Chef’s Special: Delectable Telugu Dishes from Chef Sakala Sankara at Dakshin

I have known Chef Sakala Sankara of Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya for quite a few years now. In every meeting I still have with him, I learn something new from him regarding South Indian food, especially the cuisine of the two Telugu states. Whenever Chef goes to another city to curate a Telangana or Andhra festival, my friends from there ping me singing paeans about his culinary skills. And above all, he is an affable and smiling chef who loves to feed you delectable food.

Mutton Podi Fry

So, it is no surprise that when Chef Sankara does a Chef's Special menu at Dakshin for the month of September the expectations are very high. A handful of a-la-carte items specially curated by the Chef will be available both lunch and dinner till the end of the month.

The first dish I tried out from the list was Mokka Wada, deep fried crisp patties of corn kernels, onions and chillies. The chutneys served at Dakshin are legendary, I am a huge fan of them especially the brinjal and the mango variety. Apart from the wadas, I enjoyed the chutney with the papad and fried curd soaked chillies too.

Mokka Wada

Telangana Kodi Roast is the special local starter for this promotion. The dish is not fiery, but has a nice aftertaste of spices and especially the green chillies. Telangana boasts of many variations in its dry chicken preparations, but in this dish, the fresh masala used really augmented the taste.

Telangana Kodi Roast

Mutton Podi Fry, on the other hand, was laden with a lot of spices, mainly from the podi. The recipe uses a potli lamb leading to juicy and soft meat and the resultant dish works both as a starter as well as with a side of any type of Indian bread.

Dhapalam is a mixed vegetable stew from Andhra Pradesh, which is more of comfort food.  Some good white rice is a perfect foil for this dish, which in my opinion is the best item of the promotion.


The famed pulavs of the Telugu states was represented by Royyala Pulav, using large prawns and good quality basmati rice. The spices were well-balanced and I did not need the raita which accompanied it.

Royyala Pulav

One dish from the promotion which I did not try was Pachi Mamidikai Korameen Masala, a preparation of murrel in a raw mango based gravy. The dish looks quite interesting nonetheless.

Loved the selection of the items on the menu. No two dishes were similar to one another, and the bouquet of dishes adequately represent the diversity of Telugu food. Only, a couple of desserts could be added. The promotion runs till end of September at Dakshin, the South Indian restaurant of ITC Kakatiya. For aficionados of Telugu food, this promotion should not be missed.

ITC Kakatiya

Telephone 23400132

Disclaimer: The review is based on an invite from the restaurant. A few pics are courtesy the restaurant.

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