Mark the beginning of the New Year and celebrate the auspicious day of Gudi Padwa in a splendid way. Mainly celebrated in Maharashtra, Gudi Padwa is one of the most auspicious day (muhurta) in 3 ½ muhurtas. There are many interesting historical myths related to the celebration of this festival; one of them being Lord Rama’s victorious return to Ayodhya after slaying Ravan.
Traditional families begin the day by drinking holy water (Tirth) made from neem leaves, jaggery, cumin seeds, carom seeds and raw mango. Drinking this holy tirth keeps you healthy and strengthens your body during summers. All you have to do is grind all the ingredients into a hand grinder and mix with water, and your tirth is ready. It tastes so cool!!
On this day, even the food is prepared without garlic and onions as the meals are offered to the god first. Many people prepare traditional Puran Poli but in my family, we prepare Shrikhand because this festival is followed by Holi on which puran poli is compulsory. This Gudi Padwa, we bring to you some of the delectable Maharashtrian thalis prepared exclusively for this festival. Some of them being Dalichi Chatani, Koshimbir, Amti, Batata Bhaji, plain rice and dal, Masala Bhindi, Shrikhand-Poli, Chitranna and more.
For Dalichi chatani you need ¾ cup soaked chana dal, 2 green chillies, 2 tbsp coriander leaves, 2 tbsp grated coconut, 2 tbsp raw mango peeled and chopped, and salt to taste. Grind together all ingredients. Don’t make a fine paste, grind coarsely. Add little water. Temper (tadka) chutney with ½ tbsp mustered-cumin seeds, a pinch of hing, 2 pinches of turmeric powder and a few curry leaves to hot oil. I love adding a few pomegranates to this chutney.
For Koshimbir you need finely chopped cucumber, curd, groundnut powder, little mustard powder, little sugar and salt to taste. Mix all ingredients together well. Temper Koshimbir with ½ tbsp mustered-cumin seeds, 1 chopped green chilli and a few curry leaves adding to hot oil. Garnish with fresh coriander. Make this Koshimbir just before the meal, because the extra water from the curd will make it watery. Or you can add the curd before serving.
To make Amti you need ½ cup cooked toovar dal, 2 ½ cup water, 1 tbsp jaggery, 1 tbsp tamarind pulp, salt to taste, turmeric powder ½ tbsp, amti masala ½ tbsp (dry coconut, cumin seeds, black pepper, cinnamons, cloves and bay leaves. Roast all these ingredients separately for one minute and grind well to a fine paste and mix all ingredients in a large pot and bring it to boil. Temper amti with ½ tbsp mustered-cumin seeds, a pinch of hing, ½ tbsp chilli powder and a few curry leaves to hot oil. Pour it over boiling amti, mix well and boil again for 2 minutes. Enjoy this tangy amti with plain rice or relish it like soup!! In Maharashtrian families, this amti is prepared with Puranpoli and is called katchi amti. It is done by using (Puran Poli stuffing) cooked chana dal instead of toovar dal. Rest of the recipe is similar to the normal amti.
For potato Bhaji you need peeled potatoes (thinly cut in round slices). Soak these slices into salty water and keep them aside. In a medium bowl add ½ cup besan flour, 1 tbsp rice flour, a pinch of baking soda, salt to taste, carom and cumin seeds, 1 tbsp green chilli paste, a pinch of sugar and ½ tbsp lemon juice. Prepare the batter by adding little water. Heat oil in a kadhai, drain the water from potatoes. Then dip each slice into the batter and deep fry till golden brown in colour.
Easy and simple to make, this dish of plain rice and plain dal without tadka is classic and can be enjoyed anytime. Serve with a dollop of pure ghee and a piece of lemon.
Shrikhand is a Maharashtrian dessert made from hung curd and powdered sugar. Serve with roti. For a detailed recipe click here…
For masala or stuffed bhindi you need 8-10 small bhindi. Slit each bhindi from one side. Don’t cut into two pieces. In a bowl add 1 cup of roasted groundnut powder, salt, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, a pinch of sugar. Mix well and keep it aside. Take a non-stick pan and heat 3 tbsp oil, add ½ tbsp cumin-mustard seed, curry leaves. Now add the chopped bhindi and stir for a half minute sprinkle a little salt, now cover the pan with a lid until the bhindi becomes a little soft. Add the prepared masala and sauté for one minute. Turn off the flame and add half a bowl of curd. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with hot roti.
For Chitranna, you need 2 cups of cooked rice, 3 green chillies (finely chopped), ½ cup ground nuts, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp urad dal, ½ tbsp cumin-mustard seeds, curry leaves, 2 pinches of hing, turmeric powder and 3 tbsp oil. (Rice grains should be separated; it is better if you cook rice 4-5 hours in advance). Heat oil and add cumin-mustard seeds, groundnuts and urad dal. When they start popping, add green chillies and curry leaves. Turn off the heat and add hing and turmeric powder. Pour this mixture over cooked rice; add salt and lemon juice, mix well thoroughly. Adjust lemon juice proportion as per the taste.
So this Gudipadwa, get ready to give your family a wholesome and sumptuous treat with the special Padwa thali!