UGADI is a combination of two words “Yug” and “Adi” which means the beginning of an era. It is celebrated as new year in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. It is known as Gudi padwa in Maharashtra. In this year Ugadi, the whole world is in panic and doing everything to fight against COVID -19. Whole India, as well as many other countries, are in lockdown It is very difficult to keep up festive spirit during such hard times. Sun goes up and Sun goes down but life goes on. We cannot visit temples, go shopping or celebrate with near and dear ones, but we can do our prayers from home for the well being of the whole world. Ugadi is incomplete without Ugadi Pachadi. This can be made with easily available ingredients found in every Indian Household. Let us see in detail about the nutritional importance of Ugadi Pachadi
Spiritual Significance Of Ugadi
As per Indian Calendar Spring (Chaitra) is the first month of the new year. We can see the shift in the weather. Everything around us comes back to life after a long winter chill. The warmth in the atmosphere makes the earth full of life. You can see new leaves and shoot on the plants and listen to birds chirping happily. Due to global warming, we are experiencing temperatures rise little early than on Ugadi. It is believed that Brahma created life on Earth this day and Lord Krishna left his materialistic body to end dwapar yug and start of Kalyug. Ugadi is marked as the first day of Chaitra (Spring) month which brings vibrancy to life and verdant fields, meadows full of colorful blossoms signify growth, prosperity, and well-being.
Let us hope this Corona Virus Pandemic will also fade away with the onset of a new year called Ugadi.
Ugadi Pachadi is a concoction prepared on Ugadi. This has 6 different tastes (shadruchulu) with each taste signifying 6 emotions of life. The different taste of this concoction comes from the unique ingredients used in it, When I say unique it doesn’t mean expensive and exported ingredients but local and affordable. Most of the ingredients are stored in Telugu households for months.
Before explaining the health benefits of Ugadi Pachadi, let us check how it is made.
Every Telugu house will have their recipes. I will share the recipe which we make at our home.
Jaggery (powder/crushed) – 100 grams
Tamarind Pulp – 30 grams
Neem Flower – 2 tablespoon
Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
Green Mango (with peel, chopped) – 3 tablespoon
Saindhava Lavanam/ Rock Salt – a pinch
Green Chillies chopped – 2
Roasted Gram Dal – 2 tablespoons (optional)
Bananas large – 4 (optional)
Coconut – 3 tablespoon (optional)
Water – 1/2 cup.
Sugarcane peeled and Diced – 2 tablespoon(optional)
- Take a steel or glass bowl. Prefer to take a newly bought bowl for Ugadi Pachadi. If you do not want to pile up your vessels in the kitchen then you can buy a clay pot for Ugadi Pachadi. After a few days, you can clean and use for storing water in summers. If you are using new clay pot pour water for two days and discard it. Then it will be ready to use for Ugadi Pachadi. Do not use brass vessels as tamarind may cause corrosion.
- Add the tamarind pulp to the bowl, then add jaggery powder to it. Mix well both of the ingredients. Add a little bit of water to diesel the jaggery completely in the tamarind pulp. Add water according to the consistency you would want your pachadi to be.
- Now add rest of the ingredients mango pieces, salt, chilies, chili powder, neem flower, roasted gram dal, coconut pieces and sugarcane dices (optional).
- Finally, mash bananas in a separate container and then add in the Ugadi pachadi bowl. Bananas bind all the tastes together and make the pachadi more creamy, delicious and tasty.
- Let the pachadi sit for 20 minutes before offering to the god. After offering to god it can be distributed among family members.
- Recite this shloka before partaking Ugadi Pachadi
“Shathaayur Vajra dehaya sarvasampath Karaayacha
Sarvarishtha Vinaashaya Nimbakadala Bhakshanam”
Meaning: Attain a healthy body, gain wealth, destroy negativity and consume the Neem Leaves.
Health Benefits of the ingredients
- Natural Sweetener
- Prevents Anemia
- Aids in Digestion and Prevents Constipation.
- Helps in detoxification of Liver. (1) (2) (3) (4)
- Good source of Minerals especially Magnesium which helps to maintain blood pressure.
- Anti Inflammatory
- Anti Diabetic
- Rich in Flavonoids which regulate cholesterol levels.
- Anti Viral and Anti Septic properties. (5) (6)
3. Neem Flower
- Control Diabetes
- Increase Blood Circulation
- Detoxifying agent.
- Treats Acne.
- Oral health Benefits. (7) (8) (9) (10)
4. Green Chillies
- Boosts Immunity.
- Rich in Antioxidants.
- Soothing effect on the respiratory system (11) (12)
5. Rock Salt
- Source of Sodium
- Prevents loss of water.
- Balance ions and regulates fluid.
- Improves Dental Health
- Proper Brain Function. (13) (14) (15)
6. Green Mangoes
- Prevents dehydration.
- It helps in morning sickness and nausea.
- Promote heart, liver and Intestine health.
- Treats Scurvy. (16) (17) (18)
Apart from these 6 main ingredients Banana, roasted chana dal, coconut, and sugarcane do have their health benefits. These are optional to bring crunch and creaminess to the Pachadi.
Significance Of Ugadi Pachadi
This Ugadi Pachadi is an excellent Palate Cleanser and Palate stimulator. The 6 tastes mixed stimulate the nerves present in the tongue. Consume this Pachadi in moderation, 2 tablespoon is safe to be consumed. You can make this Concoction weekly once or twice until neem flowers and raw mangoes are in season. Indian festivals always align with nature and the festival foods are always made with seasonal vegetables, fruits, grains, and pulses. Neem flowers, young raw mangoes, Fresh Jaggery, Fresh Tamarind are available from mid-March – April.
Ugadi Pachadi tells us how our life is a mix of happiness, sadness, surprise, shock, Fear, and Anger. Life is incomplete without these emotions. Whatever the situation comes we should face it with grace and calm.No emotion is permanent but it is always in our hands to dominate the happiness over all of the emotions. That’s why we add more Jaggery to dominate other flavors because we look for more happiness.
Similarly, our diet is incomplete without all the 6 flavors. We should include all variety of natural food which have Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Tangy, Saltiness and Hot flavors in our regular diet to keep a balance in our body and equanimity in our mind. Always remember moderation is the key to a healthy life. Do not overindulge yourself in one or two flavors in excess. Try to develop taste for all kinds of flavors.
Bhagvad Geetha Verse – ” Sukha Dukhe Samekruthva,
Labha Labhav Jayaa Jayaav“
Meaning – Sadness or Happiness; Gain or loss; win or lose; all aspects of life should be treated equally.
Health Benefits of Ugadi Pachadi
The ingredients in Ugadi Pachadi makes it a healthy concoction. Next time serve this as a shot or welcome drink to your guests. This has numerous health benefits :
- Anti Bacterial
- Anti Fungal
- Cleanser and Detoxifier
- Anti Inflammatory.
- Boosts Immunity.
The Festival of Ugadi signifies the beginning of a new era. Ugadi Pachadi is the essential festival food on Ugadi which signifies life is a mix of all kinds of emotions. We should be able to take happiness and sadness with equal grace and fight against all our fears and anger. The ingredients in Ugadi pachadi are immensely nutritious and help us to stay healthy throughout the summer.
In these current stressful times due to Corona Virus, one way of staying positive is to spending quality time with the family. To keep up the spirit make the Ugadi Pachadi with whatever ingredients you have at home. Please follow social distancing and respiratory hygiene. Try to reduce kitchen wastage and go minimalistic living in this lockdown. Have trust in our mother nature and accept the process. I wish we will be back on track soon. Happy and Healthy Ugadi!!
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu NiraamayaahII
May everyone be at peace, may no one suffer from illness.