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Happy Ugadi!

To all of you celebrating Ugadi today on March 20, 2007, my heartiest wishes. This year, for the very first time, we are celebrating the festival too. S is Telugu and though I try my best to do a fair 50-50 of our customs for P, it is rather difficult to follow S's family customs and traditions when we live miles and miles away from them for me to learn anything. The only Telugu festival I've ever been there for has been Varalakshmi pooja and I don't do that by myself here as it involves a complicated procedure to 'split' the proceedings from the MIL and I don't think I would be able to take a day off from work to do the needful. Plus, doing that all by myself, with no mates around to partake kind of takes the fun off the pooja. So I just say a special 'hello' to umachi that day.

This year though, thanks to folks like Indira of Mahanandi, I am learning more about Andhra culture than I ever learnt from the in-laws. After the initial query of Would you be able to do the neem pachadi and my resultant Eh? Wat? , the MIL sort of washed her hands off me! But thanks to the power of blogosphere and Indira's lovely recipes and explanations, I am going to try and do my bit towards Ugadi this year.

Luckily, I bought couple of raw mangoes the last time I went to East Ham and can do justice to the mango dal and mango rice. The recipes are Indira's so visit her website to pay homage to her. The pictures (when I eventualluy put them up!) are from my baby attempts. I shall post a codicil in the evening if S collapses after eating my attempts!

As I just made a monstrous vessel full of akkara adisal last week for Karadaiyan Nombu, I am going to give the dessert a miss and just go with these two dishes.

First, Indira's recipe for Mango dal, with some tweaking and adjustments from my end.

Stuff you need are as follows:

1 green mango
1 medium sized red onion - sliced into big chunks
1 cup toor dal
4 green chillies, deseeded and sliced
a pinch of turmeric
salt to taste

1 tsp oil
1 tsp of each - mustard seeds, cumin, urad dal, chana dal
2 dried red chilli pieces and curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida

Once you've got these afore-mentioned items, pat yourself on the back and proceed as follows:

1. Wash green mango, dry it and cut into small chunks. Leave the skin on the mango as that generally leaves a punchy taste.
2. Take the toor dal, mango, onion, green chillies and turmeric in a pressure cooker. Add two cups of water and cook till the dal is cooked thoroughly.
3. Open the cooker once you can, add salt and mash the dal completely till it bears no resemblance to its original form.
4. In a mini kadai, heat some oil and add the tadka ingredients and let them splutter. I normally just bung the lot in it and hope for the best. But Indira actually suggested that one drops them in the fat in the order of dried red chilli pieces, chana dal, then urad dal, followed by curry leaves and as a grand finale, the jeera and mustard seeds. Makes sense, I suppose! In addition to her ingredients, I added a pinch of asafoetida.
5. Next step, add the tadka to the mashed gloop, mix well, adjust salt and serve hot with rice and vadaam.

I learnt from my mum that this is made in tambram households as well. She said in our house, green chillies are used instead of chilli powder and I diligently followed suit to excellent results.

Now for the mango flavoured rice she calls Mamadikaya Pulihara. (Jeez! At this rate, I might even pick up a few telugu words and impress the I-Ls!)

Gather around these:

1 cup Ponni raw rice
1 cup grated green mango
3-4 green chillies, deseeded and slit
¼ cup of cashews and peanuts combined (optional - gives a crunch)
1 tablespoon of chana dal
1 teaspoon of each - cumin and mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
2 small pieces of dried red chilli
a pinch of turmeric and of asafoetida
Salt to taste


Peel the skin and grate the raw mango.
Cook the rice to a udiri consistency, so that it doesn't get too sticky. General rule of thumb for mixed rice dishes is 1:2 cups water plus 1/2 cup kosuru (கொசுறு). Once the rice is cooked, spread it out on a clean thin cotton towel or a big plate so that it becomes a bit more loose and dry.
In a saute pan, heat oil and saute the ingredients one by one till they turn golden. This is to ensure they each get cooked properly. Lastly, mix them up, along with some turmeric and asafoetida.
Now, add the grated mango to the pan. Stir to mix with other toasted contents in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, making sure the pan doesn't get too hot or smokey and take off the heat.
Add the dry rice to the pan and mix all the ingredients well, checking the salt levels.
Serve hot.

Posted by DesiGirl 07:23  


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