Cosmo culture: Divided in home state, united in tricity | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Cosmo culture: Divided in home state, united in tricity

chandigarh Updated: Nov 02, 2013 23:11 IST
Hillary Victor

Andhra Pradesh may be on the boil over division of state, but in tricity, there is little disharmony between the people of Andhra and Telangana. In late '70s, when the government of India set up Semiconductor Complex Limited in SAS Nagar, a number of engineers from Andhra landed in this part of the region. Initially, there were 25 families, but now the number has grown to 1,000, with most of them working in the government sector.

Finding the city to be beautiful beyond expectations, a number of Andhraites settled down here after completing their stint in government sector, including bureaucrats. Interestingly, Telugu remained third official language from early '80s during the tenure of former chief minister of Haryana late Bansi Lal.

The community has Sri Venkateswara Swamy (Lord Balaji) temple in Sector 12-A, Panchkula, which was constructed in 2000. This temple resembles the famous Venkateswara temple of Tirupati. Idols of Sri Venkateswara Swamy, Godess Padmavati and Goddess Andal are installed in the temple. The community holds important meeting in temple only. Though the UT administration allotted land to the community to build their building in Sector 31, it has not yet been constructed.

In 1972, the community formed Chandigarh Andhra Sanskritika Sangham with initial aim being to serve as a meeting ground for organising picnics, regional film shows and variety entertainment programmes for its members. However, the community is now trying to provide facilities for teaching Telugu to the children of members. Most of the community people are fluent in Punjabi.

Rice is their staple food and is usually consumed with a variety of curries, lentil soups and broths. A typical meal in Andhra consists of a combination of cooked rice, dal (pappu), curry, pickles (pachadi), yogurt (perugu) or buttermilk (majjiga), and papadum (appadam). Chewing paan, a mixture of betel leaves and areca nut is also a common practice after meals. Hyderabad Biryani is still as popular as it was ages back.

Kuchipudi, the famous classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh derives its name from a village, situated about 60 km from Vijayawada. Kuchipudi originated from a hamlet in Andhra, called Kuchelapuri or Kuchelapuram in the 3rd century BC.

Makar Sakranti is an important festival for Andhraites, which falls in January.

OG Sastry came to Chandigarh in 1975 to meet his brother, who was then working in Air Force Chandigarh, and applied for a job in the UT administration and got it. Retired as senior assistant from the UT administration, he said, "Chandigarh is a great city and our community loves it. Most of us now speak good Punjabi and get a lot of respect from the city residents."

Principal secretary, Haryana food and supplies department, TVSN Prasad, who is also the chairman of Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple trust, says, "We are very happy in the city and people here are well- cultured. We have never faced any problem in the city."

Know the community

Population 5,000
Staple food: Rice. Hyderabad Biryani is popular cuisine of Andhra
Meeting point: Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Sector 12-A, Panchkula
Popular dance: Kuchipudi
Festival: Makar Sakranti

Prominent Andhrites in tricity

Dr Karuna Raju, director, panchayat development, Punjab
CSR Reddy, ADGP, IT and telecommunication, Punjab
DP Reddy, principal secretary, finance, Punjab
Raghavendra Rao, principal secretary, urban local bodies, Haryana. He was the first Andhra IAS officer to be posted in Haryana cadre.
G Vajralingam, principal secretary, Punjab
TVSN Prasad, principal secretary, food and supplies department, Haryana
Venu Prasad, chief administrator, PUDA, SAS Nagar
Neeraja, IPS, Punjab
Srinivas, director of SC/BC department, Haryana
CS Roa, former professor at PEC, Sector 12, and now settled in Chandigarh
Dr KLN Rao, HOD, department of paediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh
Dr Sreenivas Reddy, senior assistant professor of cardiology, PGIMER, Chandigarh

Hyderabadi Biryani

Preparation Time: 1-2 hours; Cooking Time: 40-50 minutes; Serves 4

Mutton, a mix of chops, marrowbone and shoulder pieces 500 gm
Basmati rice 1 1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Bay leaves 2
Green cardamoms 10
Black peppercorns 25-30
Cinnamon 3 inch stick
Oil 1 tbsp + to deep fry
Onions, sliced 5 large
Caraway seeds (shahi jeera) 1/2 tsp
Cloves 10
Ginger paste 1 tbsp
Garlic paste 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder 1 tbsp
Yogurt 1 cup
Fresh coriander leaves 2 tbsp
Fresh mint leaves 2 tbsp
Pure ghee 4 tbsp
Black cardamoms 2
Saffron (kesar), mix in 1/4 cup milk a few strands

Heat five to six cups of water in a deep pan. Add drained rice, salt, bay leaves, five green cardamoms, seven to eight black peppercorns, one cinnamon stick and cook till three fourth done. Drain and set aside.
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep-fry half the onion slices till golden. Drain and place on an absorbent paper.
Grind caraway seeds, one cinnamon stick, remaining black peppercorns, cloves and remaining green cardamoms to a fine powder and set aside.
Take mutton pieces in a bowl. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and salt and mix. Add the spice powder, red chilli powder, half the fried onions crushed, yogurt, coriander leaves, half of the mint leaves and one tablespoon oil and mix. Let it marinate for about two hours in the refrigerator.
Heat two tablespoons ghee in a pan, add remaining cinnamon and black cardamoms and sauté till fragrant. Add remaining onions and sauté till light golden.
Add marinated mutton, stir and cook on high heat for three to four minutes. Cover, reduce heat and cook till almost done.
Heat the remaining ghee in a thick-bottomed pan. Spread half the rice in a layer. Spread the mutton over the rice. Sprinkle remaining torn mint leaves. Spread the remaining rice. Sprinkle saffron milk. Cover and cook under dum till done. Serve hot with raita.