts(Telengana)
the staple food items like curry, dal, chutnee and sambar are common, each area
is having its own significance in preparing certain food Items
like Biriyani of
Hyderabad, tiipi bhakshyalu (bobbaTlu) of Telengana, manDegalu of
Seema area, pottekkalu of Konasima, chilaklu of coastal area.
the ill effect of modern multi cultural experience particularly after
Globalisation has affected all the aspects of human life particularly the food
habits leading a confrontation of perception between the hygienic old and hyper
sensitive new generations. The Telugu society is not an exception to this
Eating Habits of Telugu People
of 15th century published a popular medical text book Bhavaprakasha,
which is considered as one among the three small works, popularly known as laghutrayi. He belonged to former
Kalinga country, which comprises the southern parts of present Orissa and the
northern parts of coastal Andhra.
therefore dealt with the life style of eastern Deccan which certainly includes
Telugu. He made a mention of the healthy habits of taking food items like, kuura, pappu etc., as follows :ఘృత పూర్వ౦
సమశ్నీయాత్కఠిన౦ ప్రాక్ తతో మృదు / అ౦తే పునర్ద్రవాశీ తు బలాద్రోగేణ ము౦చతి (ghRutapuurvam samashNiyaat kaThinam praak tattoo mRudu/ Antee punardravaaSi tu balaadroogeena munchati).
He advised to take oily and hard items like curry (Kuura), Daal (pappu) etc in the beginningof the principal meal. Later soft items
like chutney (pachadi) etc.,are to be taken, followed by liquid items like broth or Soar Soup-pulusu, sambaar etc., again and finally
ending the meal with buttermilk or curd.
also can be had after completing the principal meal. Crisps and pappads,
moderately toasted, can also be taken together with any curry or chutney. Telugu
people still follow the same manner.
also mentioned the food habits of north- Indian people, at places like Varanasi
and other areas. This book further advised to take a grinded mixture of ginger
and salt as the foremost item, భోజనాగ్రే సదా పథ్య౦
లవణార్ద్రక భక్షణమ్/ అగ్ని స౦దీపన౦ రుచ్య౦ జిహ్వా క౦ఠ విరోధన౦... “bhojanaagree sadaapathyam lavaNa
aardraka bhakshanam”- He advised to eat the ginger and salt mixture
as the foremost item in the principle meal, as it acts as an appetizer and stimulates the taste
buds on the tongue.
also recommended of having a sweet item at the end bhojanaante madhurasam”.
sweetened “kappuraviDemu” or taambuulam (Meethapaan) in the end of the meal
helps to improve appetite.
to the Sruti, one must have finished one’s lunch by noon and night meal by dusk
i.e. before 7-00pm – సాయ౦ ప్రాతర్మణుష్యాణా మశను శ్రుతి బోధితమ్ saayam praatarmanushyaaNaa maSanau shruti
Chilies changed the Telugu Food Heritage
food history of Telugu People can be divided into two periods: one is before
and the other is after the introduction of chilies into Telugu land.
Traders might have introduced them either in early 16th Century or in the last
part of Vijayanagara rule.
peppers originated in Chile, in America. Christopher Columbus discovered
America exactly on October 12, 1492. And after the Columbian Exchange, the
spread of chili peppers to Asia was most likely a natural consequence.
traders soon realised the trade value of chili pepper and promoted its commerce
in the Asian spice trade routes then dominated by Portuguese and Arab traders.
cultivators were encouraged by these traders to grow more and more chili
pepper. Telugu People also showed interest and hugged these spicy items. This
was recognised as better alternative to pungent pepper (miriyam), long pepper (pippaLLu),
ginger (allamu) etc.
and Dutch also encouraged Telugu people to prepare mango pickles like aavakaaya
and maagaaya for export to western countries. Chili pepper made it
easier and cheaper to prepare mango pickles
Telugus made several experiments and introduced several forms of pickles. They
invented varieties like the one with jaggery, (bellam aavakaya), coriander (dhaniyaalaa
avakaya), sesame (nuvvu kaya) and fenugreek seeds (menti kaaya), all meant for export to west.
Europeans do not like such pungent food items. Somehow they welcomed the Telugu
pickles. The foreign traders of this period placed orders for large quantity of
pickle packing. This is how chilies helped the promotion of foreign trade on
this land and significantly contributed to its economy, besides making aavakaya
the most favorite food item of Telugu house hold.
great Karnatic composer Purandaradas (1480-1564) sang of the chili: I saw you
green, then turning redder as you ripened, nice to look at and tasty in a dish,
but too hot if an excess is used. Even to think of (the deity) Panduranga Vittala,
the Savior of the poor, enhancer of good food is difficult” (see Historical
Dictionary of Indian food, by K T Achaya- page no. 43).
reference throws light not only on its entry but its high popularity all over
Deccan. Mariichi is the Sanskrit term
for pepper. Pepper is called miryam in
Telugu. The pepper fruit “miriyampukaaya” from which the mirapakaaya is derived which has become a popular spice of modern
other synonym of chili pepper is mirchi, more popular in Hindi belt, could be a
derivative from Sanskrit term mariichi.
Foreign fruits and vegetables on Telugu land
Krishna Devaraya in his classic aamuktamaalyada
పె౦చి యేలగానగున్...vaanijyamu penchi yeelagaanagun-The
king must rule his country by encouraging the trade and commerce”.
was his policy to allow foreign traders both for purchase and selling.
pepper, papaya, guavas, tobacco, maize etc. were introduced to Telugu people by
Portuguese. The Dutch people brought a sort of orange fruit from their capital
Batavia to Palakole of East Godavari district. Now, this Batavian fruit is
popular as బత్తాయి కాయ battaayi
to this, we knew only నారి౦జ కాయ naarinjakaaya
or నార౦గ కాయ naarangakaaya (Citrus Orange fruit). By dropping“n” from naarinja/naaranga, the foreign Traders developed a new name “orange” for sweet citrus fruit.
their broader interest of trade, these foreign traders including the British
established their factories at Masulipatam,
Nizampatam, Vizagpatam and other port areas.
attracted our formers to grow their fruits and other yield for their overseas
trade and more often than not, benefitted largely out of it.
This is how the Telugus got acquaintance with foreign
fruits and vegetables and in turn these vegetables influenced Telugu cuisine
heavily than the cuisines of others across the country. Unlimited use of chilies
is the best example of it. To compensate this excessive use of chili powder, Tamarind
is added heavily.
of Tamarind in such heavy quantity was not observed in the writings of Telugu
Poets of Historical and medieval periods.
Traditional Telugu food items
great Telugu poet of 15th century,Srinathagives a long list of more than 70
food items with their Telugu names of middle ages in his SRungaaranaiShadha. These food itemsweremeant for serving to the
guests attending swayamvara function
of Damayanti. Some more such names of
Telugu food items may be obtained from the literary works of Tenali Ramakrishna,
Peddana, and Timmana of Vijayanagara Period. Sri SuravaramPratapa Reddyin his
monumental work “aandhrulasaanghikacharitra(The Social History of Telugu
people), observed that some of these names were confusing, as they were no more
in vogue and required the attention of scholars for further examination. More
meaningful terms like teemanam was
lost in usage, as we use instead majjigapulusu. The reason is obvious. People
are slowly urbanized and a sort of indifference prevailed in their mind
towards theirmother tongue and culture.
Telugu food items that are high in their antiquity,rich in their nourishment,
and pure in their preparation provide good evidence of Telugu taste from ages.
The eating habits of Telugu People are in according to the Ayurvedic Text books
namely CharakaSamhita, SusrutaSamhitaandVagbhataSamhita of ancient times(bruhatrayi) and Yogaratnakara, BhaavaPrakasha and Basavaraajiiyam of Middle
gaarelu(vadai), maDugulu (akind of Parotas), drabbeDa(traditional
fried rice of Telugu style), uurpu (a special soup prepared by frying a
vegetable on fire), angaarapoolika ( an ancient type of Telugu butter
naan-prepared in tandoori method)paalakaayalu (a sort of sweet item prepared
with the cream of milk, that helps to develop good vision among the children
who are mostly exposed to computer monitors and television screens)are the best
examples of traditional Telugu food items. Let us examine a few examples:
drabbeDa- was mentioned by Tenali Ramakrishna (16th
In this passage he mentioned about drabbeDalu
as a special cuisine to be served in the principal meal. But the commentators
failed to decipher what really drabbeDameant.In Sanskrit MahaBhagavata, we come
across a word-sthaaliipuriisha in the
(Skt. Bhag. 5.9.11)where it means sthaaliilagnamdagdhaannam,
a much deeply roasted rice layer stuck inside the bottom of the cooking
pot, which should not be eaten as it
would lead to cancer. This passage is in the context of JaDabharata’s
life.Potanaamaatya in his Telugu Bhaagavatamu translated this `sthaaleepureesha` as “maaDudrabbeDa”. …uuka, tavuDu,telikapinDi,poTTu,
meansjaDabharata lived by eating the husk, bran, oil cake(the stuff of sesame
seedsthat remains after the oil was pressed out ) andmaaDudrabbeDa, a deeply roasted layer of rice. If spices and
vegetablesare addedto the cooked rice andfried moderately, we will get the
delicious drabbeDa,which equals to
`fried rice’of present day.drabbeDawas
a popular traditional Telugu food item, a special variety of rice by 15th
means a toasted thin pancake of moderate size.
is now popularly called asdooSa or doSai.It might have originated from a proto-
Telugu word “aTT”, meaning “making
dry”. aTTamumeans a fried or burned
food. aTika means a broken pot made
of mud used as a pottagepan for the purpose of making aTTu.
people still call the nonstick pan as aTlapenamuor
penku. penku denotes a broken pot.
puutareekulu, a sweet variety popular in
the Godavari belt are prepared by drying up the thin flour layers on this broken pot, placed on fire.
Telugu aTTu is a little different
from doosai of Kannadigas and Tamilians.
the entire world is eating dooSai, but Telugus only could preserve their
ancient Dravidian term aTTu.
of the important festivals of Telugus isaTlataddi
(Attu Eating Festival). Telugu style of aTTu
preparation is different.
is a considerable change of taste between the doosai available at hotels
of other language speakers and the aTTu
prepared in Telugu homes. Shrinatha described both aTTulu and dooSiyalu,which
testify the fact that aTTu was
different from dooSaeven by 15th
century. It can therefore be surmised safely that aTTu is specific to
maNugulu, or maDatalu was a
traditional cuisine mentioned by various writers of middle ages.maDaguin classical Telugumeans
compromise or surrender. maDatameans a fold or a folding. As far as preparation of a rooTiis concerned, foldingadds to its
taste .Folding the wheat-layertwice is doupati,
three times is tripati and four times
is chapati. In each timeof the
folding, oil and dry powder are added. They increase thetaste. The difference
between a pulka and a chapaatilies in its foldingsonly. maDugulu or maDatalu contain many
foldings. paalagujju (cream of the
milk) is applied after baking themaDatalu, which equals butter naan or parooTa
of present day.
Angaarapoolika-a muddaor a
wheat-ball is to be prepared and placed on burning coal. After the upper layer
of the ball is roasted, it has to be taken out ,and the blackened crusts are to
be peeledoff. The core part of the ball appears like a white flower. Hence, Srinaatha of 15thcentury
described it as angarapuuviya. This
can be prepared either asa sweet or a
salt item and can be taken along with soup or sweetened milk. This is a good
example of the indigenous tandoori method developedby Telugu People
present paper is to give only a brief sketch of the traditional Telugu cuisine
and its history. It is one of the neglected areas of historical study. In
fact,history extends to all important spheres of human activity and food history is also a branch of history like
political history or social history or economic history. The food historyof
Telugus therefore demands a justified focus of research in order to present the
Telugu culture in its comprehensive form.
has been produced in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. Sugarcane was
a native of tropical South Asia and Southeast Asia.
of the earliest historical references to sugarcane is in Chinese manuscripts
dating back to 8th century BC, which mention the fact that the use of sugarcane
originated in India.
sugar was discovered by the time of the Imperial Guptas. Buddhist monks, as
they travelled around, carried sugar crystallization methods to China.
the reign of Harsha (606–647 AD.) in Northern India, Indian envoys to Tang
China taught them the methods of cultivating sugarcane.Sugar crystals were
prepared by cooling the sugar syrup in large flat bowls. In the local Indian
language, these crystals were called as khanDa
which is the source word of “candy”. In Telugu, sugar is called as panchadaara.
believe that it is a compound word ofpanchan
+daara; panchan meaning a
Buddhist monk and daaradenoting “a
gift”.History proves the Telugu shores as radiating centres for the spread of
Buddhism in all parts of the east, and on account of Telugu bhikkus associated with the spread
ofsugarcane cultivation along with the spread of Buddhism, the wordpanchadaara
might have come to a stay in Telugu.
is a significant point to note, that most of the Coastal Andhra people alone
use the word panchadaara, while
others use chakkera.
may be assumed that Telugu chakkera,Skt.Sharkara, Arabic Shukkar, and English Sugar might be commonly originated from any
Dravidian sourceas, according to G Bronnikov’s work, Dravidian Etymology,
Proto-Telugu cheruk or cher-ak means sugar cane or sugar juice.
can extend our enquiry the about the origin of the word chekkara from proto-
Dravidian Source. Also, in the proto- eastern Chadic language “car-k” means a
kind of herb.
it is closer to the proto-Telugu word, those Proto- Telugu people might have
started the cultivation of sugar cane first, which might have spread to the
other parts of the country later.
of the 4th century AD., described the sugar cane cultivation of
Telugu People (Raghuvamsa, 4thsarga, 20thshloka) “ikshuchhaayaanishaadinyastasyagopturgunodayam- The women of Telugu
farmers who were guarding their rice crops, taking shelter in the shadow of
sugar cane plants sang the songs of
welcoming Raghu maharaja, who invadedthe Telugu country.
explains the largest harvest of sugar cane by Telugu people and sugar candy manufacturing activity in the
early parts of Christian era. It may also be assumed that, Telugu Buddhists might
be responsible for sugar exports in those days.