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Araku Valley, a hill station on the Eastern Ghats in the Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh, is known for its lovely weather and scenic beauty. The valley is covered with coffee plantations introduced by the British in 1898 in Pamuleru valley that soon found its way there.  Post independence, the Andhra government took over the coffee productions and promoted work for the local tribal farmers.

You may be wondering why we are talking about coffee when the heading clearly reads Chicken. Well, we wanted to give you a context of what we are to talk about. So, before we beat around the bush with more such antics, let’s get to it!

The luscious grasslands that extend till the horizon, the tall mountains that seem to touch the heavens, and, of course, the overly populated cities and the rich variety of cuisines across the nation together make India, a country rich in diversity. While most of the cuisines are, in fact, made available in many luxurious hotels and restaurants, they may not always be the best way to experience the Indian flavor.

In the valleys of Araku, the tribal farmers spend most of their time in the plantation fields. Come a holiday, they intend on spending it with their family and enjoy a delicious meal with bamboo chicken. Much like the coffee plantations and the picturesque scenery that Araku is famously known for, the valley is also known for the Bamboo Chicken (Bongulo Chicken). The winding road of the hill that lead to hotels that prepare this delicious dish in a surprisingly most primitive way can be the best way to rewind when you are in India.

Bamboo Chicken is a traditional tribal cuisine of the Valley that is oil free and rich in nutrients. The chicken is first cut into smaller pieces, marinated with curries and dry spices, and kept aside for at least an hour for the flavors to soak in. The marinated chicken pieces are then stuffed in a cut bamboo shoot and roasted on a medium coal flame for 45 minutes. The bamboo is then cut open to serve the well roasted chicken inside. The chicken is then garnished with some cut onions and lemon and served hot on a platter with rice or bread.

In rural parts of Andhra and Tamil Nadu, bamboo is often used in their cooking practices. Apart from just chicken pieces, they even prepare a proper biryani in bamboo shoots! Imagine that! It is mouthwatering as we write about it. The rice, mixed with the spices and the marinated meat is filled inside the bamboo shoot and roasted in coal fire. After 45 minutes to an hour, the shoot is removed, cut and served hot on a plate.

India’s fame lies in its cultural heritage, as it is so with other countries. We at Amma’s South Indian Restaurant take pride in serving our customers authentic South Indian Fare! Visit us, and taste the flavors of India.

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