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Ugadi pachadi with a twist!

Upasana Kamineni Konidela

Wellbeing Curator

5 min read

Based on the Hindu calendar, Ugadi is celebrated to mark the beginning of the year in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This auspicious day which is New Year’s Day is also celebrated in some other states as well. The word Ugadi implies beginning of a period. It comes from the Sanskrit words yuga and adi, meaning ‘era’ and ‘beginning.’

Ugadi pachadi is one of the most important recipes of this festival. It is presented to the deities to invoke their blessings for the year ahead. It contains six ingredients that showcase six different flavors of life ranging from bitterness, sweetness, sadness, surprise, anger and fear.

The pachadi conveys that the six flavors or phases of life should be balanced in order to live a full and comprehensive life. The pachadi signifies that life should be accepted wholeheartedly with all its facets – if life were to have just one flavor, it would be monotonous and uninteresting! For this reason, all six ingredients have six different tastes.

Traditionally, the pachadi drink is fortified with nuts and seeds to make it more enticing, interesting and delightful!

The Ugadi pachadi offers many health benefits and is the first thing one has during the festival after it is offered to the Gods.

Traditional Ugadi Pachadi: The Significance
  • Jaggery (sweet): signifies happiness. This taste represents the happy moments of life which should be considered a blessing.
  • Salt (salty): Displays fascination in life. Without the ingredient of salt life would be distasteful. The ‘salty’ situations are essential to make our lives interesting.
  • Tamarind (sour): This ingredient signifies challenges in life. It stands for the ‘sour’ times of life which along with other ‘flavors of life’ make life worth living!
  • Neem flowers (bitter): Demonstrates the difficulties of life. Bitter moments are also an integral aspect of life that should be accepted.
  • Raw mango (tangy): Stands for surprises and new challenges one may face in life. Mango suggests the surprise element in our lives and that we should always be geared up to face such situations.
  • Chilli powder (spicy): Indicates the anger we have within us.

Raw mango is loaded with pectin. The steamed pulp of raw mango can be juiced with jaggery, rock salt and cumin (jeera) and served chilled to offer relief against heatstroke and exhaustion.

The making of Ugadi Pachadi

Firstly, the tamarind pulp is made by soaking it in water for a few minutes. The other ingredients are then added to the tamarind pulp. There are no set proportions for making this drink and you can always add all the six ingredients according to your preference and taste. The traditional pachadi drink can even be given a modern twist by adding other ingredients like coconut milk while still keeping all the traditional ingredients intact, and all of the six tastes present.

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Instructions: Traditional Ugadi Pachadi
  • Wash and soak the tamarind for around 30 minutes. Grind the tamarind and add water followed by filtering it to extract the pulp. Ensure it is watery and diluted. Thick pulp will be too sour and will need more jaggery.
  • Add in some jaggery and stir properly until it completely dissolves.
  • Add the salt, grated raw mango or mango pulp, red chilli powder, neem flower and roasted chickpea flour to thicken the tamarind juice (optional)
  • Add in nuts and seeds like almonds and cashews (optional).
  • For the Ugadhi Pachadi with a twist – at this stage, add in coconut milk, water and ice cubes and shake all the ingredients well!
  • Garnish with chilli powder and grated mango
Health Benefits of Ugadi Pachadi

The presence of flavonoids and polyphenol antioxidants in mango provide a variety of health benefits. Mango is a potent source of fibre and iron, vitamins A, C, E and K. This fruit contains significant amounts of phosphorus, manganese and potassium too.

Mango offers a powerful combination of vitamin A and flavonoids. The flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin make it essential for good vision. Eating mango regularly helps to prevent eye related disorders like refractive errors, itching, burning, dry eyes, and cornea softening.

The fibre found in mango aids in digestion, regulates bowel movement and keeps constipation at bay. Mango contains digestive enzymes that help relieve acidity and break down proteins, which help in the digestion process. With a low glycemic index of between 41 and 60 mango can even help decrease complications linked with diabetes.

Raw mango is loaded with pectin. The steamed pulp of raw mango can be juiced with jaggery, rock salt and cumin (jeera) and served chilled to offer relief against heat stroke and exhaustion. Research suggests that the polyphenol antioxidant compounds in mango acts as protection against breast and colon cancers as well. It is also rich in carotenes that are known to protect the body from lung and oral cancers.

Coconut milk health benefits:

A common ingredient in south Indian cuisine, coconut milk is also a good vegan ingredient to add to your Ugadi Pachadi. It is an organically farmed fresh produce that is free of GMO (genetically modified organism) or any other chemicals like pesticides. Here are some of the other health benefits of using this ingredient:

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Good source of antioxidants
  • Helps balance electrolytes
  • Makes the immune system strong

Experience the different flavors of life with Ugadi Pachadi and wish U all a healthy and prosperous year ahead!