Tag Archives: Telugu cuisine

Seema Vankaya (chow-chow) Pappu

Seema Vankaya (chow-chow) Pappu

This dal was a learning experience for me. I’d never eaten or cooked this vegetable. So I’d like to share my experience here.

I received a few of the chow-chow / seema vankaya / seemae kathrikaya from my friend on a recent visit to her house. I was a bit curious about it, since it seemed to grow so well at her place. She and her MIL assured me that should it grow well, it was bound to give me a good and constant harvest, which would help my organic garden efforts. Her MIL took the help a little further by giving me a freshly sprouted plant to help me on my way! 🙂 And a couple of the vegetables to cook this weekend.

Double-checking with my own MIL helped me understand a little more about how to cook it. Since i wasn’t too sure about the taste, I opted to make teeya pappu or moong-dal pappu. It turned out pretty well (if I may say so myself)! 😉 The flavor was pretty bland, but paired with a slightly spicy curry/sabzi, it tastes good with hot rice.


Seema Vankaya / Chow-chow


  • 2 medium sized chow-chow/seema vankaya
  • 1/2 cup moong-dal/ pesara pappu
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • Tadka: 1/2 tsp of aavalu (mustard seeds) and urad dal and 1 broken red chilly


  • wash, peel and chop the seema vankaya into small pieces. If the vegetable is a bit mature, you may find a core. Cut the core out and use the rest of the vegetable.


    Chopped into small pieces

  • Was the pesarapappu and add enough water for cooking.
  • Add the seema vankaya pieces, salt and turmeric and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
  • After the cooker cools, mash the dal without crushing the vegetable pieces.
  • In a small wok, heat a tsp of oil and add the tadka.
  • When the aavalu start to crackle, add it to the dal.
  • Mix well and let it sit on heat for a few mins.

Ready to serve!

Serve hot with rice and ghee. 🙂

Vankai Pappu


I’ve made this particualr dal only once before… and it definitely tasted good even on the first try. Simply because its simple, and is a great option if you’re bored with all the other dal options in the kitchen. 🙂

Vankai Pappu

Vankai (brinjal)



  • Cook the dal, chopped green chillies and vankai chopped into long pieces of 6 or 9.
  • In the meantime, squeeze the juice from the soaked tamarind and keep ready.
  • Once the dal has cooked, mash the dal and chillies well while keeping the vankai pieces intact.
  • Add the tamarind juice, salt, chilli powder and mix well
  • cook for 10 mins or till excess water dries up
  • In a small wok, heat 1 tsp oil and add the tadka.
  • Once the aavalu start popping, add to the dal and mix
  • Cook the dal for a couple of minutes more and then take off flame.

Serve hot with rice and ghee.

Andhra Bhavan Canteen


Calling all Andhra-ites who are in Delhi-NCR region! If one is feeling home-sick, the best way to relive the feeling is to have lunch at the Andhra Bhavan Canteen on Ashoka Road, New Delhi.

It is by far the most authentic Andhra food I’ve ever had outside Andhra Pradesh. Its hot and spicy, and delicious!

The Andhra Bhavan canteen is located within the campus of the AP Bhavan close to India Gate. It is a very popular lunch destination, and weekends normally mean a 1-2 hr wait to get your table.

To reach here, one can take a Metro train to Rajeev Chowk station. Come out at Gate no. 6 in front of Palika Bazar. You can take an auto from here to Andhra Bhavan canteen. The auto guys normally charge Rs 50 for this. Also, most of them know where the cnateen is, so you dont have to worry about asking for Ashoka Road; just ask for Andhra Bhavan.

My latest trip was on a lazy weekday afternoon, so there was no crowd to deal with, and hence a proper write-up about the food! One needs to enter the campus through a small gate near the statue of Shri Tanguturi Prakasam. Walking inside through a narrow lane you can reach the canteen.

A weekday lunch thali is much simpler, though just as delicious, as the weekend fare.

It comprised of 1 carrot koot, baingan subzi, 2 kinds of dal, sambhar, rasam, puris, tamarind rice, plain rice, papad, curd and sweet pongal (rice and milk cooked with sugar/jaggary).
This is an unlimited thali, which means one can get multiple servings of all items except of papad and the sweet dish.Along with all this there is also a dish kept on the table with 2 kinds of pickles : gongura (the compulsory andhra pickle) and lemon pickle, along with kandi podi.

If the food feels too spicy, temper it with as much desi ghee as required, from another bowl kept on the table. And if it gets over, just ask for a refill! 😉

Eating a meal here is serious business. I’m not sure what it is about the place: is it the ambience, food, or the general polite demeanour of the servers. But every time I come here, my meal gets over within 20-30 mins, with minimum conversation. Once the food is served, no one seems inclined to talk, so we normally do at restaurants. The focus is on eating only!!!
I guess that’s would be a compliment to the food! 😀

So the next time you come here, come with a good apitite, and you can walk away with a smile.