Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ugadi Chutney

Ugadi festival is celebrated with lot of fervor in many states of India, today, 11 April. It marks the New Year Day.
This festival is known as Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, whereas it is known as Gudi Padva in Maharashtra and Goa. It marks the harvest season and is popular as Baishakh in Punjab.

One significant dish prepared during this festival is known the Ugadi Pacchadi (chutney) in Telugu and Bevu-Bella in Kannada.

Traditional Ugadi pacchadi
 This chutney comprises of following 6 ingredients:

Neem Buds and/or Flowers for bitterness - signifies Sadness

Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness - represents Happiness

Chilli powder for its hot/pungent taste - symbolizes Anger

Salt for saltiness – characterises Fear

Tamarind juice for its sourness - denotes Disgust

Unripened/Raw Mango for its tang – corresponds to Surprise

All the above six items are are mixed together and is eaten early in the morning on this day.The six components of the special mixture symbolize the different experiences we encounter in life, which should be accepted together through the New Year !

Happy Ugadi, dear readers !!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pesarattu - green dosa....

I recall the mornings when my mother used to make hot Pesarattu’s for breakfast and enjoy savouring the crispy greenish golden hued pancakes !

Pesarattu is breakfast dish popular in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is a made with a batter of moong dal (green gram, which renders it a dark/light green color)
This lentil based pancake (similar to dosa, however smaller, thicker in size and the base ingredient is moong dal instead of urad dal)

Pesarattu (in Telugu) actually means an attu (dosa) made from pesara pappu (full moong dal or green moong dal or green gram).

Homemade (by me) Pesarattu with groundnut dry chutney and gram dal chutney (gun powder !)

Green chillies and ginger are used as variants. Many a times, finely cut onion is spread over the inside portion of this snack. It is served with ginger/groundnut/ coconut/tamarind chutney or sambar. Any other chutneys also go well with it.

Another popular variety is served along with upma (the most popular and simple breakfast dish) known as Upma pesarattu or MLA pesarattu (known so after it was popular in the MLA quarters restaurants in Hyderabad . The other variants include: plain pesarattu, onion pesarattu and ginger pesarattu.

The Pesarattu batter is simple to prepare and does not need fermentation. It is made with the green gram or moong dal, soaked along with some rice (added to render consistency and crispness) for a few hours (6-8 hours) as the main ingredients, combined with some green chillies, ginger pieces, and cumin seeds and blended. These are blended into a batter, a ladle full is poured on a heated pan in the form of dosa. Once cooked, it attains a golden greenish texture.

Pesarattu is very healthy, filling and can be eaten as breakfast or snack !

Nutritional Note: Green gram claims to be a perfect slimming food.