‘Andhrulu bhojana priyulu’… Andhras are lovers of good food, means the popular saying. The word ‘bhojanam’ does not denote an ordinary meal. It means some thing special, a sumptuous meal with at least a dozen varieties of eatables, inclusive of the side dishes like ‘vadiyam’, ‘pappad’ etc. Since long, Andhras have the history of maintaining a fairly large variety of food items in their list of eatables for different occasions.
Hamsavimsathi, a poetic work of 18th century AD, records a list of names of 109 varieties of eatables carried by the servants along with the convoy of the great merchant Vishnudasu when he set out for the long journey to the foreign lands to sell his merchandise.
If we go a little further back in time, Kreedabhiraamam, a work of poetry by Vinukonda Vallabharaya of Kakatiya period (13-14th century AD), describes the components of a rich man’s ordinary morning meal, which comprises of cooked white rice, two varieties of curries (one dry and another wet), curdled ghee (curdled due to the chill of the winter) and curds hardened like a rock…. and all this for one Mada, which is about half of a Varaha in those days.