So yesterday evening was a new experience, the store was crowded as expected as it was not only the eve of Ugadi but also the day of the week the local store gets fresh vegetables. I didn't spot any neem in the aisles and was telling myself that it would be a fenugreek pachadi when one of the ladies that works in the store came around. I asked her if they carried neem flowers and she said 'Yes, ask for it when you check out, they have it at the front'. Yay, I was so happy and came to the checkout, I asked the lady for neem flowers and she handed me a small packet which had some very dark brown pieces inside, I repeated myself that I wanted neem flowers, she took the packet back and handed me another identical in size packet which had light brown thingies inside :-). That is when I realized they were selling dried neem flowers and for a premium, well I bought one of those and carried the treasure home like a grinning monkey though my dreams of fresh green leaves and flowers were squashed right there. In the spirit of Ugadi, accepting what I got I made a great Ugadi pachadi with the precious neem flowers and we had bowlfuls of it the whole day.
2 ripe bananas - peeled and cut into small pieces
1 medium sized green mango - washed, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 cup of crushed jaggery
1 Tblsp of neem flowers - crush them a little between your fingers
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tsp of tamarind juice - soak a small piece of tamarind in water for 20 minutes and extract the juice
How do you make Ugadi Pachadi?
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, set aside for 10 minutes for the juices to socialize with each other before spooning into the mouth. Enjoy a very healthy, tasty Ugadi pachadi.
And here is a quick peek at what we had for our Ugadi habba today, recipes will follow
Mango chitranna, carrot kosambari, chikkudukaya-potato palya, ugadi pachadi, mango pappu, obbattu hoorana (yes obbattu is coming) and anna in the center served with papads