The Legend of Pappu

I will never forget my first Andhra meal. My dear Telugu friend invited me home for a meal with such pride that it was impossible to refuse. My curiosity was piqued. Why does he want me to eat in his house so desperately? So on the appointed day, I turned up at his house expecting a full- fledged feast of the famous Andhra mutton curry et al. We sat at the dining table of his opulently furnished house. A plate was placed in front of me and out came a dish of steaming white rice. I took a generous helping and waited expectantly for the mutton. Out came a dish of fragrant ghee. Again I helped myself generously and waited for the mutton. Out came a dish of Avvakkai pickle. My radar was up but I obligingly helped myself to some of this delicious mango pickle and waited for the mutton. Out came a dish of steaming hot……PAPPU! No, not the one that can’t dance saala, but dal. Yes the famous Andhra Chintakaya Pappu.

I must tell you how ridiculously simple this dish is. Thats all! But I can also tell you that I did not miss the mutton that day. Pappu is a dish to die for and I kid you not. I helped myself to three servings of pappu that day and have not stopped since.