Visakhapatnam: Come Ugadi, mangoes will be in their final glory. This year, Ugadi falls on March 22. The festival is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
Ugadi means the beginning of a new age. Yuga means 'age' and Adi means 'beginning' in Sanskrit. Also called Chandramana Ugadi, it marks the beginning of the new year according to the Hindu lunar calendar. The festival also signals the onset of summer.
Who celebrates Ugadi:
This festival is celebrated in India, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. It is a time for new beginnings with people cleaning and decorating their homes, wearing new clothes, and preparing special dishes. Families and friends come together to exchange greetings, sweets, and gifts.
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, 'Ugadi' is celebrated enthusiastically. Considered a major festival, it is known as 'Yugadi. Konkani and Marathi communities call it 'Gudi Padwa'. Another important aspect is that the Panchanga (Hindu almanac) is read to the family.
What’s special about Ugadi Pachadi:
Pachadi is endemic to Ugadi. Everyone eats it at the festival. It is a mixture of six tastes called Shadruchulu.
This drink is blended with six different tastes—sweet, sour, salty, astringent, spicy, and bitter. It is believed that these six tastes signify six emotions that we all go through in life. During the olden days, it is also believed that the first taste of Ugadi pachadi gives signs of time to come.
-Sweet jaggery for happiness
-Astringent raw mango for a surprise
-Bitter neem flowers for sadness
-Sour tamarind for disgust
-Salt for fear
-Spicy pepper for anger
While Ugadi Pachadi is prepared in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka, the Maharashtra state has a separate dish called 'Shrikhand Puri', which consists of a sweet yogurt-based preparation served with deep-fried flatbreads.
Raw mango - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Tamarind paste - 1 tbsp
Neem flowers - 1 tbsp
Chopped banana - 1/2 cup
Chopped coconut - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups
Green chili- 1
Pinch of salt
1. Soak the tamarind in half a cup of water for an hour, then squeeze the pulp.
2. Peel and chop the raw mango into small pieces
3. In a bowl, add the tamarind pulp extract, chopped raw mango, jaggery, tamarind neem flowers, chopped banana, chopped coconu, and a pinch of salt.
4. Add water to the mixture and mix well.
5. Keep the mixture aside for some time to meld together the flavors.
6. Serve the Ugadi Pachadi
Note: The quantities of the ingredients can be adjusted according to taste preferences.
In Maharashtrian communities, using the Gudi is compulsory. Gudi is a stick enveloped with a cloth that contains sugar, precious stones, neem leaves, mango twigs, and a wreath of red or marigold blossoms. Gudi is covered by an inverted copper or a silver pot. These are hoisted on the gate entrance, balcony, and windows.
The communities believe that Ram was coronated in Ayodhya, Shivaji Maharaj won over the Mughals, and Brahma began his creation on the day of Gudi Padwa. Maharastrians, to commemorate these happy events, install Gudi in their homes and celebrate Gudi Padwa.
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of saffron
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup water
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
To make Shrikhand, hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth for 4-5 hours to remove excess water.
Transfer the thickened yogurt to a bowl and add powdered sugar, cardamom powder, and saffron. Mix well and keep aside.
To make Puri, mix wheat flour, water, and salt in a bowl to form a smooth dough. Knead for 5 minutes and then let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
Divide the dough into small balls and roll them out into thin discs.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the discs until they puff up and turn golden brown.
Serve the Shrikhand with the Puri.
Note: You can also add chopped fruits, nuts, or spices to the Shrikhand to enhance its flavor.