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Heralding spring

Kuchipudi at Fortune Katriya Hotel presents an extensive spread for the ongoing Ugadi Festival


URNS OF prosperity or the kumbham, rangoli made with coloured rice and garlands of mango leaves herald the onset of spring and the festival to celebrate this, Ugadi, which also signifies the beginning of the Telugu New Year. The venue is Kuchipudi, the speciality Telugu restaurant at Fortune Katriya Hotel by Welcomgroup that is organising an Ugadi Festival.

The theme restaurant, designed after the art village Kuchelapuram near Vijayawada, with its mandapams in rosewood covering a cerise floor that gives semblance of a courtyard lit by terracotta lanterns, their soft illumination highlighting watercolour sketches depicting vivid bhavas from the ballet, seems apt for the spread. On offer is a buffet that brings together cuisine from different regions of the State, from a Bangaladumpa talimpu — fried potatoes coastal Andhra style to the Alugadda vepudu with coconut, the way the vegetable is prepared in the Telangana region, from the spicy Kodi chukka and Mirpakaya chapa to the mild yet zestful Gongura mamsam, along with Peetalu iguru, Natu kodi pulusu, Mudda pappu, Munagakaya koora, Bendakaya pulusu and the popular Gutti vankaya.

"Andhra cuisine is spicy and tangy. One finds extensive usage of chillies, tamarind, cloves, cardamom and the rest of khada masala, garam masala and yoghurt. The emphasis is laid on marinating especially for dishes such as Kothmir chicken kodi where the flavour of coriander is absorbed by the meat. Apart from the traditional dishes we have also introduced a few innovative ones such as Perugu kooragayalu — beans, carrots, cauliflower, green peas and potatoes cooked in yoghurt," says E. Kashi Rao, executive chef, Fortune Katriya.

Thus, along with Gongura pachadi, whole chilly pickles, pumpkin vadiyams and Ulava charu - a horse gram and turmeric soup, one also finds salads — eggplant with a dash of talimpu or chicken sautéed in mint chutney. For the cereals the buffet offers Kobbari annam and Tellati annam (white rice). Choose from piping hot traditional dosas, pesarratus and puris instead of breads.

As for the sweetmeats, the best of coastal Andhra such as Kakinada kaja, Bandar laddu and Pootharekulu, Chakkara pongal and Ariselu are found on the spread along with ice creams. A must have is the Ginger ice cream laced with crunchy ginger flakes.

The buffet is priced at Rs. 225 and Rs. 250 for lunch (12 noon - 3.30 p.m.) and dinner (7 p.m. - 11.30 p.m.) respectively.

Come March 21, a Kuchipudi dance ballet Vatsyayana's Kamasutra by Swathy Somanath will be organised at the Terrace Garden, at 9 p.m., as the finale to the on-going festivities here. The tariff for the concert is priced at Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 600 per couple and single, respectively, inclusive of dinner. For reservations contact Fortune Katriya Hotel by Welcomgroup, #8, Raj Bhavan Road, Tel: 23325678.

SYEDA FARIDA

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