HYDERABAD: The cuisine of Telangana has many traditional dishes, including a whole range of snacks like sakinalu, karijelu and Polelu. However, one of the most popular dishes from interiors of Telangana, which is a utility dish for many occasions is sarvapindi. The snack which is said to have originated from Bollepally village in Warangal and has travelled from the rural areas of the state to the towns. It is now becoming popular even in Hyderabad. A few outlets prepare and sell this dish.The name sarvapindi comes from the words ‘sarva’ which means a round shaped deep vessel usually used for milk and ‘pindi’ which stands for a snack. It is a rice flour based round pancake which is cooked inside a bowl.
The snack is also called Ginne Appa, Tapala Chekka or Ganju Pindi in different districts of the state. A favourite in Telangana for breakfast or evening snacks, Sarvapindi is also carried for long journeys like pilgrimages as the staple food. It is eaten with pickles or curd.To make sarvapindi, ground rice flour is mixed with ingredients like soaked chana dal, coarsely ground peanuts, sesame seeds, spring onions, curry leaves, salt and green chillies and an appropriate amount of water to make a dough and this is spread as a round layer inside the bowl like a pancake. Holes are made with fingers at a few places on this to allow air to escape and drops of oil or ghee poured on top to permeate into the snack. This is then slow cooked in steam till it becomes crispy on top. The snack is best consumed hot, though it has a long shelf-life. The chana dal and peanuts provide some crunchiness.
There are little variations in the recipe based on the seasons and regions. Millets, coriander leaves, garlic, ajwain and fennel seeds are some of the ingredients which are sometimes used. Though sarvapindi has become comparatively more popular in Hyderabad since the new state was born, there are not too many places where it is sold. According to the food lovers from Telangana, the taste of the dish depends entirely on if the steps of preparation are followed diligently. At some places, to avoid the slow cooking time, people fry the sarvapindi, and as a result, the pancake becomes oily and the taste is lost.
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Himayatnagar is one of the places which is known for good quality sarvapindi. Jagan Mohan, owner of the outlet says that there is quite a bit of demand for this snack, and he gets orders for bulk quantities too. Each piece of this snack costs `30. He adds that if no onions are added to the snack, it stays good for consumption even after a fortnight.Sabyasachi is a food enthusiast and blogs at www.foodaholix.in