Flavours of harvest  

There’s no better way to ring in Sankranti than by preparing and gorging on the yummiest traditional foods of the harvest festival.

Published: 13th January 2022 03:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2022 03:23 AM   |  A+A-

chicken curry

Natu Kodi Koora (Country chicken curry) (Representational Image)

By Express News Service

There’s no better way to ring in Sankranti than by preparing and gorging on the yummiest traditional foods of the harvest festival. If you have misplaced your grandma’s recipes, we got you covered. Top chefs from the city share recipes to the ancient, authentic Telugu snacks that you can quickly whip up in your kitchen this festival! 

Natu kodi kura


  • 1 whole country chicken, cut into curry pieces
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 4 tbsp dry coconut powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp coriander powder
  • 4 tbsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • Salt
  • 50 ml oil
  • Mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Shajeera or caraway seeds
  • 1/2 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 2 green chillies (optional)
  • 4 cups water

●  Remove the skin and fat, cut chicken into curry pieces 
●  Grind poppy seeds to a fine powder, add coconut to this and grind them to a smooth paste with little water 
●  Heat oil in a pot or a wide, deep pan
●  Add caraway seeds, cinnamon stick, onions, green chillies, mint and coriander leaves
●  Once the onions turn golden brown, add turmeric and ginger garlic paste. Cook for sometime 
●  Add poppy seeds and coconut paste. Fry for 5 minutes on low flame
●  Add the chicken. Mix well, close the lid and let the chicken cook for 5-10 minutes on a low flame
●  Once the chicken is half cooked, add red chilli powder, salt and garam masala. Cook for another 10 minutes
●  Add water and coriander powder. Cook on high flame with the lid on for 10-15 minutes or until you have a nice thick gravy
●  Garnish with coriander leaves 

— Chef Kailash Gundupalli, culinary director, Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre

Raagi Payasam


  • 1 tbs ghee
  • 2 tbs Raagi flour  
  • 1.5 cup boiled milk
  • 50 gm sugar (or according to preference)  
  • 2-3 pistachio  
  • Almond flakes
  • 6 strands saffron
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
  • A few Phool Makhana   

●  In a thick-bottomed pan or kadai, heat ghee, add flour to it, sauté until the raw smell goes 
●  Add milk and flour. Boil the milk slowly, whisk it regularly to avoid lumps. Boil for 3-4 minutes , add sugar and adjust the sweetness
●  Cook for another 2-3 minutes 
●  Garnish with cashewnuts, almond flakes, pistachio, pool makhana and fresh mint leaves. Serve hot in a bowl 

— Chef Varun MB, executive chef, Novotel Hyderabad Airport



  • 1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated jaggery
  • 3 tbsp water

● Heat a clean, dry pan and slow roast the sesame seeds on low heat, stirring continuously. Once they turn a light golden brown, remove onto a plate and keep aside 
● Heat 3 tbsp water in the same pan and add the grated jaggery. Stir till the jaggery melts completely. Boil the jaggery till bubbles form and it slowly starts to thicken
● Keep a small bowl of water near you and drop a little of the jaggery in the water and check with your fingers to see if it forms a soft ball. Once it starts to form a ball, turn off the gas and stir in the roasted sesame seeds till they combine well with the jaggery
● Transfer the sesame seeds-jaggery mixture onto a plate. Dip your hands into a bowl of chilled water, take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Do the same with the rest of the mixture while still warm 

— Chef Kailash Gundupalli 

Jeedi pappu kodi pakodi 


  • 250 gm boneless chicken
  • 50 gm whole cashews
  • 25 gm ginger garlic paste  
  • 20 gm chilli powder
  • 5 gm turmeric powder  
  • 15 ml lemon juice 
  • Salt to taste  
  • 10 gm black pepper powder
  • 50 gm beasan flour 
  • 20 gm rice flour
  • 5 gm curry leaves, fine chopped
  • 5 gm coriander leaves, finely chopped  
  • 10 gm green chillies, finely chopped  
  • 2 gm Ajwain seeds  
  • Water to bind with chicken and cashews
  • 500 ml oil for frying 

●  In a deep bowl, add all the spices and fresh leaves
●  Transfer some of this spice mix in to another bowl for coating the cashews 
●  Add some water and the cashews in the first bowl. Mix well and keep aside
●  Add the chicken pieces to the remaining mixture. Mix well 
●  Heat oil in a medium-sized kadai or deep frying pan on medium heat
●  Once the oil is hot enough, start frying the chicken pieces for at least 10 minutes
●  Remove the chicken from the pan, fry the cashews on slow flame for 2-3 minutes
●  Serve hot with some chutney

— Chef Varun MB


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