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Eggplant Fritters and Tomato Chutney for Gudhi Padwa

Gudhi Padwa is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month, and is celebrated as  New Year by Maharashtrians.  This day is celebrated as Ugadi in Andhra pradesh and Karnataka and Cheti Chand by Sindhi community.

It is considered as a very auspicious day. On this day, gudhis are hung outside the houses. A 'gudhi' is a pole on the top of which an upturned brass or silver pot called a kalash is placed. The gudhi is covered with a colourful silk cloth and decorated with marigold flowers, coconuts, and mango leaves that symbolize nature's bounty.

I remember my childhood days when we all used to eat the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree with sugar  after the gudhi pooja. I don't remember the exact reason of this ritual but could be to purify your system.

On this day, everybody dresses up in new clothes, go to the temple and then its time for a nice family gathering and a nice feast too. Shrikhand-poori and some savory dish is very common among Maharashtrian families.

On the occasion of Gudhi Padwa and Ugadi, I will like to share with you some dishes which you will love to eat.

Vangyache Kaap (Eggplant Fritters):

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Ingredients:


  • One Eggplant (thickness of around 3-4 inches)

  • ½ cup Rice Flour

  • 1 ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice

  • 1 ½ Teaspoon Chili Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

  • 1 ½ Teaspoon Salt

  • Oil to shallow fry the fritters


How to Make:

Cut the Eggplant into round disks of 1 cm. thickness. Sprinkle the salt on the Eggplant disks so that all the eggplant disks are coated properly.

Mix the rice flour, chili powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice.

Heat the fry pan. Take one eggplant disc and coat it with rice flour. Shallow fry it with oil till  both sides  become light brown. It takes around 2 minutes on each side. Rice flour makes the fritters crispy. If you feel it needs more salt, you can add little salt in the rice flour mixture.
You can serve this as a side dish along with the full meal. It is a good alternative to fried pakoras.

Andhra Tomato Chutney:

This Tomato Chutney is a South Indian favorite. It's a common among all south indian households. It is classic accompaniment to idlis, dosas, ponganalu. You can even add it to steamed rice and eat.

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Ingredients:


  • 3 Big tomatoes – Cut into big pieces

  • 3 Red Chillies

  • 3 Green Chillies

  • 2 Garlic Cloves

  • ½ inch fresh Ginger

  • 1 Teaspoon Tamarind Paste

  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Roasted Sesame Seeds Powder

  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Oil

  • Salt – As required



Ingredients for Tempering
:


  • ¾ tablespoon Oil

  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds

  • One pinch of Asafoetida Powder


How to Make:

Heat the oil in the pan.  Add garlic, ginger, red chillies and green chillies and fry for some time. Now add tomatoes and tamarind paste and roast till the tomatoes become soft. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Add sesame seeds powder and salt and grind it in a mixer to make a smooth chutney.

Heat oil in a small sauce pan. Make a tempering (tadka) using mustard seeds. After it splutters, add asafoetida powder.  Pour it on chutney and garnish chutney with chopped coriander leaves. You can store the Tomato Chutney in refrigerator for 8-10 days.