Guḍī Pāḍavā, Ugadi, Yugadi, Samvatsar Padvo, Cheti Chand, Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba, Navreh – one festival, many celebrations! The beginning of a new year is invariably celebrated with great fervour, enthusiasm and traditional recipes. To mark this auspicious occasion as well as the beginning of Navratri, Holachef is serving an exclusive festive menu on 8th April. Here are some of the special Padwa delicacies on the menu.
1) Pooranpoli with Aamti
In Maharashtra, pooranpoli is almost always made during festivals and is an elaborate part of the decadent Padwa thali. This flatbread is filling, sweet and doubles up as a meal and a dessert. The stuffing of pooran made from Bengal gram can make or break this dish. To balance the sweetness of this poli, it is served with aamti – a side which is a combination of sour-spicy-sweet flavours.
2) Shrikhand and Pooris
There are high chances of shrikhand being on the list of most hearty meals, during festive celebrations especially in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The dessert is paired with salty, deep fried pooris and they complement each other very well. Prepared in various flavours, mango shrikhand is most popular and evidently summers are the best time to relish on it.
Kesari is the South Indian version of sooji ka halwa and holds importance during festivals, especially in the state of Karnataka. There are versions like milk kesari, rava kesari and fruit kesari, all of which are equally delicious. The simplest of ingredients come together for one of the desserts that’s an instant favourite.
4) Gudwali Chawal Kheer
The new year brings new harvest with it, which is why naya gud or fresh jaggery is used throughout the country during Padwa celebrations. Chawal ki kheer or rice kheer signifies the importance of the harvest cycle and hence uses rice and jaggery for an irresistible dessert. Replacing sugar with jaggery in this recipe, the dessert is a healthy deviation from the regular one.
5) Malpua Rabdi
Indian homes offer a stunning variety of desserts with milk as the base ingredient and malpua rabdi is one of those. Malpuas are fluffy pancakes, small in size, which are made from flour and sweet spices. These are deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup so that these porous pancakes absorb all the sugary delights. Rabdi is an enchanting concoction of milk simmered and reduced to a thick consistency and added with aromatic-sweet spices to enhance the flavour. A bite of this heavenly dessert is all that is needed on the first day of the new year!
6) Aam Panna
Indian summers are synonymous with aam panna. This drink is consumed around the country to fight the tropical summer heat and indulge in the king of mangoes in its raw form. Raw mango pulp is boiled and blended with spices and kept in most Indian homes as a concentrate, to be consumed before heading out in the heat. Aam panna or kachi keri no baflo as it is known in Gujarat, keeps the body cool because of its cooling properties. The sourness of the mangoes, the sweetness of sugar and the aroma of cardamom powder is a combination that is simply alluring and mouth-watering.
7) Shengdana Batata Usal and Upvasi Chivda
Fasts and foods are never opposites in India! From the delectable variety, shengdana batata usal is a popular one. Peanuts provide much needed energy and carbs help keep the energy level up, hence the use of potatoes. Maharashtrian cuisines also have interesting snacks such as the crunchy chivda prepared with limited ingredients to be consumed during fasting.
8) Sabudana Khichdi and Curd
Sabudana khichdi is another favourite from the fasting friendly dishes. Sago pearls cooked with peanuts, potatoes and chillies is a delicious burst of flavours and a popular snack in Maharashtra. A dry dish by itself, sabudana khichdi is generally served with salted lassi or plain yogurt.
The use of probiotic yogurt blended with chosen ingredients and water has always been fruitful, especially during summers. Yogurt is consumed in higher quantities during this season as it tends to keep the body cool, and lassi is known to be good for digestion as well. Salted, sweet, masaledaar or the one with dry fruits, lassi is one of the most popular energising drinks in India.
10) Vari Ke Chawal and Curd
Since fasts and feasts go hand in hand in India and there is quite a collection of recipes using interesting ingredients which are apt for both. Vari (from the millet family) ke chawal are mainly consumed when observing a fast. These are full of nutrients and with Indian recipes, the dishes turn out to be absolutely flavoursome.