When people think of Andhra or Andhra food, they usually think of spicy Gongura pachadi, pappulu, pesarattu and pulihora(Tamarind rice). Andhra cooking is supposed to be very spicy. Indeed there are few more things that are as delicious as Gongura pachadi, pappulu etc.
One of the most unique and famous item among the locals involves the use of Vadiyalu. These are prepared at home by each and every locals of Andhra during the summer season and are preserved very carefully throughout the year. These are specifically used for tempering for all the curries prepared in Andhra. They are salty, tangy and have a crunchy texture.
This iconic item is prepared by roughly grinding onions and garlic to which mustard seeds, Bengal Gram, Black Gram, Methi, Turmeric and salt are added. All the ingredients are mixed well, closed and kept for 2 days to soak well. On the second day this mixture is made into a lemon sized balls and kept in hot sun to dry. This is allowed to dry for 2 days. After 2 days these balls are pressed hard using oil (mustard oil / castor oil) to make the balls more firm and again kept in hot sun until it is dried completely. Once the procedure is complete, these dried balls (Vadiyalu) are stored in a tight container throughout the year. The same procedure is repeated every summer in every Andhra houses.
While using for tempering these dried balls are crushed, and a small amount is used which gives beautiful aroma and taste. Andhra locals treasure this item like a precious gem.