Gudi Padwa is a festival that falls on the first day of the Chaitra month and is celebrated in Maharashtra. It also marks the New Year according to the Hindu calender. Thus, Gudi Padwa is the New Year for Maharashtrians. It also marks the end of one harvest season and beginning of another.
A ‘Gudhi’ is hoisted which is essentially a bamboo stick adorned with bright green or yellow cloth and a pot is tied at the top. Traditionally, the festivities begin with the family eating the bitter leaves of neem. Maharashtrian households make traditional dishes on this occasion when friends and family gather to celebrate the onset of spring.
Here are some must try dishes for the occasion:
No festivity is ever complete without the quintessential Puran Poli. It is a flat bread stuffed with a delectable mixture of chick peas and jaggery. Aromatics such as cardamom, saffron or nutmeg may be used to enhance the flavours. The whole house comes together to help in rolling, filling and frying the Puran Polis. It is a time for great fun and frolic.
It is the epitome of how a little hung curd can create something magical like Shrikhand. Every one has his/her favourite flavour. Take your pick from the classic Cardamom flavours to the Mango, Dry Fruits or the Saffron scented ones.
It is a sweet made out of the colostrum milk, just after a cow or buffalo gives birth. With additions of cardamom, milk and saffron, this decadent sweet is born.
Poori and Bhaji:
The sight of puffed, deep fried pooris and a mouth-watering side dish of batatyachi(potato) bhaji is one to behold. A morsel of poori, dunked into the bhaji and a smear of your favourite pickle, you can do nothing but relish the delicious bite.
Modaks have a special place in every Maharashtrian’s heart. Lord Ganpati’s favourite, it is either steamed or deep-fried, usually with a coconut filling.
Moong Dal Wade:
Soaked Moong Dal, when ground with condiments such as ginger and chillies and deep fried and served piping hot, no one can have just one. Til or sesame can be added for enhanced flavours.
This is another Gudi Padwa essential. Flour of different grains along with onions and tomatoes make this delicious flat bread. It can be had either with a chutney or veggies or both.
It is a classic preparation. The dal used is Bengal Gram, soaked and then cooked with raw mango. The tempering of red chilles, mustard seeds and curry leaves make it all the more flavourful.
These are dry snacks made with Rice flour and infused with spices. They are in the shape of rings and are very popular.
Premium and fragrant Basmati Rice is cooked with saffron and ghee. When done, an absolutely delicious concoction called Kesari Bhaat emerges.
Each household has its unique tradition that they uphold during Gudi Padwa. Indulge in these very special dishes and share the happiness with your loved ones. What better way than mouth watering delicious food to usher in Spring and pray for a joyful New Year.