A Feast This Ugadi

8 months ago / by Ahad Sanwari
ugadi
Image credits: Shutterstock

Ugadi, celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, is also called Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Baisakhi in Punjab, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Thapna in Rajasthan, Nobo borso’ in West Bengal and Cheti Chand among Sindhis.

The word Ugadi comes from Sanskrit – ‘Yuga’ means era and ‘Adi’ means ‘To Start’ and Ugadi basically means a new beginning. This is the Lunar New Year Day that falls typically in March or April and is the first day of the Hindu Chaitra month. This year Ugadi is on April 2nd, 2022.

One of the most important parts of the festival is its food and interestingly, this is when the seasons change, and it is officially summer in India. Hence the Ugadi meal see sour foods like raw mango and tamarind as part of the traditional dishes prepared.

While the ubiquitous dish of the festivities is the Ugadi Pachadi, it is important to note that the contrasting elements of neem, which is bitter and jaggery which is sweet teach one the important life lesson that good and bad experiences are part of life. The lesson that elders remind you is the need to balance different episodes in life and move on.

While the Ugadi Pachadi is also offered to God as Naivedyam, the festivities include a plethora of mouth-watering delicacies that is bound to tickle all your taste buds. Whether it is Pulihora, a tamarind rice dish, Mavinakai Chitranna, a rice based raw mango dish or Obbatu, a sweet flaky chapati filled with Bengal gram, grated jaggery, and grated coconut, the dishes served on the festival will leave your mouth watering.

“Ugadi is one of the festivals that brings a cohesive unison amongst our family, as all good festivals do. And with this comes memories of interacting with the people dearest to us and memories that are going to be etched forever. Obattus, otherwise known as kayi holige, naariyal puran poli, or kai obattu, are as important to us as any other part of our cultural conditioning and integral to a lot of our warm memories. Fresh, soft, ghee filled, obbatu is the perfect addition to a traditional meal,” says Panjury V Shankar, Managing Partner, Karnatic restaurant.

Some other dishes include Paramannam (a rice pudding desset), Badam Halwa (Almond based sweet), Atukulu Payasam (Rice Flakes Kheer), Belllam Garelu (Jaggery Vadas), Boorelu, (sumplings made with rice flour and jaggery), Chandrakantalu (moong dal based deep fried sweet). Kajjikayalu (deep fried pastry with a coconut sugar stuffing), and Sorakaya Payasam (Bottle Gourd Kheer). In fact, the list of dishes made is quite endless and we share a couple of recipes for you to try that are traditional and use seasonal ingredients.

ugadi
Obbatu (image courtesy of Panjury V Shankar, Managing Partner, Karnatic restaurant)

Obbatu (courtesy Panjury V Shankar, Managing Partner, Karnatic restaurant)

Ingredients 

Makes 20-25 Obattus

  • Toor dal- 250 grams (1 glass)
  • Jaggery- 275 grams
  • Grated coconut – 1 small coconut
  • Cardamom – 10
  • Refined Flour – 250 grams
  • Chiroti Rava- 2 tablespoons (Fine Semolina available on Amazon)
  • Oil – 6 spoons (any cooking/vegetable oil)
  • Ghee – 50 grams
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Salt – a pinch

Method

  • Make a soft dough with the refined flour, turmeric and water, mix well. And add a little turmeric with Chiroti rava as well. Mix it well and add oil as much as the dough requires to stay soft and immersed. Soak for two hours at least. 
  • Add dhal to boiling water, and let it boil for up to 90 degrees. Do not do this in a pressure cooker. 
  • Take a big enough container that is wide, add 3 spoons of water, cardamom and then melt the jaggery in it by heating. Let it get sticky enough. 10-12 minutes would be ideal. Add the strained dhal and coconut and let it boil for ten minutes and then allow it to boil till it is a semisolid concoction. After this, let it cool off, and then churn it into a mix again. Without adding water. Make sure it is mixed well to make sure the flavor unfurls on your tastebuds. 
  • Make lemon sized balls, douse them in a little bit of refined flour and drop them onto a plastic wrap that is oiled. Make flatbreads that are perfectly thin with your fingers using ghee.
ugadi
Mango Lassi (image courtesy of Maharaj Bhawar Singh, Corporate Chef – Khandani Rajdhani)

Mango Lassi (courtesy Maharaj Bhawar Singh, Corporate Chef – Khandani Rajdhani)

Ingredients

  • Yoghurt – 1 kilogram
  • Sugar – 200 grams / To Taste
  • Mango Puree – 200 grams
  • Elaichi Powder – 1 tbsp
  • Mint Leaf – for garnish
  • Ice Cubes – for blending

 Method

  • Take the yoghurt in a mixing bowl or a big jug. Pour the yoghurt, Sugar, couple of ice cubes and blend with a manual blender till yoghurt has blended into a moth texture. (Avoid using an electric blender, high speed blending separates the milk solids and makes the Lassi thinner).
  • Now pour the mango puree and blend well into the base Lassi.
  • Pour in a glass with some ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves.