Come January, the festival season of Sankranthi kickstarts with preparations for special and delicious dishes in Telugu households in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. With the harvest of various crops including rice and sugarcane, there are several special dishes made out of these ingredients that make the occasion a feast for the senses.
Sankranthi is known for mouth-watering dishes such as Bobbatlu, Bellam Gavvalu, Ariselu, Kajjikaayalu, Sunnundalu, Sakinalu among others. According to food blogger Sankalp, most of these dishes use rice flour and jaggery which are fresh and readily available in the harvest season.
For many, the food evokes precious childhood memories associated with the dishes. “Most of these special dishes are made outside the house. They are prepared on a three stone stove using wood as the fuel, as we make them in large quantities in order to distribute the food among relatives. We also save some food for the members of the house to be consumed later. It’s a joy for the kids of the family to see the elaborate preparations, ” says Kanaka Durga, a homemaker from Hyderabad.
Here’s a list of Sankranthi special dishes from the Telugu states and what goes into making them.
Sakinalu: This special dish is made out of rice flour and sesame seeds which are abundantly available in Telangana. The task of making Sakinalu is not an easy one. The batter has to be poured into a cloth by hand, with the cook twisting their fingers deftly in a to and fro movement. It is an art indeed. Sakinalu has a unique flavour and the festival of Sankranthi is incomplete in Telangana households without this dish. Sakinalu lasts for about a couple of months if stored properly.
Ariselu: This is a very popular dish, especially in the Andhra region, and is made out of rice flour and jaggery. Newbies may struggle with this dish as a lot of effort is required to mix the flour in a way that it acquires the consistency of batter. This is a staple dish for Sankranthi in Andhra Pradesh.
Bobbatlu: This dish is popular in Andhra, Telangana and Rayalaseema regions, and is made out of chana dal, wheat and maida flours along with jaggery for taste. Bobbatlu has different names in different regions. While it is called Bobbatlu in the Andhra region, it’s also called Bakshalu in some parts of Rayalaseema and Telangana.
Kajjikayalu: This is a traditional dish in Telugu households. It is crispy and crunchy on the outside and has a smooth and sweet powdery filling inside. Food blogger Sankalp says that the recipe for the filling changes from region to region, depending on the crop available there. “In Telangana, sesame seeds are used as a part of the filling; in Rayalaseema, peanuts are used as they grow abundantly in that region. In Andhra, where you find more coconut trees, coconut powder is used for the filling along with sugar or jaggery.”
Bellam Gavvalu: This dish is made up of either all purpose flour or wheat flour along with a concentrated jaggery mix. The sweet dish is crunchy and can be preserved for a couple of months in the household. This is an absolute favourite with children.
Sunnundalu: This is another special dish made out of roasted urad dal. The dal is made into a fine powder and is mixed with jaggery powder. The mix is then made into laddus using ghee. This dish is specially served to newlywed couples when they visit their in-laws or other relatives for Sankranthi.
Get 30% OFF on Dynamic Website Design