Thursday, March 14, 2013

Anuradha Goyal
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Andhra Adventures IX: Araku Valley Bamboo Chicken



Travel to a destination cannot be complete without the local food, and every place no matter how small or big has a local delicacy hidden its own cuisine. Most of the times ingredients remain the same but it’s the process that makes all the difference, so in Araku Valley tribal communities cook chicken inside the hollow of a bamboo without using any oil or water.


They take the small raw chicken pieces, marinate it with ginger heavy masala and stuff it inside the bamboo that is open from one side and close the open end by stuffing the Sal leaves, called Adda leaves locally.  This bamboo is now put on coal fire and turned a few times so that the heat spreads out evenly. Note that no oil or water is used in this cooking. It is only the heat passing through he burning bamboo that cooks the food inside. Once the bamboo is burnt black, it is an indication that chicken is done. Open the bamboo, remove the Sal leaves and the chicken is ready to be savored. Traditionally, It is served again on a Sal leave.



This is a trademark delicacy of the tribal communities of Araku valley and only they are allowed to cook using the Bamboo. It is not served in restaurants, though they will arrange to bring it for you from the local sellers. You will find small roadside stalls made of bamboo, managed mostly by women with green bamboos standing, masalas or spices scattered and a small coal chulha or stove at the back. I was told that during peak season people have to wait for hours before they can get the dish, such is the popularity that it enjoys. I could not figure out if the Government has put a restriction on others making the dish, but if they have, it is definitely a good move and is helping a lot of local population reap the benefits of the tourism economy.


My only grouse is that being a vegetarian I could not enjoy the bamboo cooking. I tried asking them if they can make anything vegetarian using the same method, but no one showed any enthusiasm at the suggestion. They only smiled and I tried to guess the taste from the faces of those who were eating.

12 comments:

R Niranjan Das said...

Looks awesome. Would love to have a taste of this. Thanks for sharing this.

www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

seb powen said...

chaala baakunthi..(very nice)

Arnab Maity said...

That is a discovery Anuradha! Never heard of this. Noted now. Will try on my Araku trip

Kishan P said...

Thats a really interesting dish. And ummm mouth-watering too I must say.

kiran nookala said...

The first time I've seen this dish is in a Telugu Movie called 'Village lo Vinayakudu' being a veggie even i don't have a chance to eat but will definitely try with something in veggie and will come back with a recipe.

Geeta Seshu said...

wow! thanks anu...really most interesting. Part of my mom's family comes from Vizag and they've never told me about this!

Preethi K said...

interesting..i would for sure try when i visit Araku

Anonymous said...

I had a chance to taste Bamboo Chicken, it was delicious indeed, nice post, thanks

Shivangi said...

Wow !! Looks very interesting, surely the chicken must also be infused with the flavour from the bamboo. Would love to try...!

desi Traveler said...

I have heard so much about this dish, but never took interest being vegetarian myself. But the pictures do make it look yummy ( just a guess :)

Nisha said...

In Cambodia, though they eat literally anything & everything that is no-veg, there is a vegetarian dish called Kralan made in bamboo. And it tastes yummy. :)

Here is the post.
http://www.lemonicks.com/Travel/2012/01/18/kralan-cambodian-bamboo-rice-cake/

Ercotravels said...

Interesting post! thanks for tell about a new dish.

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