This year I we celebrated Ugadhi at mom's place. In spite of mom surrounded by lots and lots of work[me in the post-partum stage, a toddler, new born and loads of house work!!!],she prepared this delicious lunch for us.....
Here are some interesting customs about the meal served on festivals and functions...
At home, the floor is swept well before lunch. During festivals and important occasions, lunch is served on banana leaves.The leaves are placed adjacent to each other in neat rows depending on how many people are being served at that time.Water is sprinkled on the leaf and water for drinking is kept in tumblers on the left hand side. The banana leaf is placed in such a position that the broader portion is on the right side of the person who is having the meal so that it is easier for him / her to mix and savor the food and there is ample space to serve food stuffs.
Straw mats/ wooden planks are placed on the other side of the banana leaf for seating. The seating arrangement is as follows. The first leaf is occupied by the eldest person in the family.followed by the others according to the age. Hence the last place is occupied by the little ones of the family.
Also there is a specific order in which the foods are served which is explained here...The food stuffs are placed on their designated spots.The food on the leaf is not even touched until the rice is served. The eldest member of the family starts having the meal with the sweet/ payasam.Only then the other start their meal. Sweets are eaten first.
All items are placed on the leaf except sambar, rasam and curd. This is served as the meal progresses. After rasam, a second helping of sweets is a must. Only after that curd is served.Second [/third] helpings of rice, sambar ,rasam are also served.
After the meal, one is not supposed to pick up the banana leaf on which they had lunch. On other days, this can be done but definitely not on festival/functions.The women in the family pick up the leaves and dispose them off. The place is wiped with water mixed with a little turmeric powder.
Usually the men and the kids have their lunch first. The women serve the meal.Next the women have the meal with the young girls [who already finished their lunch] helping them serve the dishes :)
As I mentioned earlier,there is a specific order in which the foods are served. It starts from the upper narrower part of the leaf...
First sugar is served. On all occasions, rice must never be served on an empty plate / banana leaf. The serving starts with a teaspoon of sugar.
It is followed by a pinch or two of salt.
Next to it is the pickle
Even though we had bevu bella in the morning after the bath and prayers, it is customary to serve it along with the lunch as well.
The bevu bella is served next to the pickle.
Kosambari is a seasoned lentil salad which is very important in festive meals.
Mom had prepared gram dal kosambari and moong dal kosambari for Ugadhi lunch.Kosambari is very easy to preapre. Soak a little gram dal / moong dal for at least half an hour.Drain and add salt. Season with mustard,urad dal.Add grated coconut and mix well. It is ready to be served.
Kosambari is served in small quantities,just a spoon full. Though served in small portions, it is nutritionally significant.
Next comes the vegetable stir fry and pappad.
Mom had prepared a simple bean-carrot stir fry on that day. Usually we roast pappad in the microwave but on Ugadhi day, we deep fried them.
Next to the pappad is the raita. Mom prepared this easy breezy coconut raita.
Foods from the sugar to the raita are served on the upper part of the leaf.....
Next the serving starts from the left hand lower portion of the leaf...
Fried foods like chip/ bajji / bonda are placed first. Mom had prepared Ambode /paruppu vadai /lentil fritters. Urad dal fritters / Ulundhu vadai is not prepared on festive days.
Next to it is the flavored rice. Here we have tamarind rice / Gojju chitranna. Other varieties like coconut rice, lemon rice can also be prepared .Generally tomato rice is not served.
A dollop of cooked and mashed dal is placed on the right hand side of the leaf.This is one of the quintessential item in the meal.
Before the rice is served, sweets are served. Seen here is semiya payasa....
and Karnataka's special sweet - Pheni...
In the central portion of the leaf, rice is served,topped with a dollop of homemade ghee.
The meal has sambar, rasam and curd to be mixed with steamed rice.
Lil Angel was very eager to see what was happening when I spread out the banana leaf and started serving the foods stuffs....
While serving the actual meal, the foods are placed directly on the banana leaf. Since I wanted to showcase all the items and the runny foods like sambar, rasam,raita ,curd would get mixed up on the leaf, I have kept them in bowl....
A scrumptious spread on the festival which I enjoyed immensely . Mom took extra care to prepare this meal as she knew I would feature this on my blog and was encouraging me to take the pictures clearly and explained the placement of the food stuffs on the banana leaf.Thanks mom :)
Here is the recipe for the day - Pheni - a traditional dessert from Karnataka...
Hope you enjoyed this festive thali. Tomorrow, I will be back with yet another Indian thali.So do come back :)
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This is going to Srivalli's Thali mela