Telangana Food Fest at ITC, Grand Chola

Its raining food fests in Chennai and looks like at any given point of time, there will be something going on somewhere! Not all of them may be good, but definitely something going on somewhere. Coming back from Bangalore where I just stepped into heaven and back at a Telugu Cuisine restaurant, ITC Grand Chola as part of the Kitchens of India, Unique Taste series, set up the Cuisine of Telangana at the Madras Pavilion. Having had a fabulous time at the Arcot Nawab's food, I was looking forward to this!!! Started off with panagam and ended up having four of five glasses. Actually, mini glasses.

Food kicked off with the fantastic stuffed chillies!!!! It was nice and hot in a nice way, not the tongue-on-fire kind of hot!!!! For non veg, we had a superb chicken roast Andhra style!!!! But the best part was the next set - rice, podi, ghee and chillies. Oh, and pappads. So, this podi looks blood red. I fear. My love for rice, podi n ghee was based on the not so hot podi, but one look and I started to fear for my, well, tongue! Mixed it. Added ghee. Kept in the mouth and waited for the explosion. But no explosion. Just nirvana. It was fantastic!!!! Though it looked fiery, it was meeky in fire, but fiery in flavour.  With a tinge of garlic with the chilly, it was yummmmmm. Just loved it. Though it was dinner, ended up eating bowlful of rice which I normally avoid. Then another super dish - the ragi rice balls that you have a gazillion gravies to pair with. The dhal was the best companion and we gulped down two balls each!!!

Two things were disappointing for me. The Biriyani and the Dessert. Except the mango phirni, nothing else was worth mentioning among the desserts. Since it is part of the buffet, there is no extra cost for this. But thats also why the desserts were blah!!!

Now I can't wait to see what is going to be the next in the series of Unique Tastes!!!