Chingri Malai curry at Culinary Connections, New Delhi. Photo courtesy of Rishabh Gogoi.
V Nata Raju’s house in East Delhi bustles with activity on a Sunday morning. “When Raju built this house, the kitchen was the epicentre”, his wife Punita, 56, tells VICE World News as she flattens moon-shaped discs of aata (dough) and spreads chilli powder over them to make Mirchi ka Paratha (traditional spiced flatbreads), a dish that has its roots in her family’s kitchen in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Meanwhile, 61-year-old Raju prepares Guntur Mutton curry, a spicy goat-meat stew; and Kodi Vepudu, a spicy chicken fry dish that Raju finishes up with a homemade powder made from dried lentils and chillies. These dishes are from his native state of Andhra Pradesh, a southern coastal state in the country, whose cuisine contrasts starkly with the north.
“Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of red chilli