Savour the aroma

Savour the aroma

Ugadi menu

Savour the aroma

No festival is complete without a gastronomical array of delights. With ‘Ugadi’ here, Bengalureans who are bringing in the new year talk about the specialities of the day.

Nishitha Sunil, a Kannadiga, says that she has always stuck to the family tradition of making a wide variety of dishes. “We spread the food on a banana leaf, and starting from salt, sugar, mango pickle and mango cut pieces, everything is served. The spread includes items like ‘Carrot Kosambri’, ‘Cucumber Kosambri’, ‘Beans Palya’, ‘Mango Chitranna’, ‘Puliyogare’ and different types of ‘Bhajji’.

The menu also includes ‘Sandige’ and ‘Appla’. We also serve ‘Anna-Sambhar’ and curd rice among other food items,” she says.

She adds that other delicacies of the day include ‘Holige’ and ‘Shavige Payasa’. “The most popular items are the mango dishes since mango is popular this time of the year.”

‘Holige’ was one of her favourite items as a youngster. “There is a traditional way to consume  ‘Obbattu’ or ‘Holige’. It should be with either a spoonful of ghee or milk,” says Nishitha.

Certain regions have their own additions to the festival. Anita Pai, from Udupi, says that since
‘Ugadi’ is celebrated in a grand style back home, there is an elaborate spread made for the day. “We prepare ‘Idli’ in jackfruit leaves and it is called ‘Khotto’. We also make a special dish,
‘Tender Cashew Palya’, which is a favourite.” she says. She adds that other popular dishes are the ‘Chane Gashi’.

“For the sweet tooth, the ‘Madgane’ (a ‘payasa’) is prepared.” Anita recollects that her mother used to make a dish out of 22 vegetables, which she misses. “It is almost impossible to make it here as not all the vegetables are available.”

‘Ugadi’ is not just a haven for Kannadigas, but other communities too. Jayasri Krishnamurthy, a Telugite, says that apart from ‘Sambhar’, ‘Rasam’ and other curries, must-haves are ‘Puliyogare’ and mango items. “A ‘Pachadi’ is made out of neem, jaggery and tamarind, and this has to be consumed on the day. Since it is mango season, dishes definitely have them. There is also fresh jaggery available and this is considered good for health,” says Jayasri.

Kadambri Reddy says that 9 varieties of tastes, the ‘navarasa’, have to be consumed on the day. “Salt, tamarind, neem flower and jaggery are some among the 9 flavours. We prepare different types of ‘Payasas’ like the ‘Kadlai Payasa’,” she says. “We also make the ‘Mango Chitranna’ and ‘Vada’. Since my husband grew up in North India, we also prepare sweets like ‘Carrot Halwa’ and ‘Suji Ka Halwa’,” she adds.

For the Maharashtrians, it is ‘Gudi Padwa’ today and they prepare some specific culinary items. Anjali Desai, a homemaker, says, “We make ‘Poori’ or what we traditionally call the ‘Puran Poli’. It takes a lot of time to make but it is worth all the effort,” she says. She adds that her favourite is the ‘Shrikhand’.

“Though this is commercially available in the market, ‘Shrikhand’ tastes very different when made from pure ‘Chakka’ (hung curd) at home. I love the ‘kesar elaichi’ version of it,” she adds.

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