Ugadi Pachadi|Six Flavors of Life
Telugu New Year-Ugadi
This Ugadi Pachadi|Six Flavors of Life is a very interesting metaphor relating to a Pachadi or Chutney and about the various flavours of life. Ugadi is the Telugu New Year and we are celebrating it today by eating the special Ugadi Pachadi or Chutney.
Ugadi is celebrated on ShuklaPaksha (bright fortnight) of the first month Chaitra of the Hindu calendar and heralds the first season, Vasanta-Ritu or spring). All these elements work together and make the Ugadi festival very significant. New Year means a fresh start and by partaking the Pachadi with six flavors, we accept that even life should be accepted with all the ups and downs and highs and lows.
Mango Leaf Toran
The first thing I did this morning was adorn the doorway with a Toran I made with fresh mango leaves as they signify prosperity and general well-being. It is very easy to make one; do try it out.
Collecting Fresh Produce
It is fun collecting stuff for the pachadi. While walking back from my yoga class I saw a neem tree in my neighbour’s house which was laden with delicate, pretty white margosa blossoms. I knew where I could get my blossoms for the pachadi. Then I glanced into my cousin’s back yard and it was weighed down with tantalising mangoes; I had my mango too for the pachadi now and the mango leaves for the Toran.
Panchanga Sravanam or Indian Calendar
Another significant event on this day is reading out the Panchanga Sravanam. It is a custom of predicting what future has in store for all the members of the family for the coming year. A pundit or priest is summoned and he prepares the yearly forecast for each family member on the Ugadi day.
Ugadi Pachadi|Six Ingredients
Coming back to the Pachadi, it is a tasty dish made with healthy ingredients. The Pachadi is a blend of six different tastes; sweet, sour, salty, bitter, tangy, and spicy. All of these tastes represent different facets of life.
Jasmine flowers or Mallepoolu
The bright blossoms symbolise evolution and therefore Jasmine, which blooms during this season is offered to Gods in the form of garlands. In this season, you will see most of the ladies too adorning their hair with Mallepoolu or the heady scented jasmine buds. I remember my sisters deftly stringing them with their fingers when we were kids.
New Year with Different Names
We in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and use the term Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, Gudi Padwa. Marwari, people of Rajasthan celebrate the same day as their New Year day Thapna. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand. Manipuris also celebrate their New Year (Sajibu nongma panba) on the same day.
ignificance of Ugadi Pachadi
The significance of Ugadi Pachadi is immense as it symbolises the flavours of life. This special dish is prepared with ingredients like:
- Jaggery (sweet): signifying happiness. The sweet taste symbolizes the blissful moments of life which are a blessing.
- Salt (salty): displaying interest in life. Without salt our life would be tasteless. The salty moments are essential to make our lives exciting.
- Tamarind (sour): representing challenges. It stands for the sour moments of life which along with other flavours make our lives worth living.
- Neem flowers (bitter): illustrates difficulties of life. The bitter taste represents the despondent moments of life. Bitter moments are also a part of life and should be accepted
- Raw mango (tangy): representing surprises and new challenges. Mango signifies the surprise element in our life and that we should always be prepared for it.
- Chilli powder (spicy): signifies or embodies the anger within us.
Significance of Rituals
The dish is noteworthy as it has all the flavours of life. It teaches us that life is a mixture of all the emotions. Each and every ritual followed on this day, has its own significance. Hanging of mango leaves and placing a kalash near the door or the summoning of the priest to make the yearly forecast are all part of Ugadi significance and symbolism.
The simple Pacchadi conveys that these six phases of life have to be balanced to live a comprehensive and full life. Life would be boring if it had only one flavour.
Other ingredients that are used for making this tastier are roasted gram (putnalu
1 cup of raw mango finely chopped
1 tbsp. margosa blooms or tender neem flowers
1 cup grated or pound jaggery
2 tbsp. fresh finely chopped coconut pieces(optional)
4 tbsp. tamarind paste
1 banana chopped finely or roundels
Pinch of red chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. roasted gram
Soak the tamarind in ½ cup warm water for fifteen minutes or till it softens and take out the pulp.
Meanwhile, pluck the tender flowers from neem sprigs.
In the tamarind pulp add a little water.
In a bowl add the jaggery, banana, coconut pieces, mango, roasted gram , salt, chilli powder.
Pour the tamarind extract and blend nicely with fingers preferably or a spoon.
Add the neem flowers at the end and share it with family and friends.
This Ugadi Pachadi is also a healthy low-calorie pachadi and the neem flowers, tamarind, jaggery and raw mangoes contain nutrients that cleanse our system and acts as a prevention of disease).
The myriad flavours of this delicacy tickle the palate and the taste lingers for a long time.
Happy Ugadi and a Happy New Year with new adventures, new accomplishments, and learnings!