Ugadi turns health conscious

Just a tweak here and a substitute there can take your festive goodies from being heavy and calorific to light and nutritious

April 05, 2019 03:12 pm | Updated 05:51 pm IST

Healthy food ragi or finger millet with its green and dried stalks.

Healthy food ragi or finger millet with its green and dried stalks.

There are so many things to look forward to during Ugadi. And most of it is related to food. This time it is no different except a few health buffs in the city are giving their goodies a healthy makeover.

Ugadi means the aroma of piping hot rice prepared for pulihora that is served with pachadi , a flavoursome concoction of jaggery, chilli, tamarind, salt, neem flowers and raw mangoes, says 48-year-old Sreevalli Boppana. The pulihora will be there this year too but instead of rice, Sreevalli uses foxtail millets. “The appearance might differ but the taste remains the same. Moreover, it is so satisfying to eat these dishes with the assurance that they are healthy,” she says.

Around Visakhapatnam on April 6
  • The Square at Hotel Novotel Traditional Andhra Ugadi brunch 77998 84043
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Sreevalli was introduced to the millet by a cousin who gifted her various varieties of them. “ I was clueless about how to use the millets. I researched on the Internet and watched cookery videos. And discovered how I could make traditional food healthier,” she says. She makes her payasam with millets too and uses jaggery instead of sugar.

Anuradha Kancherala, a 50-year-old YouTuber, runs a channel called Mini Millet Mania. For the past week, she has been busy preparing a video of Ugadi thali which features traditional dishes for Ugadi. “The thali will include brinjal curry, pachadi , papads , pulihora , rice and payasam . I have replaced core ingredients like rice, with various millets,” she says.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 th cup ragi semiya
  • 1/4 th cup sago
  • Four cashews
  • One cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Ghee for frying
  • Method
  • 1)Take a pan, add one tablespoon of ghee, add 1/4 th cup ragi semiya and fry till semiya turns light brown.
  • 2)Take a pan, fry cashews till golden brown in ghee and keep them aside.
  • 3) Add 1/4 cup sago in a pan and boil the sago in water till it cooks.
  • 3) Add one cup milk in a pan and 1/2 cup sugar. Let the sugar dissolve. Later add fried raagi semiya and boiled sago. After raagi semiya is cooked, add fried cashew and serve hot.

Use proso or kodo millets rather than rice suggests Anuradha. And ragi semiya for payasam. The YouTuber who uploads at least one video every week educating people about the healthier substitutes to their daily ingredients feels more people are now moving towards a millet-based diet. “There is a common misconception that these millet-based dishes are hard to make. All you have to do is replace your rice with the millets.”

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