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Morsels of nostalgia

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Bringing back great-grandmother’s recipes to celebrate the flavors of Telugu cuisine

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A life-size portrait of Suryakantham, Telugu cinema’s beloved athaggaru (mother-in-law), greets you at the entrance of United Telugu Kitchens (UTK) in Kokapet. This sets the stage for the authentic Telugu flavors — Andhra and Telangana, that await inside, each dish infused with a touch of nostalgia reminiscent of the actress herself.

Bright and bustling with sunlight streaming through the glass walls, this two-level, 189-seater restaurant offers a curated menu that revives age-old recipes from generations of Telugu kitchens. The ambience is enhanced by old Telugu songs from 70s movies besides the rangolis on the floor.

We began with their best-selling starters: Rayalaseema Natu Bombs (Manchuria dipped in gongura and ripe chili) and Pandem Kodi Pakodi (Andhra-style deep-fried chicken). The spice levels were intense, just as Telugus love it. Despite the tempting variety of Tandoori specialties, we chose to dive into Andhra delicacies like Nellore Chepala Pulusu (classic, spicy fish) and the rich, gravy-laden Kodi Pachadi Koora (chicken chutney-curry).

Teja Chekuri, Managing Partner of UTK and the brain behind popular brands like Prost Pub, Ironhill India Breweries and Ishtaa, says, “These are dishes we’ve grown up loving. The ingredients and super grains celebrated worldwide have been in our kitchens for centuries.”

On his recommendation, we tried the UTK Keka Pulao, featuring prawns, chicken, and mutton—a delight for foodies. However, we showed extra love on their Chintachiguru Kodi Pulao (made of tender tamarind leaves) which was a tangy and spicy twist to our biryani. This one earns more points than the previous variant.

We finished with the chilled Paan Kulfi in betel leaf flavor. Don’t miss their Ragi Sangati varieties if you have the appetite.

Meal for two: Rs 2,500

Opp. Rajapushpa Regalia, Gandipet Road, Kokapet 

Tel: 98480 09091 

Timings: 12 pm to 3:30 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm

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