The bond between Telugus and Kannadigas gets stronger during Ugadi

“When you spot tender foliage on the trees, mangoes on the bandis and seek shade when the merciless sun heats up the atmosphere, rest assured Ugadi is here,” smiles Anjana, a Bangalorean on a trip to Hyderabad. For the Telugus and Kannadigas, Ugadi is a festival signifying a new beginning. Maharashtrians celebrate it as Gudi Padwa and Sindhis call it Chedi Chand.

Telugus and Kannadigas share a special bond and with both the communities celebrating the festival on the same day, it is interesting to reflect on the traditional delicacies prepared by them. A Telugu married to a Kannadiga, actress Sumalatha says she felt at home after she moved to Bengaluru after marriage. “Our day starts with bevu bella. We perform puja, pray for a prosperous new year and there will be festive delicacies made at home. We have Ele oota (eating on a banana leaf is customary for Kannadigas during festivals) and the house will be open for friends and relatives to join in,” she says. Ugadi signifies new beginnings when the houses are spruced up and mango leaf toranams adorn the front door. “Mango leaves signify prosperity,” says Yashoda, another Kannadiga who insists on maintaining the traditional customs. “The food we prepare on Ugadi is elaborate as we make two types of kosambri (soaked chana and moong dal and garnished with grated carrot, cucumber and raw mango), chitrannna (pulihora) curries and kootu (a spicy dal and vegetable dish), raita and palida (a dish made of sour curd and added with a mixture of ginger, soaked tuvar dal, green chillies and coriander leaves). The speciality however is the holige (bobbatlu) and payasam,” she says.

Jyothi Valaboju, an avid regional blogger goes native on Ugadi day. She posts pictures of what she calls, the Telugu way of celebrations at home and shares recipes of traditional delicacies. “Ugadi Pachchadi, which helps people take in stride the sweet, sour and bitter experiences in the coming year, is prepared differently at homes,” she says. Ugadi Pachadi at her home is made like a summer drink – a sherbet with neem flowers, jaggery, grated mango and tamarind water and added with jeera and sounf powder and garnished with khus khus and coconut powder.

Vimala Vithal, a resident of Gaddiannaram calls Ugadi a thanksgiving festival for Telugus and Kannadigas. “The festival asks you to be grateful to Mother Earth so the ingredients we use like tamarind, jaggery, salt and chana dal are new and fresh.” The kitchen in her house is nicknamed as a ‘mango ghar’ as raw mangoes are used in different dishes like “vada pappu, mango chutney, dal, pulihora and of course, in Ugadi Pachadi.”

An auspicious day to embark on any new endeavour, Ugadi denotes a day to hope for all good things in the coming year and share a traditional meal with family and friends.

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous Ugadi!