Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ugadi Celebrations and A Beautiful Evening


SIGNIFICANCE:
It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day - Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day. Ugadi name has been changed from Yuga Aadi(Yuga + Aadi means "Beginning of New age").Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures. And they will take Jaggery and Neem leaves because Jaggery represents joy and happiness and Neem leaves represents sorrow. Also the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya's calculations proclaimed the Ugadi day from the sunrise on as the beginning of the new year, new month and new day. The onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants (barren until now) acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. Spring is considered the first season of the year hence also heralding a new year and a new beginning. The vibrancy of life and verdent fields, meadows full of colorful blossoms signifies growth, prosperity and well-being. With the coming of Ugadi, the naturally perfumed jasmines (mogra) spread a sweet fragrance which is perhaps unmatched by any other in nature's own creation! While large garlands of jasmine are offered to Gods in homes and temples, jasmine flowers woven in clusters adorn the braids of women. Ugadi is thus a festival of many shades. It ushers in the new year, brings a rich bounce of flora and fills the hearts of people with joy and contentment!
PREDICTIONS FOR THE YEAR
Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. It is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions made for the new year. Traditionally, the panchangasravanam or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square.
Ugadi is celebrated with festive fervor in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While it is called Ugadi in A.P. and Karnataka, in Maharashtra it is known as "Gudipadava".
It was my first Ugadi after marriage. Since so many years I celebrated Ugadi at mom’s place, even this year v had to celebrate it there as it was Nave Parab(New Festival). But as I was here I celebrated it with my luvly Hubby. Nave Parab means the girl and her husband visit the girl’s house there her parents welcome both and show Aarti, give gifts to both, and serve delicious food overall they get a royal treatment.
At 6.30 AM struck the alarm & I got up lazily (here I m not used to get up early on weekend). As it was a new year I wanted to start my day early. We had a tea feeling the fresh air in the gardens and then came bac home and I cleaned our house & then I came fresh after a hot shower. We ate neem and jaggery after our prayers. For our breakfast I just had vermicelli upma. Then I started with the lunch preparations. Once I finished all the preparations we offered the food to god and then had a good lunch on plantain leaf. I must say a heavy coconut milk sweet not only fills ur tummy but makes u feel dozy. So had a small nap. Evening Outside the window was the hiding sun. A romantic evening.
Just above i spoke about the royal treament and we got it online V just missed the lunch there but my mom showed us the Aarti when we ver online in skype and we got loads of blessings for our coming years. There cud never be a best gift than this.
The beautiful evening went on by going to trendz to buy clothes (there was 90 % off), but who knew the shop itself was 90% off nothing in store. What wud v buy there when nothing’s there so we came out nd decide to move elsewhere and ver waiting for a taxi and then we got one where the driver spoke so well about many things may be about marriage, shopping, about Pakistan or the biryani they get there. He was so happy seeing us together. We were actually planning to go some mall near by. But he told my hubby y don’t u take ur wife to some other mall vch is very good one. Then we traveled all the way to Red Sea Mall. After shopping back home and the whole day went happily.
PREPARING FOR THE OCCASION
Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are given a thorough wash. Shopping for new clothes and buying other items that go with the requirements of the festival are done with a lot of excitement. We Amchi's prepare Ambe upkari, kosambari, chane ghashi varities of Podi(fries), Bibbe Upkari( tender cashew upkari), daali toy. We never get tender cashews here and i nvr prprd daali toy as i had ghashi.
Kele Podi & Surna Podi:
Kele as we call it in Konkani and in English we say banana. For this we use the Indian Banana which is orangish in color. In Konkani we call this as Nendra bale kele. This bananas are famous in Kerala. It can just be steamed and can be eaten for breakfast, it tastes yummmmmmm.
We need :
1 big Banana
Coconut oil for frying
Salt to taste
Rice flour for coating
Peel the banana and cut into 3” piece and then slice them half again. Marinate these with salt to taste for leave it for an hour. Coat these with rice flour. Heat oil and fry the coated banana till they are soft.
Surna Podi:
Surnu in Konkani, Elephant Yam in English, Senai kilangu in Tamil, whatever u call it & however u cook it its just delicious.
We need:
Surnu peeled and sliced – 15 -20
Rice – 1 cup (soaked in water for 2 hrs)
Red chilly – 7-8
Salt to taste
Method:
Grind the soaked rice with red chilies into thick and fine paste (add as much less water as possible). Apply this paste to the surans and make sure to cover it all over, and keep it for half n hour. Then fry in hot oil and remove when crisp.
Chane ghashi with Kadgi:
Here’s what we need-
Brown chickpeas (chano): ½ cup (soaked overnight)
Raw jackfruit cubed -1 cup ( I usd canned ones as here v never get fresh ones)
Red chilies -5
Rice -2tsp
Fresh coconut scraped– 1 cup
Mustard seeds -2tsp
Tamarind – a small piece
Curry leaves – 8-10
Oil -2tsp (½ tsp for frying nd 1.5 tsp for seasoning)
Method:
Cook channa in cooker and get 5 whistles. In a vessel add cubed jackfruits in enough water nd boil for 5 minutes( as it is cand no need to boil for long). Then add channa, salt and keep it on sim. Fry the rice in ½ tsp oil. Fro the gravy- grind coconut fried chilies & tamarind, when done coarsely add fried rice and grind into a fine paste. ( we add rice for the gravy to thicken) Add this gravy to the channa nd boil until bubbles. For seasoning- heat oil add mustard seeds when splatters add curry leaves & season it on ghashi. Remove ghashi from flame .
P.S: during fasts instead of rice u can add semolina rawa, but without fryng or grinding.
This goes well with white rice or boiled rice, and chapathis too.
Ambe upkari:
Mango is our family favorite I can say. It was since years my hubby ate this he said. As it was Ugadi spl I prepared it. As I had prprd only for 2 I used only two mangoes.
We need:
Ripe mangoes – 2 ( no need of the best Qlty ones)
Maida( all purpose flour)- 1 tbsp
Jaggery – ½ cup
Green chilly – 1
Red chilly-1
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Mustard seed -1tsp
Curry leaves -6-7
Salt to taste
Method:
Peel mangoes and transfer in the vessel in vch u r going to prepare upkari. Do not throw the skin instead remove it in a bowl add water and squeeze ot the juice. Add this juice to the mangoes. Add jaggery, salt, slit green chilly and keep on flame for it to boil. When the mango turns pulpy add the maida paste (mix maida in water to a fine paste) stirring continuously without allowing it to form lumps. Heat oil add urad dal, mustard seeds and once they splatter add curry leaves and cut red chilly. Season this on upkari and remove from flame.

Ras Vado:
This is eaten with any kind og coconut milk sweet. I was not to prepare this but Mayi(MIL) told just prepare it for custom.
We need:
Rice flour – 5 tbsp
Coconut milk powder- 2tbsp( can use coconut milk instead of powder)
Salt to taste
Jeera – 1tsp (which I forgot)
Oil for frying
Method:
Mix rice flour, coconut milk powder, jeera, salt to taste with water into a thick dough.
Make 3-4 balls, oil ur hands and flatten these on banana leaves or plastic sheet.
Remove one by one and fry in oil until crisp.

Madgane (Channa Dal sweet with coconut milk):
Channa Dal – 1 cup
Coconut Milk -1cup
Jaggery – as per ur taste
Cardamom powder- 1 tsp
Cashew nuts- 10 cut into small pieces
Rice flour – 1 tsp( make it into paste by adding little water)
Ghee – 1tsp
Method:
Boil channa dal until soft. I put these in cooker nd tool 3 whistles.
Add water in coconut milk powder to thick milk consistency.
Transfer the channa dal in a vessel add coconut milk, jaggery and boil for 10 minutes.
Then add rice flour paste and mix this in the godshe(sweet), add cardamom powder and boil it till it bubbles.
Remove from flame.
Heat ghee add cashews and fry. Add these cashews in godshe.
This ends with my preparations for Ugadi & we enjoyed the food on banana leaf and had a feeling as if v ver in Mangalore.
A Beautiful and Romantic view when the Sun is about to hide.


I m Sending this to Laxmi’s RCI Event hosted by Sia Of Monsoon Spice RCI-Udupi and Mangalore . Kodial/ Kudla/MangaloreRocks!!!!
RCI-Udupi & Mangalore
Signing of for now
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