Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, marks the beginning of the new year according to Hindu lunar calendar. On this day, Ugadi pachadi is served in the households of Andhra, Karnataka, Maharashtra and other northern parts of the country. This mixture made with neem flowers, tangy raw mango, jaggery, salt, chilli powder and tamarind signifies the importance of all tastes in life.
Ugadi is celebrated with great fervour and making rich culinary delicacies comprising of different tastes- sweet, salt, sour, bitter and spice. Right from sweet and tangy mango pachadi, crispy pornam poli, and spicy kodhimbir vada to sesame ladoos –the ranges are many, but it’s the Ugadi Pachadi- a refreshing and energising summer drink, that tops them all.
People begin the celebration by having the pachadi, the festive drink that blends the six essences and flavours. It is a translucent drink made of raw mango, tamarind, neem flowers, jaggery, salt, green chillies and water. The proportions of ingredients in the drink signify the six emotions and tastes of life- jaggery for happiness, neem flower for sadness, while tamarind denotes unpleasantness, mango for surprise, green chillies for anger and salt stands for fear.
According to Ayurveda, all six tastes are necessary for total wellbeing. Learn how each taste contributes to our overall health.
All of us like eating sweet treats. Our body needs sugary stuff to keep our energy levels going, regulating hormonal functions, balancing fluids, repairing tissues and soothing nerves. However, it is important to eat sugars in the right amounts from the right sources.
Eat fruits, whole grains, milk, palm sugar, jaggery to treat your sweet cravings.
Salt is a must-have ingredient in all our dishes. Salt or sodium plays an imperative role in balancing electrolytes in our body. Salt is crucial for hydration, to manage blood pressure, heart health and elimination of waste, skin health and promotes overall well-being.
Fruits, vegetables, dairy products are natural sources of salt. However, remember to limit added salt.
Sour is hot, intense and tickles our taste buds. Sour foods aids in promoting digestion and absorption helps with circulation and elimination, boosts energy, strengthens the heart, sharpens the senses and also help in absorbing vital minerals like iron from the food.
All citrus fruits, curd, sour cream and cheese are a good source.
The bitter taste is often less relished by most of us, but it promotes the appetite and brings out the flavour of other taste in the food. Indeed, bitter tasting foods are a powerful detoxifier and possess strong antiseptic, antiviral and antibiotic properties. In addition, it is also helpful in reducing weight, fluid retention, treats skin disease, acidity and nausea.
Dark green vegetable, bitter gourd, black coffee, and dark chocolate.
Pungent is the hottest of all the 6 tastes and it is very intense. Pungent taste helps in promoting digestion, detoxification, clear the sinuses, aids in circulation, boosts metabolism and eases muscle pain.
Chilli pepper, garlic, onion, black pepper and cayenne.
Astringent gives a puckering sensation in the mouth and it is one of least enjoyed taste. It gives a dry feeling on the tongue, due to the shrinking of pores and this effect is called astringent. Astringent taste helps in absorbing water, tighten tissue and burning fat.
Lentils, dried beans, pomegranate and tea.
There are no right proportions for making this recipe, you can add these 6 ingredients less or more as per your choice and taste.
1 tsp tamarind
¼ cup water for soaking tamarind
⅓ cup water to be added later
¼ cup jaggery
⅓ cup finely chopped raw mangoes
2 tbsp neem flowers
¼ tsp chopped green chillies
¼ teaspoon salt or add as required
Soak 1 tablespoon tamarind in ¼ cup water for about 30 minutes. Then extract the tamarind pulp and keep it aside.
In a bowl add 1 cup of water, jaggery powder and mix well so that the jaggery dissolves.
Now add finely chopped raw mangoes, neem flowers, green chillies and salt as required.
Add the tamarind pulp to this mixture and blend well.
Offer the ugadi pachadi as naivedyam to deities and then serve it to your family.
This pachadi is not only a festive drink, but it is valued as a great health supplement and summer elixir. The antifungal properties of neem flower work as a detoxifier and combat harmful pathogens. While raw mangoes loaded with vitamin C, magnesium and calcium boost cardiac health and regulates blood pressure and diabetes. The richness of polyphenol in tamarind supports to shed excess kilos and jaggery pumps iron stores and serves as an instant source of energy.