Shacks in The Park Hotel revive a native cooking style of the nearby Araku Valley and I cannot ignore the nourishment and flavour epitomised in this nouvelle cuisine.
Local spices and indigenous ingredients make an eloquent appearance through the ‘Araku Platter’ food festival which expresses country cooking in bamboo.
Handed down from generations by the Araku Valley tribes, all the delicacies on this menu are cooked in hollow bamboo stalks.
Soaked in a mixture of herbs and spices, marinated pieces of chicken, lamb, prawns or fish are stuffed inside the stalk.
The open end is blocked with plantain leaves and the arrangement is then placed on coal fire.
After the bamboo turns black in colour and begins to crack, the meat is taken out, releasing an aroma of crackling wood and roasted herbs.
The cuisine’s simple goodness is best enjoyed with a side of lime and onions which is served on a platter of banana leaves.
The Araku Valley is particularly known for ‘Bongulo (bamboo) Chicken.’ Ingenuously known as ‘Kufiya Sidira,’ the dish uses very little oil and makes for a nutritious and delicious starter.
The perfectly spiced ‘Bongulo Biryani’ with its fluffy rice satisfies the native Indian desire for a large meal with a zing.