5 special dishes that every North Indian must try this Ugadi

April 8, 2016

Are you a North Indian living in South India? And are you also a foodie by any chance?
If the answer is ‘Yes’ and you haven’t tasted this special cuisine for Ugadi; then this article is a must read.

The advent of spring brings with it the beautiful festival of Ugadi, which marks the beginning of Hindu lunar calendar. From the sweet smelling jasmine and fresh green mangoes to Ugadi Pachadi and Obbattu; I have loved every bit of it as a North Indian staying in Bangalore. Having developed a special love for the cuisine for Ugadi, I couldn’t stop myself from writing about it.

These 5 special dishes for Ugadi are a must try for every North Indian. Do not miss out on this.

1. Ugadi Pachadi –  Ugadi Pachadi (in Telugu) or Bevu-Bella (in Kannada) is a special mixture of jaggery, raw mango pieces , neem flowers, and tamarind. It is the essence of the festival of Ugadi and the reason behind the use of these ingredients is indeed intriguing.

The chutney is a symbolic reminder of the six flavors/experiences of life and prepares you to accept each one of them with equanimity in the coming year.

The sweetness of ‘jaggery’ signifies Joy

The bitterness of ‘neem’ signifies sadness

The sourness of ‘tamarind’ signifies disgust

Fresh green ‘mangoes’ signify surprise

Green ‘chili’ signifies anger

‘Salt’ signifies fear

The tongue tickling taste of this delicacy is definitely not something that you should miss out. Let me also add a cherry to the cake for all the health conscious people out there. This low-calorie chutney not only lingers on your tongue but also contains nutrients which cleanse your system and prevent diseases. Another reason to go for Ugadi Pachadi on this Ugadi.


2. Puliodharai -Puliodharai or tamarind rice is one such delicacy that I relish every time I eat it. It is made up of a magic concoction which includes spices like coriander seeds, chana dal, red chilies and few others that are roasted and ground to a fine powder.

 A blend of this concoction along with tamarind and roasted peanuts give the tamarind rice its distinct and divine taste.


3. Garelu – Garelus are the soft and fluffy vadas prepared with urad dal /black gram dal, raw rice, ginger, chilies, and onion. They are soft from inside and have a crunchy exterior. The hot vadas are served with sambhar or coconut chutney and your Ugadi meal would surely be incomplete without this finger licking food.


4. Semiya Payasam – Semiya payasam prepared with Indian vermicelli , milk, and sugar, is flavored with aromatic cardamom and garnished with cashews and raisins. The mouth-watering payasam with a heavenly aroma is a perfect finishing to your traditional Ugadi meal.

semiya payasam

5. Bobbatlu – Last but not the least, here comes my favorite Puran Poli. It is basically a sweet pancake or golden-yellow chapatti prepared with flour, jaggery, channa dal, cardamom powder, and ghee. The ingredients or method of preparation may vary depending on the region.  It is mostly eaten after lunch or as an evening snack . But for all of you who have a sweet tooth; Puran Poli with hot ghee is a delicacy you will definitely relish.

puran poli

Do try all the cuisines possible and I assure you, Ugadi will be the most awaited festival of the year if you are in South India. Happy Ugadi to one and all!

P.S – This article is a special dedication to all my lovely South Indian friends who made me feel at home throughout my stay in South India.

-By Ruchita Robinson