Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Ugadi!!!

Dear visitors,

Wish you all a very Happy Ugadi !!!

Its a brand new year again, with an old name though - "virodhi" (meaning- enemy). Each telugu calendar year has a separate name. There are 60 such names, and the cycle of names repeats every 60 years. May "Virodhi" year bring good health and prosperity to all of us, and may this year ward off all our enemies :) By enemy, I'm not just referring to a goon with a machine gun, an enemy could be as simple as a flu virus :)

The Indian festival Ugadi is celebrated in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. For more info on Ugadi, there's wiki.

We, Andhraites, prepare a special chutney on Ugadi day. "Ugadi patchadi" is what its known as. A blend of 6 different tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, spicy and tangy) symbolizing that life is a mixture of sweet and sad times, and one must accept them alike. As a child, I used to love this chutney that my mom made. Me and my sister would wait for the puja to get over so as to have spoonfuls of the pachadi. Its been 5 years since I last had it from amma's hands. Two years in hostel, then an year at work followed by two years in US. Though this isn't my first Ugadi after marriage, its the first time for me to celebrate it. The first year of marriage, I was a lazy little girl, who didn't know much about pujas et all :) But today, I feel so happy and satisfied after offering my prayers to God, and showing the live telecast to my folks back home in India :)

My camera has moved from the kitchen to the puja area, look at this "puja-click":

The actual ingredients that go into the making of Ugadi pachadi are:
  1. Neem flowers - for the bitter taste
  2. Tamarind pulp - sour
  3. Jaggery - sweet
  4. Chillis/chilli powder - spice
  5. Raw mango - tangy
  6. Salt
Since I couldn't get (1) and (5), I substituted (1) by Fenugreek powder and (5) by few drops of lemon. FYI, I'm overly flexible with what I substitute in my cooking :) Actually, I wanted to make an all jaggery pachadi, so that we won't have any bitter/sour/spice/salt/tangy experiences this year. :) But then, I thought, probably this pachadi will give us the strength to handle them all :)

The pachadi was a little too sour, otherwise okay. For the naivedyam, I made tamarind pulihora and Chakkerapongali. This particular sweet is my super-favourite since it is easy to cook, and tastes good. Posting its recipe here.

  1. Rice - x units
  2. Moong dal - x units
  3. Sugar - x units
  4. Grated coconut - x/2 units
  5. Cardamom powder
  6. Ghee
  1. Roast rice and dal separately in a small amount of ghee.
  2. Pressure cook the roasted ingredients with 4x water.
  3. When the cooked mixture is hot, add sugar, coconut and cardamom powder.
  4. Can add some ghee-roasted cashew and raisins too.
The smell of ghee and cardamom filled my stomach even before offering it to God. :)
A collage I made:

Once again, wish you a Happy Ugadi !
New year, new beginnings!! May God bless us all.



Hi Manjusha,

Very good explanation about festival and nice collage. I like the way you decorated the pooja place, starting from corner designs on the table, flowers and lights/diyas.



@ Lakshmi,

Thanks a lot. Got those "muggu" design stickers and electric lamps from India, and that table from Ikea. Planned this setup before leaving for India and got all those stickers :)

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