Ugadi special: From pachhadi with a twist to traditional Poornam Boorelu, here are the dishes to try at home  

Ugadi is around the corner and now is the time you check out these authentic recipes from the Telugu-speaking states
Ugadi Pachhadi with a twist
Ugadi Pachhadi with a twist

Ugadi, the Telugu New Year is approaching, and what better time than now to try some regional dishes? If you are feeling homesick or wish to get into the festive spirit even as you stay indoors, then check out these festival recipes. 

Twisted classics 

We ask Chef Kailash Gundupalli, Director Culinary, Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre what his idea of a perfect Ugadi dish is. He shares his favourite festival recipe, which is a classic with a unique twist. “This dish takes me back to my childhood in Visakhapatnam. Keeping the authenticity, I tried to add a modern touch to Ugadi pachhadi ”, the chef shares.


Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized | Chopped raw mango - 1 tablespoon | Neem flower - 1 tablespoon | Powdered jaggery - 1 tablespoon | Pepper powder - 1/4 teaspoon | Wonton paper - 2 | Salt to taste | Water - 30 millilitres


● Rinse the mango, trim the edges and peel off the skin. Chop the mango into tiny cubes and keep aside. 

● In a bowl, take tamarind, and add half a cup of water to it. Squeeze to extract juice from the tamarind and discard the fiber. 

● To this, add the remaining half cup water, powdered jaggery, and mix the contents. 

● Now add chopped raw mango pieces, neem flower, and salt for seasoning. 

● Finally, add pepper powder, give a quick stir and cool for some time. 

● Take a wonton paper and fill it with the stuffing. Then, make a roll and deep fry it. 

● Repeat with the remaining paper and serve it hot.      

From grandma’s kitchen 

When we talk of festivals, we are often transported to our mothers and grandmothers' kitchens. Chef Suman Kirthi Raj, Chef De Cuisine, Mercure Hyderabad KCP also shares a recipe of one of his favourite sweets, Sojja Polelu. “This dish brings up so many memories. I inherited this recipe from my grandmother and it always reminds me of how we celebrate the festival back home,” says Suman. 


Semolina or Bombay rava - 100 grams | Refined flour - 250 grams | Sugar - 60 grams | Milk - 50 milliliters | Sunflower refined oil - for deep frying | Ghee - 90 grams | Salt- a pinch | Green cardamom - 5 | Chironji seeds - 5 grams | Water - 150 milliliters 


● Crush the green cardamom seeds to a fine powder, remove the husks and keep it aside. 

● In a kadhai, add the ghee and while it gets heated, you can prepare your sugar syrup by taking water and sugar in another pan and mix it till the sugar syrup comes to a boil. 

● Once the ghee gets heated, add the semolina, chironji seeds and stir vigorously for about eight minutes till the grains turn golden brown. Then add cardamom powder and stir. Meanwhile, also keep checking for your sugar syrup. 

● Add the bubbling hot sugar syrup slowly to the fried rava mixture, and keep stirring till the mixture thickens and separates from the edges of the pan. 

● After the halwa is cooked, keep it aside to cool at room temperature. 

● Now, in a sieve, take refined flour, a pinch of salt, and sift it. Then slowly add water as required and knead till the water is absorbed. The dough’s consistency should be smooth and elastic. Cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes. 

● After the dough is rested, create medium-sized balls and flatten the dough using a rolling pin. Place the halwa filling in it and bring the edges together. You can also flatten the center and gently roll the dough balls between your palms. 

● To deep-fry the Sojja Polelu, heat the oil in a deep frying pan or kadhai and once the oil gets heated, gently release the pooris into the oil. 

● Fry till they turn golden brown and store them at room temperature.

Sojja Polelu
Sojja Polelu

Comfort tales 

What is a Telugu festival if there are no Poornam Boorelu on the plate? That is exactly what the Brand chef of Ohri’s India, Vikram Simha, believes. “I always look forward to Ugadi. And the delicacies are always a mix of various flavours, which makes it even better,” says the chef, sharing the recipe to his signature Ugadi dish.


Urad dal - half cup | Rice - half cup | Chana dal - one cup | Grated jaggery - one cup | Ghee - 2 tablespoon | Cardamom powder - half teaspoon | Grated coconut- half cup (optional) | Salt to taste | Oil - For frying

Preparation: Soak urad dal and rice for six hours. Drain the water and make a fine paste by adding a few drops of water. Make sure that the batter is not watery. To this add a pinch of salt and give it a mix. Soak chana dal for an hour, grate the jaggery and keep them aside.


● Drain soaked chana dal, and cook it in a thick bottom vessel with water. Allow the dal to be cooked and hold shape. Drain any excess water from the cooked dal. 

● To this dal add the grated jaggery, and cook this mixture of dal and jaggery till it forms a thick paste. At this point, the dal should be mashed. Keep stirring continuously till the water evaporates and the mixture becomes thick. 

● Now to this mixture add ghee, cardamom powder, and grated coconut (optional) mix well. Allow this mixture to cool. 

● Portion this dal and jaggery mixture into lemon size round balls. Heat oil in a deep pan, dip each portioned ball in the thick rice and urad dal batter, make sure the ball is evenly coated with the rice and dal batter, deep fry till golden brown. 

● Serve hot with ghee.    

Poornam Boorelu
Poornam Boorelu

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