Andhra Thali ~ Mudda Pappu, Bendakaya Vepudu | Ugadi Special Thali

Blogging Marathon enters into its 15th edition and it sure turns out to be with a bang. I have always love the idea of making thalis. It's more of the way our Indian food is presented in a plate. Each state has its own special thalis and it represents the culture and the food habits of the locals.

When I began blogging, the first event that I knew was the Regional Cuisines of India. For this event, many of us specially cooked specialty dishes from the state that was on showcase. Though I couldn't participate in the beginning, I enjoyed the many thalis that some of the bloggers put up. So finally when it was Rajasthan, I did a thali featuring the specialty from Rajesthan and everybody at home enjoyed the dishes. Then I did a Bengali simple thali. It was even more relished with aplomb.
Since then I have always cooked up thalis, be it a breakfast, lunch or dinner. My traditional Breakfast thalis always reminded of what I want to make and feed my family. It's very common in south for a breakfast thali to be served. So when I was talking to Vaishali, I was surprised when she said there is no such concept of thalis for breakfast. I got to know this again from my other North Indian colleagues. Well I am sure they make loads of dishes for breakfast, only they may not be showcasing it as such. I still remember so vividly the breakfast spread I was treated to, during our family friends wedding.

Coming to the first post of the series, I wanted to share our Special Ugadi Festival spread. Ugadi has always been very special and very hectic day ever since I remember. Though Athamma does make special dishes on this day, it's not the same as how Amma makes. On this day according to our traditions, Amma makes dishes that her elders used to love and offer to them. It's an occasion when we remember our forefathers and celebrate by making their favorite dishes. I am not sure how many follow this tradition, it has always been so in my parents place. 
On this day, Amma normally makes Sweet Poli. Back during childhood I remembered Ugadi to be the only day on which she makes it and she used to make huge quantity as she had to distribute to the neigbours. For the offering she normally makes Mudda Pappu, 7 varieties of vepudus (Dry sautes or fries) Semiya Payasam, Sakkara Pongali, Pachimirapakaya Pappu, Rasam and curds. Of course depending on various things, she might add some more. It used to be a day of never ending cooking.

I have always helped Amma with her preparation and after my marriage I had kept my Ugadi spred to minimum and leave to help her. I end up serving a breakfast brunch, that's I will be sharing soon.

Coming to the dishes, though most of the dishes that are prepared are already posted, I was surprised that I still haven't posted couple of them.

First being the Mudda Pappu. Though this is a simple cooked Toor dal, the way it is pressure cooked and served, makes it all the different.

Mudda Pappu ~ Andhra Mudda Pappu

Toor Dal - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water - 2 cups

How to make Mudda Pappu:

Dry roast the dal till it turns a slight colour. Allow to rest and then wash with water.

Pressure cook with water for couple of whistles. Dal served as mudda pappu is not cooked very soft, but it retains little bit of it's shape.

You can pressure cook without roasting as well.

Sometimes we temper with a bit of ghee, mustard and urad dal. Though this is completely one's choice.

Normally mudda pappu is served as such with salt mixed and to steaming rice with ghee. We mostly eat it with rice along with Avakai/Mango pickle.

This is the first dish that's served and eaten in Andhra special lunch.

The other dish that I am going to share today is Bendakaya vepudu

As I said Amma makes about seven different dry sautes or vepudu on this day. Now don't ask me if her grandparents loved all those vepudus she makes. It's been a tradition that she has been following and the only difference has been in the decrease of the number. This time it's come down to 3. It is always in odd number, again I am not sure why in our customs it's always odd numbers to be followed.

Anyway we decided to bendakaya vepudu, Goru Chikkudukaya Vepudu and Vankaya vepudu.

Bendakaya Vepudu is almost the same as what I had posted previously. Except it's kept to bare minimum in spice as it has to go with the rest of the crowd.

Ingredients Needed:

Lady's finger - 100 gms
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Mustard seeds + Urud Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves few
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and wipe dry the Lady's fingers. This makes it non - sticky and crispy when fried. Cut it into fine pieces.

Heat oil in kadai. Add seasonings items. Once they splutter, add curry leaves, then chopped Okras. Fry well so that its well coated with oil. Simmer it without covering. If it is covered it becomes soft and sticky.

Add Chille powder, turmeric pw and salt to taste. Mix well. Simmer it for 10 t0 15 mins. Once you see its nice and crispy, you can remove from flame.

A typical Andhra Thali will have the following courses:
Fried Snack, Mixed Rice, Pachadi, Masala Kura, Vepudu. Pulusu, Annam, Pappu, Avakai, two types of Sweets (One offered at the beginning and the other at the end) Perugu, Majiga. It is always served on a Banana leaf.

The dishes on this thali were

Mudda Pappu
Steamed Rice
Meddu Vada/ Gaarelu
Dondakaya Pachadi
Pachimirapakaya Pappu
Potato Brinjal Curry
Bendakaya Vepudu
Goru Chikkudukaya Vepudu
Vankaya Vepudu
Jeelakara Miriyala Rasam
Semiya Saggubiyam Payasam

Items that were missed in the picture were Sweet Pongali, Majiga

Since it was a festival thali, it was possible to make and capture so many dishes in one shot or else it might end up being a huge work. Of course if you have somebody to help it's fine. I had to wait for everybody to have their food and finally did the setup. I had kept aside the largest of the Banana leaf for the photo. My aunt who was visiting us for the festival was very amused at the whole set up and was wondering why I was jumping and leaning at different angles to get the right angle for the picture. Amma was upset that I did't eat until this photo shoot was over. Of course on my part I was so happy! Hope you liked our special Ugadi thali.

Sending these for my Indian Thali Mela 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 15

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