According to the Hindu calendar, Ugadi Festival is celebrated as the New Year with much fervor in the South Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and even some parts of Goa in the western region of India. This day is also referred to as Yugadi or Samvatsaradi, which falls on March 22 in 2023. It is one of the most important festivals as well for these states. Just like food is a unifying and integral part of any celebration in India, the same goes for the festival of Ugadi too. So, here’s a personalized collection of 55 Ugadi Special Food Recipes that you can make easily at your home.
About Ugadi Festival
Like I mentioned in the beginning, Ugadi Festival is celebrated as the day that is the new year for the people of Telugu and Kannada communities in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
In Maharashtra, this new year festival is known as Gudi Padwa. For the Sindhi community, it is Cheti Chand.
The Telugu people call it as the Ugadi Festival, whereas the festival is popular by its other term Yugadi for the Kannadigas or the people of Karnataka.
‘Yugadi or Ugadi,’ is a word that is composed of the Sanskrit words ‘yuga’ meaning ‘age’ and ‘adi’ meaning ‘beginning.’ So, ‘beginning of a new age’ is what the actual meaning is. Thus, a new year or new beginnings.
Some of the common traditions that are followed during the festival of Ugadi are buying new clothes, cleaning homes, offering prayers, making beautiful rangolis with rice powder/paste, sand, flowers, etc., feasting on delish Ugadi Food Recipes and participating in other festivities.
Ugadi Pachadi is one of the classic examples of the Ugadi Special Food recipe that is a specialty traditionally made during this day. The way it is composed, it symbolizes the multi-layered experiences that life has in store for us. Sharing more on this in the coming sections. Do give it a read.
Significance Of Ugadi Festival
Apart from it being the New Year, there are many folklore which explains the mythological significance of the Ugadi Festival. So, before you head on to the compilation of Ugadi Special Food Recipes, read on to know some of them:
- It is believed that Yugadi was the day when Lord Brahma began to create this universe. Once he had completed his 100 years of meditation, his divine origin was realised. Following this awakening, he also recognized his purpose to design the universe. Thus, becoming the architect of the universe.
- Another legend says that Ugadi was the day when Lord Rama of the Hindu epic Ramayana, was officially crowned as the king of Ayodhya. The citizens of Ayodhya commemorated the victory of good over evil by crowning him the king on this day.
- According to some, the day of Ugadi is also recognized as the day when the ultimate form and source of Divine, Lord Krishna ended his time on Earth. Thus, flagging off the beginning of a new ‘yuga’ or ‘age’ called as the Kali Yuga. The departure of Krishna is actually considered inauspicious. But the positive impacts of Kali Yuga, had more than made up for it.
Like I mentioned earlier, one of the most important Ugadi Recipes that is prepared during Ugadi Festival is the Ugadi Pachadi. The Ugadi pachadi signifies all the 6 tastes – sweet, salty, spicy, sour, astringent and bitter. Thus, also signifying the main essence of this festival and how life should be a balance of sweet, sour and bitter.
The 6 ingredients included in making this unique pachadi have one of these tastes in each one of them. These 6 tastes correspond to the 6 emotions of life which everyone goes through – joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise.
In Karnataka, a mixture of neem leaves and jaggery is consumed. This is known as bevu bella, where the Kannada word ‘bevu’ means ‘neem flowers’ and ‘bella’ means ‘jaggery.’ This is one of the unique Ugadi special food item that is famous in this part of South India.
In addition to this pachadi, other sweets and snacks are also made as common Ugadi Food Recipes. Here, in this collection, I have shared recipes that you can easily make on Ugadi Festival. I have divided the list into popular Ugadi recipes, sweets, snacks, and finally and lunch and dinner ideas.
Remember some of these recipes may have onion and garlic. Omit adding them, if you are making a satvik meal or if you plan to offer the food to the deities.
Most of these recipes for Ugadi are simple, fuss-free, yet delicious. I have some of the most famous and classic recipes as well as others in sweets/desserts, snacks/savories and lunch and dinner options too. Many of them are nutritious, even vegan too.
Life’s a mélange of sweet (jaggery), sour (raw mango), bitter (neem). Make it a balanced one! So, here’s wishing all my readers, a very Happy Ugadi!
55 Ugadi Special Food Recipes
Below are some of the essential and popular recipes for Ugadi Festival. This section includes sweets, savories as well as rice-based dishes.
Lemon Rice also referred to as Chitranna or Nimmakaya Pulihora is a crunchy, flavorful and tangy rice dish that is easy to make and tastes so good. Fresh lemon juice, fried nuts, fragrant herbs and spices combine perfectly to give this steamed rice an amazing spicy, tangy and nutty flavor.
Ugadi Sweets Recipes
We all love to have sweets during festivals. Right? So, there a variety of sweet dishes that you can make for Ugadi Festival too. Here, I have compiled some of the well-known South Indian recipes of sweets and desserts.
While some are a breeze to make, some take more time and are not so easy. Depending on your schedule and availability of the ingredients, choose any recipe that is the perfect fit for you.
2 hrs 35 mins
Chana Dal Payasam | Kadalai Paruppu Payasam
Chana Dal Payasam also called Kadalai Paruppu Payasam or Kadala Parippu Payasam in South Indian languages is a delicious sweet pudding made with chana dal, coconut milk, dry fruits, jaggery and some flavorings.
Snacks & Savories
Some of the snacks listed below can be made a day ahead. Like murukku, thattai, kara boondi, ribbon pakoda and mixture.
5 hrs 30 mins
Sabudana Vada is a popular savory deep fried snack made during Hindu fasting days, featuring tapioca pearls (sago), potatoes, peanuts and herbs. They are naturally gluten-free and vegan. This fool proof sabudana vada recipe gives you a super delicious crispy vada with a soft and light interior.
Lunch & Dinner Ideas
Listed below are some traditional South Indian recipes that are made during Ugadi Festival as well as others.
Coconut rice is a light, tasty, savory South Indian rice variant made with fresh grated coconut, lentils, herbs and spices. This nutty and mild rice based dish is also known as Thengai Sadam in Tamil language. The recipe is vegan and for a gluten-free version, easily skip adding asafetida.
Mysore Rasam is a spiced and delicious rasam variety from the Karnataka cuisine – made with lentils, ground spices and coconut. Here I share both the recipes for mysore rasam and the mysore rasam powder that you can easily scale up and make a large batch to store and refrigerate/freeze.
This Ugadi Food Recipes post for the Ugadi Festival from the archives first published on March 2017 has been updated and republished on March 2023.