This Ugadi, ensure you have a sweet, sweet start to the new year
Ugadi or Yugadi is celebrated as the new year in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. Sindhis call it Cheti Chand and Maharashtrians, Gudi Padwa. It falls on March 22 this year.
Each state has its own way of celebrating it. On Ugadi, the rituals begin with an oil bath, followed by a puja at home. The threshold is decorated with mango and neem leaves decoration. In Karnataka.people ritually give the deity an offering of jaggery and neem flowers called bevu bella (bevu is neem and bella is jaggery in Kannada). This is later served in the festive lunch, as a reminder that the New Year will have both bitter and sweet events and that one must balance them. In Andhra Pradesh, the practices include muggulu, or rangoli, with colorful patterns drawn on the floor. The ugadi pachadi is a must. This uses ingredients such as raw mango, neem, jaggery, tamarind with chilli and salt. Holige (a sweet pancake) is usually part of the festivities.
Here is a recipe for you to add a sweet touch to your celebrations
Sago and Carrot Kheer (Sabudana Aur Gajar Ki Kheer) courtesy Chef Reetu Uday Kugaj, culinary expert and chef consultant
This rich and creamy kheer is prepared with sago (tapioca pearls) with fresh, red carrots, full-cream milk, green cardamom powder, mixed nuts, dried rose petals and saffron strands.
Soaking time for sabudana: 4 hours
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- ½ cup sago (sabudana), soaked
- ¼ cup fresh carrot, pureed
- 2 cups full-cream milk
- 2 cup water
- ¼ cup sugar. Or more, if so desired
- ¼ tsp.green cardamom powder
- ¼ tbsp.almonds, lightly toasted and chopped
- ¼ tbsp.pistachio nuts, chopped
- ¼ tbsp.cashew nuts, chopped
- ¼ tbsp.raisins
- ½ tbsp charoli or cullapa almond, blanched
For the garnish:
- Lightly toasted and chopped almonds, pistachio nuts, and ½ tbsp cashew nuts.
- ¼ tbsp.dried and edible rose petals
- Saffron strands soaked in milk
- In a deep heavy-bottomed non-stick pan, heat one cup of water.
- Add the soaked sabudana, mix and cook until it is transparent and done.
- In a deep heavy-bottomed non-stick pan, boil the milk, then add the carrot puree.
- Mix well, and cook on a slow flame for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the carrot milk to the cooked sabudana and simmer it for two to three minutes.
- Stir in the sugar, cook for a minute and add the green cardamom powder and mix well.
- Add the raisins, blanched charoli and mixed nuts to the prepared kheer.
- Mix and cook on medium flame for another 5 minutes.
- Serve warm or chilled as desired, garnished with nuts, rose petals and saffron strands.
Chef Tip: Wash the sabudana 4 to 5 times until the water is clear. Otherwise, the sabudana will stick when you soak it in water.