Meal matters

'Ugadi' specialities

Meal matters

The family that eats together stays together’, and the different festivals that we celebrate not just bring families but people from different walks of life under a common interest — food. What could be a better time to have a meal with your loved ones than on the first day of a new year?

It’s ‘Ugadi’, one of those festivals when a variety of traditional food is laid out on the table. Gauravi Vinay, a health food blogger says that though ‘Obbattu’ is the main item on this day, lemon rice made with raw mango is a favourite in her family.

“‘Hesarubele southekayi kosambri’, ‘Mavinakayi chitranna’ and ‘Obbattu saru’ are some of the  favoured ‘Ugadi’ dishes. I also make ‘palya’ and at least one fried item, either ‘bhajji’ or ‘bonda’. On this day, it is mandatory to have vegetarian food. The food is served on the banana leaf as a greeting for the traditional celebration,” says Gauravi.

The experience of having the meal on the banana leaf is exciting for kids in the house. She points out that ‘Raw mango chutney’ is another item that she has prepared. Sweets like ‘payasam’ are also an important part of ‘Ugadi’.

A day after ‘Ugadi’, all the fried food is consumed.  Vibhava Vishwanath, who
is from Shimoga and is a software engineer says, “As a child, I was very fond of the Bengal gram and jaggery preparation with neem leaves which we used to have with coconut pieces. And it still remains one of my favourite ‘Ugadi’ dishes.”

He adds, ‘Pulao’ and ‘palya’ are the other food items that we make during this festival.”
Rekha Raghunandan, a chocolatier and a food enthusiast, says, “‘Ugadi pachadi’, which is a combination of raw mangoes, neem leaves and a dash of jaggery, is a must have on this day. This is an essential recipe which implies that life is a mix of sweet, bitter and sour experiences — just like the ‘pachadi’.”

Mango rice, she says, is another important item in the ‘Ugadi’ menu. Since it is the beginning of the mango season, it is an important ingredient of the cuisine. “Mango rice is a must for breakfast on the day of the festival. This is followed by a sprout salad for lunch. There is also a special spicy ‘papadum’ that is made with the leftover batter of the ‘holige’.

A mix of rice flour, green chillies, grated mango and coriander is used to make the ‘papadum’. Homemade ‘besan laddoo’ made of green gram ‘dal’ is also important,” says Rekha.
Being in a joint family of eight people, she says, festivals are a great way relish the
traditional dishes.

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