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Thursday

Best Wishes and Ugadi Special Menu

Wishing you all a very happy ugadi. (Ugadi Subhakankshalu !) May the new year shower you and your family with health, happiness and prosperity..

Ugadi (or Yuga(Age) - Aadi(Beginning) means beginning of an age/era) is a spring festival, and representation of a new beginning, of a new year.. just like the trees have new leaves and new flowers. Its the first day of the New year as per the Lunisolar calendar followed by some regions in India for festival and astrological calculations. It is celebrated as the new year day by Telugu people and Kannada people all over the world. Marathi people celebrate the same day as Gudi Padwa.

Like all festivals, muggus/rangoli in the front yard of the home is the first thing women do. New clothes, good food.. and then we spend the day listening to the Panchangam. The Panchangam is the forecast (based on planetary positions as per Telugu astrology) of what the new year holds for specific raasi (zodiac) people, in various areas (relationships, health, finance etc.,), also for countries and states etc., On TV there are special Ugadi programs which we enjoyed also as kids.. !Its one of the most celebrated festivals for all Telugu people in the world. Many families have some traditional things they make as a part of the menu.. And here is what we do..

Ugadi Pacchadi:
Ugadi Pacchadi is a must have on the day of Ugadi. Just like everything in nature is new, all things that go into the pacchadi.. are "new" for the season.. The idea behind the Ugadi pacchadi is to combine "Shadruchulu" or the 6 Tastes. Sweet or Theepi, Bitter or Chedu, Sour or Pulupu, Salty or Uppu, Spicy or Ghaatu/Kaaram, Ogaru..(Astringent??) . The tastes are like the various emotions and feelings we go through in life.. Good, bad, happiness, sadness, unpleasantness etc., Each ingredient of this pacchadi, adds one or more of these tastes..This is how my mum used to make it and I continue that as well.

Ingredients:
Jaggery (broken into small pieces and soaked over night, OR if you are preparing same day, grate it finely)
Raw Green Mangoes (skin peeled, and diced into 1 inch pieces)
Tamarind (Soak and get the juice)
Coconut (Fresh one, diced into 1 inch pieces)
Neem Flowers (if not available, substitute either with grated bitter gourd or powdered fenugreek seeds)
Oma (Ajwain/carrom seeds)
Salt as per taste
Chilli powder as per taste
Water
Process:
Traditionally, the night before Ugadi, a "new" clay pot is used to soak some "new" jaggery overnight. The next day, all the other ingredients are added to it, to prepare this interesting, delicious concoction of various tastes. If you havent done all that, just grating the jaggery and mixing it with water should be good.

Back in India, freshly bloomed flowers from the Neem tree are used for the bitter flavoring, but due to unavailabilty of those here in the US, I substitute it with equally bitter, grated bitter gourd. You can also use powdered fenugreek seeds powder(menthi podi/methi powder). Add little as per taste to the jaggery water.

Then, the raw green mangoes are fresh for the season, add the diced mangoes to the mixture. Also, new tamarind juice that is available for some sour/tangy taste. Add the tamarind juice to the jaggery juice, add to it some coconut pieces, add some salt and some chilli powder and some ground oma powder.. and adjust, the sour, sweet, bitter and the water to your liking and so that you are able to get all the tastes in this mixture.

The way I make it, the sweet taste is dominant with that taste.. wishing for more happiness in life in the new year. There are many variations in different regions of Andhra Pradesh.. We make it like a drinkable juice consistency as in the pictures.


Bakshalu/Bobbatlu:
My mom's Bakshalu are famous among our family friends.. and everyone looked forward to Ugadi when she made a whole bunch of these delicious traditional sweet flat breads and sent them to near and dear.. :) I continue the tradition, though not as perfect as my mum's mine turn out decently well.. too :p One of my friends here from Bangalore also makes these they call them "Obbattu".



Bakshalu/Bobbatlu/Obbattu
Poornalu/Poornam Boorelu

Pulihora:
Some kind of special rice is always on the menu for every festival. Mom always made pulihora.. Its the best, most loved I like to prepare the Mango pulihora for Ugadi, due to the availability of yummy sour tasting mangoes :)

Mango Rice (Mamidikaya Pulihora)
Lime/Lemon Rice (Nimmakaya Pulihora)

Vada:
Some kind of snack is always a must too. And since this is everyone's favorite, I make this almost for every festival.

Masala Vada
Moong Dal Vada
Onion Vada

Check out the Festival Section for more ideas for the special festival menu :



9 comments:

Asha said...

Looks like my menu for tomorrow, except Obbattu, made that for Shivaratri! :)

Happy Ugadi, enjoy.

Pavithra Kodical said...

Happy Ugadi to you too :) vada looks crisp and yum.

Medhaa said...

Menu is very inviting.
Happy Ugadi

Anonymous said...

Happy Ugadi

Nice dishes and photos.

Superchef said...

Happy Ugadi to you too and that spread is so grand!

Uma said...

Happy Ugadi to you and your family Pallavi!

Usha said...

Happy Ugadi ! Everything looks inviting :-)

Saru said...

Chala Bhagundhi, Nenu kuda konni varieties chesanu chudandi

http://teluguabhiruchulu.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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