Sarojini Devi Road, Secunderabad.
Meal for two: Rs 160
As India’s foodies get more adventurous, Andhra cuisine seems to be developing a kind of cult following. And like all cults, it’s not for everybody. It’s a simple, earthy cuisine, but so hot that it can set your taste-buds ablaze, if you’re not used to it.
Abhiruchi is not exactly the kind of place snobby Hyderabadis would like to be seen in, but most people agree that it serves the best authentic Andhra food in town. Try their simple thali meal, for example: steaming hot rice topped with a large dollop of ghee, and accompanied with a variety of incendiary Andhra curries, pickle, chutney and podi or spiced powder. (They will also enthusiastically try to serve you things like rumali roti and north Indian curries, but don’t lose your focus.) The pulihora (tamarind rice) here is delicious, and so are the gongura chicken (with a tang of gongura, a pungent green leaf typical of eastern Andhra) and the chapa pulusu—fish curry with underlying flavours of til and coconut. End your meal the Andhra way, with a large helping of perugu (curd), the traditional function of which is to help douse the flames.