Its interesting that with so much diversity in India, almost each state celebrates a different New year (or a New year called by different names), based on whether they follow the solar or lunar calendar.
We celebrated Udagi (the New Year for Kannadigas, Telugus and Konkanis), Gudi Padwa for Maharashtrians, Cheti Chand for Sindhis about a fortnight back and now its time for the Tamil new year.
The Tamil New Year (Varsha Pirrapu) is celebrated around the same time as Baisakhi in Punjab, Rongali Bihu in Assam, Vishuva Sankranti in Orisa and Nobo Borsho in Bengal !!
Anyway, for us, it means 2 days of celebration and good food !!
My Ugadi lunch was wiped out before I took any pictures, so here's the Varsha Pirrapu lunch with some Ugadi features !!
The menu is pretty much the same, the main highlight being on the 'raw mango, neem, jaggery'. The idea is that you take the bitter and the sweet, which symbolizes that you accept/face the good and difficult events that happen in your life, with equal conviction. The 'panchanga' is read on this day, which I assume is the prediction for the year ahead.
Have a great year ahead and here's a peek at my lunch thali today
Clockwise from top: Mavinkkai Chitranna (idea borrowed from my Ugadi menu), maanga pachadi, beans poriyal, sepankezhangu(arbi) fry, pal payasam, biscuit ambode(similar to vadas, but simpler) and rice with drumstick, pumpkin, brinjal sambar in the centre.
There was the rasam, appalams and thair saadam, of course.
Aother look at the maanga pachadi, which was the star of the day
What you need -
1 cup peeled and sliced raw mango
2 tbsp grated jaggery
1 tsp chilli powder
2 neem leaves
a pinch of salt
1 tsp gingelly oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
What you do with it -
Steam the raw mango pieces with the jaggery, chilli powder and salt till the mago turns all soft
Heat oil and add mustard seeds
When they splutter, add the mango and mash it in a bit
Adjust salt if required