The taste of Andhra’s heritage cuisine and culture were celebrated in an outdoor garden picnic June 18, a traditional event known as “Vanabhojanalu” organized by the Chicago Andhra Association.
More than 500 people from their home-states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, attended the event, organizers said in a press release.
Those who came enjoyed both Sahapankthi Bhojanam, a traditional way of having lunch in a banana leaf, with Pulihora and other Andhra-style curries served by the hosts.
Kids were “thrilled” to eat in banana leaves, and curious to know about it, a press release from Chicago Andhra Association, said.
All the food planning was led by Anu Gampala, Suresh Sanakkayala and Sujatha Appalaneni and serving was led by Vani Dittakavi, Sunitha Rachapalli and Neelima Boddu. Guests also enjoyed the fresh, tasty and hot corn and Chicken off the grill and this effort was led by Srihari Jasti, Srikrishna Matukumalli and Sailesh Maddi.
Few visiting elders from India appreciated that a tradition was being carried on by he “CAA Family” as the Chicago Andhra Association is affectionately referred to. They said, this gave an opportunity to explain few traditions to their grandchildren, and a few of the adults volunteered to serve lunch as well.
Several CAA members brought variety pre-cooked dishes especially focused on “Dad’s luncheon items” for a food competition, an program included in the Vanabhojanalu to recognize Father’s Day. The competition was led by Sahiti Kotta, Pavithra Karumuri and Malleswari Pedamallu.
Ball-games in which fathers and their children participated, were planned and run by Sandhya Appalaneni, SaiRavi Suribhotla and Hema Tatineni.
A snack bazaar in the evening coordinated by Raj Potluri, and a special Father’s Day cake were part of the festivities.