My limited knowledge of the Telugu cuisine was strictly based on stereotypes - fiery hot vegetarian food or Hyderabadi biryani. But that was all before I walked into Bagundi. Nestled behind the white pillars of Connaught place, right in the heart of Delhi, Bagundi sits rebellious, breaking preconceived notions for over a year now. Once I was surrounded by its cozy interiors and walls embellished with murals of festivals like Sankranti, I immediately looked forward to the gastronomic ride that Bagundi promised.
Telugu cuisine happens to be one of the most uncharted territories among Delhiites, perhaps because of its reputation of being the spiciest cuisine of India. For a resident of Delhi, Andhra Bhawan is the first place that comes to mind when somebody mentions the state or its food. But Bagundi, which translates to good in Telugu, is one of the few places in the capital city that serves authentic Telugu cuisine with an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies.
Here are 6 dishes you must try when in Bagundi :
Andhra Prawn Fry
If you are a seafood lover, what’s better than starting your dinner with fried prawns? Spicy and piquant, this delicacy makes you want to keep on eating despite your eyes watering from the heat of the spices (even though the spice level is toned down to cater to local taste buds).
Chicken 65 is a wonderful starter and this delectable fried delicacy is great at Bagundi. Made with boneless pieces of chicken along with generous amounts of chilies and garnished with onions, curry leaves and coriander, the taste of it leaves you tingling. And the best combination with the heat is a cool glass of aam panna to keep you hydrated.
Starters over, shifting to the main course, we suggest you order this flavoursome gravy. A thick green mutton gravy made using sorrel leaves and an assortment of spices, the exquisite dish is best had with steamed rice. Tangy, sour, spicy and hot, it makes us want to go back right now for some of this!
For those who crave seafood, we would suggest this fish curry. Tangy and spicy, this tamarind-based curry from the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh is best savoured with rice. Made with generous amounts of dried red chilies, this thin, soupy fish curry hits all the right spots and the taste lingers long after.
Crab Meat Masala
One would think it is an overdose of seafood but how can we talk of Bagundi and not mention the delicious crab meat masala. Made with crab meat, pulverised into a keema-like consistency, this curry saves you from the hassle of breaking open the shell of the crab to relish the tasty meat inside. The curry is thick and spicy, it is a great meat keema alternate.
The people of Andhra love their dessers and ending a meal with Kesari bath seems the right thing to do. Made with semolina, sugar, ghee and milk, it's similar to sheera or suji halwa. And the best part is that at Bagundi, the sweetness isn't an overload to make you cringe, but more of a marriage to keep you happy after a spicy treat.
Where: M14, opposite Delhi Fire Station, Block M, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Pocket Pinch: Approx. Rs 1000 for two