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- Ugadi Pachadi
Ugadi Pachadi is a special dish made on Ugadi Day. This pachadi has got different tastes and flavors like sweet, spicy, sour, tangy, and bitter. It symbolizes different emotions and phases in life like happiness, anger, sorrow, etc one has to face in the coming years. Background Until I was in India, I never used to take festivals, traditions, and culture so seriously. For me, festivals were to eat delicious food and enjoy the whole day sitting at home or watching special TV programs. It used to be a day of enjoyment. That was because there were elders to do all the poojas and cooking stuff, so we didn’t have many responsibilities. Now it’s all over and here I am trying my best to carry over the traditions and values to another generation and to do it the way my mother and grandmother had done. I think we all wouldn’t have given so much importance to festivals and traditions if we were in our land. It’s the distance, which has brought about the difference in me and most of us. I have never seen so many crowds at the temples in India during festivals like I see here. It's only when we get away from where we were (India), we start realizing what we miss. Ugadi is celebrated as New Year in Andhra and Karnataka. In Maharashtra, it’s celebrated as Gudi Padwa. A new month called the Chaitra Masam (March/April) begins. The flowers start blooming, birds chirping, and spring lingers with the start of this month, called Vasanth ritu. In Andhra, it’s the season for mangoes and all women at home make avakaya in this season. My mother-in-law makes great avakaya (mango pickle) for all of us. Recipe Ingredients 1 cup raw fresh mango finely chopped along with skin 1 tbsp of margosa flowers (neem flowers) rinsed well ½ cup of grated jaggery 3 -4 tbsp tamarind juice chili powder salt to taste Preparation Soak Tamarind, boil in less water, clean, and get some thick pulp. Soak Jaggery in 3-4 tbsp water, boil, and filter it to separate it from sand and other impurities. Mix up all the ingredients into a semi-liquid form and enjoy. Every ingredient spreads its flavors and is a real feast to the tongue. We had been to the temple on Ugadi and they served this pachadi as “Prasadam”. Oh, it was a heavenly taste, not only to the tongue but also to the soul. They added Bananas too. Couldn’t get enough of it and no wonder they call it Prasadam (Prashad). We had been to the temple on Ugadi and they served this pachadi as “Prasadam”. Oh, it was a heavenly taste, not only to the tongue but also to the soul. They added Bananas too. Couldn’t get enough of it and no wonder they call it Prasadam (Prashad).