The first day of the month of chaitra ushers in the New Year which is celebrated as Ugadi, also known as Barhaspatyamana, Chandramana or Sauramana. Ugadi in Sanskrit comes from yuga i.e. era and aadi i.e. beginning, signifying the onset of a new year.
People revel in the festive spirit by decorating the entrances of their homes with rangoli and fresh mango leaves. And of course, the festival is incomplete without the traditional delicacies which are first offered as Naivedyam to the Lord such as obattu/poli, sweet pongal, kodhimbir vada, mango pachadi, moongdal payasam and more. Ugadi pacchadi is the most popular among them all. Inter-estingly, it is a fusion of various tastes — sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and spicy and the basic ingredients are neem, jaggery, mango, tamarind, chilli and salt - ingredients that are said to reflect the six aspects or emotions of life.
Mamidikaya pulihora or raw mango rice is another important preparation. Many people follow the custom of not eating mangoes before Ugadi, hence they taste the first mango of the new season in this rice preparation.
Traditional Ugadi recipes
“Ugadi being a harvest festival signifies the beginning of a new year and during this time, jaggery made from the fresh harvest of sugarcane is abundant. Boorelu and chakkarai pongal have been a part of Ugadi celebrations for ages now and still appease everyone.”
— Sanjay Rawat, sous chef, Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield
(Traditional Indian sweet in Telugu festivals)
Prep time — 30 mins
Cook time — 30 mins
- 100 gm urad dal
- 200 gm rice
- 200 gm channa dal
- 80 gm jaggery
- 50 gm fresh grated coconut
- 10 gm cardamom powder
- Oil for deep frying
- Soak urad dal overnight. Drain and grind it with soaked rice in batter consistency and keep it aside.
- Blanch channa dal (need not be overcooked) and drain off the water and mash with jaggery.
- Take a heavy-bottomed vessel and add the ground dal paste and cook till it appears like a thick paste, stirring continuously as the dal tends to stick to the vessel. Turn off the heat and cool. Then add grated coconut, cardamom powder and mix well. Shape into small bite-sized balls.
- Heat enough oil in a wide heavy-bottomed vessel for deep frying the balls. Dip each ball in the batter and let it coat evenly. Then place in the oil and deep fry till golden brown.
Prep time — 30 mins
Cook time — 10 mins
- 100 gm moong dal
- 250 gm powdered jaggery
- 8 gm cardamom
- 70 gm almonds
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 100 gm rice
- 200 gm ghee
- 100 gm cashews
- 70 gm raisins
- 300 ml water
- Roast rice and moong lentil till it gives an earthy flavor.
- In another pan, make jaggery syrup by putting water and jaggery together in a pan and heat it.
- In remaining water, add boiled rice and lentil and cook it. Once it is done, add coconut milk, jaggery syrup and cardamom powder.
- Now put a pan on low flame and pour ghee in it. Let it melt and add cashews, almonds and raisins. Stir fry the dry fruits until they turn golden brown. Pour them over the rice mixture.
- 20 gm raw mango, chopped
- ½ ripe banana, chopped
- 10 gm coconut, grated
- 50 gm jaggery
- 15 gm tamarind paste
- 5 gm chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- Few neem flowers
- Mix the jaggery and tamarind paste in water and make a thin liquid.
- Add banana, raw mango, grated coconut and neem flowers to the mixture.
- Add salt and chilli powder.
- Serve chilled.
- 250 gm urad dal
- 50 gm channa dal
- 15 gm green chillies
- 5 gm curry leaves
- 10 gm coriander leaves
- 50 gm onions, chopped
- 15 gm crushed black pepper
- Oil to fry
- Salt to taste
- Soak urad and channa dal overnight and grind to a coarse paste, ensure there is minimum water while you grind the dal.
- Add salt, green chilli paste, crushed black pepper and chopped curry leaves to the coarse paste.
- Heat the oil, make palm sized flat patties and deep fry till crisp.
- Serve with coconut chutney and/or ginger chutney.
Satish Kumar, Chef De Cuisine, Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel Gachibowli
— the writer is a noted food author...