Happy Ugadi to all my friends celebrating Ugadi today. Ugadi is the start of new year for people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka 🙂 Ugadi is the time for new beginnings, new hopes and happiness. On this auspicious day, I have been busy preparing our house for Ugadi celebrations. The house entrance is painted with a colorful Muggu (rangoli) and every door frame, has fresh mango leaves – commemorating the start of spring! The very first thing that got made today was the Ugadi Pachadi (chutney). Ugadi Pachadi, though very simple carries quite a strong message. It is a mix of all six different tastes – sweet, salt, pungent, sour, bitter and spice. These six flavor combinations are called Shadhruchilu ( six Ruchi/tastes) depicting the different faucets of life. Just as the Ugadi Pachadi is a mix of different flavors, life is full of ups and downs. With just one flavor, food/life gets boring and on the day of Ugadi, we start the day with this Pachadi to appreciate this fact.
Ugadi Pachadi is traditionally prepared with Jaggery (for sweetness called Teepi), Fresh Tamarind (for sourness called Pulupu), Neem Flowers (for bitterness called Chedu), a pinch of salt (for saltiness called Uppu), a pinch of chilli powder (for Spiciness called Karam) and Raw Mango with its skin (for Pungency called Vagaru). At our home, my Amma adds banana slices and has always skipped chilli powder. When we were kids, we used to find the banana pieces always and particularly tried to avoid the bitter neem flowers 😀 Now, we appreciate everything in this Pachadi for the goodness as well as the message it carries.
To make Ugadi Pachadi
What I used –
- Raw Mango, 1 small (even better if the stony seed has not formed)
- Banana, 1 medium
- Jaggery Powdered, ¼th cup
- Tamarind Pulp, 2 tsp
- Neem Flowers, 2 tsp
- Salt, a pinch
- Red Chilli Powder, a pinch (optional)
- Water, as required
How I made –
1. In a bowl, add powdered jaggery, tamarind pulp, neem flowers (without the stems), salt and chilli powder. Add few tbsp. of water and make a thick syrup. Add cut slices of banana (in thin roundels), finely chopped mango pieces (along with skin). Mix well.
2. Serve immediately in individual bowls!
- Banana is optional but that has been one of the ingredients that I always loved in the Ugadi Pachadi.
- Additionally, sugar cane pieces and Kalkandu(sugar candy diamonds) can be added. Adjust Jaggery quantity accordingly.
- Red Chilli Powder is optional. We never added it to the Pachadi at our home.
- Remove any stems from the neem flowers and add only the flower part.
- The raw mango has to be added along with the skin and as per my Amma, Mango with no stony seed would be perfect for the pungent taste.
- Using new tamarind results in good golden colored syrup whereas old Tamarind gets a dark colored syrup.