Ugadi is a very prominent and popular festival celebrated in the southern states of India. States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana celebrate this festival with full glory. The festival marks the beginning of a New Year according to the Hindu Lunar calendar, which usually falls in the months of March or April. It is considered a very auspicious day to begin new ventures, projects, investments, and anything new. It is widely believed that starting something new on this day brings success and prosperity.
SPECIALITY OF UGADI:
Ugadi has a substantial cultural significance in South India. It marks the day when Lord Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, started creating the world. It is also believed that Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, took his first incarnation on this day as Matsya. In order to mark the speciality of this new beginning, people decorate their homes with mango leaves and marigold flowers. Beautiful and colorful rangolis are also made at the entrance of the houses to welcome the new year. On this special day, people wear new clothes and jewelry and visit the temples to seek blessings for a prosperous year ahead.
The speciality of the Ugadi festival lies in its significance, customs and rituals associated with it. It is celebrated with high spirits in southern Indian states such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. The families begin this festival with a custom called Panchanga Sravanam, where all the members of the family gather to listen to the predictions and forecasts of the upcoming year. These predictions are made by priests and holy men based on the calculations of the planetary positions. They believe that the positions of the planets indicate the prospects of good or bad times that lie ahead.
TRY THESE TRADITIONAL RECIPES FOR UGADI:
Ugadi is a favourite festival for people of all age groups, as many special dishes are prepared to mark the occasion. Although the preparation styles and the ingredients may vary from one state to another, the recipes remain the same. Below mentioned are some of the top recipes that are prepared and relished in all the states.
Ugadi pachadi is a very special dish made in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is considered to be a very unique dish as it consists of all six tastes, which include sweet, sour, spicy, salty, bitter, and tangy. This mixture symbolises the different experiences of life. The dish is prepared with ingredients like raw mango, jaggery, tamarind, green chillies, and neem leaves. The chopped mangoes and green chillies are blended well with the mixture of jaggery, tamarind water, and neem leaves or flowers.
Holige is a very popular dish prepared mainly in the state of Karnataka during the Ugadi festival. Although other states also prepare the same, it is a prominent festive dish in the state of Karnataka. Holige or obbattu is a sweet flatbread stuffed with grated coconut, jaggery, and chana dal. Blend the stuffing into a smooth paste and stuff it into the dough ball. Roast the holige with a spoon of ghee to enjoy a perfect blend. Holige or obbattu can stay for a week or more when refrigerated.
PULIYOGARE / PULIODHARAI
Puliyogare is a tangy and spicy South Indian rice variety that you can relish any time of the day. Most of the households also make this rice on a regular basis as a breakfast. It is also one of the main dishes prepared during the Ugadi festival. As it blends in well with other dishes, it is a must have on the day of the festival. The main ingredients to make puliyogare include rice, gingelly oil, tamarind paste, jaggery, peanuts, moong dal, salt, and water. The preparation of puliyogare is quite simple and straightforward. Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and red chillies. Later, add tamarind extract, salt, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Add enough water to the mixture to make it thin, and boil for 20 minutes. Once the volume has been reduced, add jaggery and the spice powder. When the mixture starts to thicken, turn off the stove and add the roasted peanuts and boiled rice.
GASAGASE PAYASA / KHUS KHUS PAYASAM
A very popular and easy-to-make dessert from Karnataka, gasagase or khus khus payasa, is a must-have for the Ugadi festival. This simple payasam type can be prepared within 15 minutes. The dish is made using poppy seeds, which are rich in nutrition and calories. Poppy seeds, almonds, grated coconut, ghee, cashews, cardamom, jaggery, and milk are the main ingredients in this payasam.Poppy seeds and almonds are added to a pan heated with ghee. Once the mixture is roasted, move it to a mixture and grind it thoroughly. Pour jaggery syrup into the mixture and boil it for 3–4 minutes on low flame. Once the mixture is thickened, add the roasted cashews and cardamom and mix it well. Switch off the flame and enjoy the payasam warm or chilled.