Blogging Marathon enters into its 15th edition and it sure turns out to be with a bang. I have always loved the idea of making thalis. It’s more of the way our Indian food is presented on a plate. Each state has its own special thalis and it represents the culture and the food habits of the locals. When I began blogging, the first event that I knew was the Regional Cuisines of India.
For this event, many of us specially cooked specialty dishes from the state that was on showcase. Though I couldn’t participate in the beginning, I enjoyed the many thalis that some of the bloggers put up. So finally when it was Rajasthan, I did a thali featuring the specialty from Rajasthan and everybody at home enjoyed the dishes. Then I did a Bengali simple thali. It was even more relished with aplomb.
Since then I have always cooked up thalis, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. My traditional Breakfast thalis always reminded me of what I want to make and feed my family. It’s very common in the south for a breakfast thali to be served. So when I was talking to Vaishali, I was surprised when she said there is no such concept of thalis for breakfast. I got to know this again from my other North Indian colleagues.
Well, I am sure they make loads of dishes for breakfast, only they may not be showcasing it as such. I still remember so vividly the breakfast spread I was treated to, during our family friend’s wedding. Coming to the first post of the series, I wanted to share our Special Ugadi Festival spread. Ugadi has always been a very special and very hectic day ever since I remember.
Though Athamma does make special dishes on this day, it’s not the same as how Amma makes. On this day according to our traditions, Amma makes dishes that her elders used to love and offer to them. It’s an occasion when we remember our forefathers and celebrate by making their favorite dishes. I am not sure how many follow this tradition, it has always been so in my parents’ place.
On this day, Amma normally makes Sweet Poli. Back during childhood, I remembered Ugadi to be the only day on which she makes it and she used to make huge quantities as she had to distribute to the neighbors. For the offering, she normally makes Mudda Pappu, 7 varieties of vepudus (Dry sautes or fries) Semiya Payasam, Sakkara Pongali, Pachimirapakaya Pappu, Rasam, and curds.
Of course, depending on various things, she might add some more. It used to be a day of never ending cooking. I have always helped Amma with her preparation and after my marriage, I had kept my Ugadi spread to a minimum and leave to help her. I end up serving a breakfast brunch, that’s I will be sharing soon.
Coming to the dishes, though most of the dishes that are prepared are already posted, I was surprised that I still haven’t posted a couple of them.
First being the Mudda Pappu. Though this is a simple cooked Toor dal, the way it is pressure cooked and served, makes it all the different.
Mudda Pappu ~ Andhra Mudda Pappu
Toor Dal – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water – 2 cups
How to make Mudda Pappu:
Dry roast the dal till it turns a slight colour. Allow to rest and then wash with water.
Pressure cook with water for a couple of whistles. Dal served as mudda pappu is not cooked very soft, but it retains a little bit of its shape.
You can pressure cook without roasting as well.
Sometimes we temper with a bit of ghee, mustard and urad dal. Though this is completely one’s choice.
Normally mudda pappu is served as such with salt mixed and to steaming rice with ghee. We mostly eat it with rice along with Avakai/Mango pickle.
This is the first dish that’s served and eaten in Andhra special lunch.
The other dish that I am going to share today is Bendakaya vepudu
As I said Amma makes about seven different dry sautes or vepudu on this day. Now don’t ask me if her grandparents loved all those vepudus she makes. It’s been a tradition that she has been following and the only difference has been in the decrease of the number. This time it’s come down to 3. It is always in an odd number, again I am not sure why in our customs it’s always odd numbers to be followed.
Anyway we decided to bendakaya vepudu, Goru Chikkudukaya Vepudu and Vankaya vepudu.
Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Mustard seeds + Urad Dal – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves few
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Method to prepare:
Wash and wipe dry the Lady’s fingers. This makes it non-sticky and crispy when fried. Cut it into fine pieces.
Heat oil in Kadai. Add seasonings items. Once they splutter, add curry leaves, then chopped Okras. Fry well so that it’s well coated with oil. Simmer it without covering. If it is covered it becomes soft and sticky.
Add red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well. Simmer it for 10 to 15 mins. Once you see it’s nice and crispy, you can remove it from flame.
Meddu Vada/ Gaarelu
Potato Brinjal Curry
Goru Chikkudukaya Vepudu
Jeelakara Miriyala Rasam
Semiya Saggubiyam Payasam