Andhra cuisine and now with the state being bifurcated food from Telanganana and the distinctly different area of Rayalseema is a mix of rich colours and vibrant flavours. From sattvic cuisne of rice, lentils and vegetables to fiery, tangy fish fries and tender-cooked chicken there is a huge variety on offer.
As we all know a majority of the IT crowd that functions in Chennai is supported by thousands of young men and women from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Across Chennai and you will fund small functional resturants with the tag – “Andhra Mess”. The name is written in English, Telugu and Tamil. These are quick lunch and dineer places offering limited and unlimited meals.
The decor is spartan, one does not worry about lighting and fancy designs on the table cloth or bottled water and costly imported cutlery. There are plane simple plastic tables and chairs, some places just have plastic stools. The food is served on a banana leaf, there is the paruppu podi, oil, salt and pickle on every table. Rice gets served, this is followed by one vegetable curry mostly brinjal, a semi-solid vegetable stew, sambhar, rasam, and a cup of curd. Earlier people used to get one round appalam, with rising costs everyone seems to have settled for the small fryums. The slightly better-off estblishments add a cup of payasam to the menu.
Some establishments give their customers the choice to add an omelette or chicken curry to the meals at an additional cost!
All in all the costs range from Rs 60 to Rs 80. Safe and sound eating places, no harm to the tummy or the wallet! The Andhra Mess is an integral part of life in Chennai it is a massive boon to bachelors who have come here to eke out a living.
What are you waiting for? head out to your nearest Andhra Mess for a satisfying meal 🙂