03/23/2012: Happy Ugadi! - Ugadi is the start of New Year per Telugu Calendar. This day also is a new year for folks from Karnataka and Maharashtra. Whatever the region this festival heralds the dawn of Spring Season or Vasantha Ritu as we call the season locally. The significant tradition for this festival is to start the year tasting a unique flavored Chutney called as "Ugadi Pachadi". It has a mixture of flavors with sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, spicy and salt (Six Tastes or Shadhruchulu as they are called) just like the myriad facets of life one faces as the year proceeds. There are other delicacies enjoyed for this festival as well, yet this is Pachadi is the special preparation the takes the top.
1 cup of raw fresh mango cleaned, dried, finely chopped along with skin
1 tbsp margosa flowers (neem tree flowers) - I used Bitter Gourd pieces soaked in water and used that water instead since I could not find neem flowers here in US.
1 cup grated jaggery
1 tbsp fresh finely chopped coconut pieces
3 -4 tbsp tamarind juice
red chilli pwd (according to your choice)
salt to taste
Mix all the above ingredients to form a sauce like appearence. You can also add small pieces of sugarcane, pieces of ripe banana, putanaala pappu (roasted channa dal) along with the above ingredients. Ugadi Pachadi is ready to be served first as an offering to God and then to everyone and anyone that walks into your home that day.