Happy new year! Once again, it is time to celebrate, leave your worries behind and start with a fresh mind. You must be wondering, is it December already? You are right, it is just April and no, we are not pranking. As per the lunisolar method of the Hindu calendar, it is the beginning of the new year. The first day of the month of Chaitra as per this calendar, corresponds with the English months of March or April. This is the time when people celebrate Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra with pomp and joy. The word ‘Gudi’ stands for Lord Brahma’s flag while the word ‘Padwa’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘pradurbhu’ or ‘pratipada’ meaning the first day of the lunar month. The legend has it, it was on this day that Lord Brahma created the universe. Others say this day signifies the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and his subsequent coronation after his 14 years of exile. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka this day is celebrated as Ugadi. The word Ugadi is a combination of the words yuga (era) and aadi (beginning). This festival follows Holi, which signifies the end of the old. Gudi Padwa may be known by different names in the country, but the sentiments remain the same- pure joy, enthusiasm and positivity to bring in a brand-new year! In the Maharashtrian tradition, Gudi Padwa is one of the four most auspicious days of the year. People adorn their homes with a gudi (flag) brass pot that hangs upside down on a bamboo pole, adorned with a bright coloured silk cloth, flower garland, mango and neem leaves and Battasha garland (Sugar candy garland). A Gudi is raised to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house. This Gudi is raised at the time of sunrise and taken down before the sunset. The bright morning sun shines upon the gudi and marks the beginning of the harvest season. Devotees offer special prayers and make offerings at temples on this day. People consider this day auspicious to start a new venture or celebrate any special occasions like weddings, house-warmings and for buying gold, silver or property. Most begin their day by eating a paste of neem leaves mixed with jaggery or sugar and tamarind. This bitter sweet mixture indicates that life is a blend of good and bad, happiness and sorrow, so we must accept sweet and bitter experiences in our lives with grace and dignity. This age-old tradition is still significant in modern lives today! Nevertheless, no Indian festival is complete without an elaborate menu of dishes and sweets. Every festival calls for some special dish. In Karnataka and Andhra, sour-and-spicy tamarind rice – called puliyogare (in Kannada) and pulihora (in Telugu) is made. A sweet called holige (which is a cousin of puran poli) is also made. Gudi Padwa is almost incomplete without some amazing Shrikhand, hot fried puri and batatyachi bhaaji. But instead of the usual beloved shrikhand, add in fruity flavours to make it even better. Here are some simple and easy shrikhand recipes for Gudi Pawda. Pineapple Shrikhand As the name suggests, this one is filled with the yumminess of pineapple and creaminess of shrikhand. All you need to do is get some hung yogurt, add in generous amount of chopped pineapple, Kesar (saffron) and sugar, mix it all together and serve it. Oh, just before serving, garnish it with some nuts to also make it look even more pretty. Trust us, this unique flavour of the shrikhand will impress everyone at home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DePFsSNk_V8 Fruit Shrikhand Ok, why just a single fruit when you can have a variety? This fruity twist to the shrikhand is sure to get you drooling. Choose your favourite fruits, chop them into pieces and then follow the recipe by Chef to make outstanding fruit shrikhand. On that note, it is mango season, so don’t forget to add in mangoes! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH5cacK0NXc Stewed Fruits Shrikhand Festivities call for some great looking fancy dishes. Here is the perfect fancy recipe of fruity shrikhand. Watch the video to check out the step by step recipe of how to make stewed fruits shrikhand. Flavourful mix of stewed fruits are placed carefully on a plate and topped with shrikhand to make a master piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2bDhD5BwSc Fruit Shrikhand Delight A dessert that is perfect for your celebrations is here - baked fruit shrikhand. Fruits of choice mixed with shrikhand then arranged along with a layer of crushed sweet mix of arrowroot biscuits in a bowl and baked to perfection. You must give this recipe a try. It is so unique that your friends and family will keep you asking for its recipe. So get ready to flaunt your skills with this easy and tasty recipe. Fruit Shrikhand Delight | Turban Tadka | Chef Harpal Singh | FoodFood - YouTube Puri and Batatyachi Bhaji Finally, we need some amazing meal to go with the fruity rich shrikhand. And we think what can be better than the traditional Puri and Batatyachi Bhaji! It is a classic Maharashtrian combo that you must have along with shrikhand. The fried puris and medium spicy batatyachi bhaji (potato sabzi) are going to multiply happiness. Here is the recipe of how to make Puri and Batatyachi Bhaji at home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rap3DM8YqbQ Try out these delicious shrikhand recipes along with Puri and Batatyachi Bhaji as you celebrate Gudi Padwa. FoodFood wishes you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.