Garelu, Ugadi Pachadi, Rice Payasam

Dr Padmaja Lokireddy
Dr PadmajaLokireddy is a well-known oncologist and a bone marrow transplant consultant in Hyderabad. For Padmaja and her family, Ugadi is an auspicious festival celebrated by wearing new clothes, decorating the shrine with flowers, cooking festive food with her mother and offering prayers to the divine lord. On this day, Padmaja takes a break from her usual routine and spends some quality time with her husband and children.

Traditional dishes like garelu, ugadipachadi and rice payasam are usually prepared during Ugadi.


Ingredients            Qty

urad dal
baking soda
1 cup
1 -2 tsp
200 ml
a pinch


1. Take one cup of urad dal and rinse thoroughly. Soak it for atleast 5 hours.

2. After about 5 hours, drain the dal and grind it until the batter becomes fluffy and soft. While grinding the dal, add ice cold water for 20 mins and add 1-2 tsp of salt  and half a pinch of baking soda.

3. Take a large frying pan and heat oil on medium flame.

4. Take the batter and make small round shaped balls. Flatten the vada using your thumb and make a hole in the middle.

5. Fry them in the oil until they turn golden brown and crispy.

6. These delicious vadas/garelu are offered to the god and then later served with chutney or sambar.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ingredients              Qty

raw mango
neem flower
pepper powder
tamarind pulp
ripe Banana
Coconut pieces
1 ½ - 2 tbsp  (finely chopped)
2 sprigs
as per taste
1 ½ cup
a pinch
4 tbsp
1 tbsp or as per taste  
6 -7  pieces
5-6 (optional)
1 tsp


1. Take tamarind and soak it in about 1 ½ cup of warm water. Squeeze out the juice from the pulp and keep this aside.  

2. In a cup of water, add 4 tbsp of grated jaggery and mix well until it dissolves completely.

3. Now in a large bowl, take the tamarind juice, add the melted jaggery, 2 sprigs of neem flower, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper powder, 1 ½ - 2 tbsp of finely chopped mango pieces, 6-7 pieces of banana, 5-6 cashews and 1 tsp of coconut pieces. Mix all the ingredients well and it’s ready to serve. After you taste it, you may add some salt/ pepper powder if needed.

Rice Payasam

Ingredients             Qty

¼  cup
2 cups
¼ cup
1 tbsp
3 - 4


1. Wash the rice thoroughly and soak it in water. Keep this aside.

2. In a heavy bottom pan, take 2 cups of milk and bring it to a boil.

3. To the boiling milk, add drained rice and keep stirring. Cook the rice till it turns soft. Make Sure to stir it every few minutes.

4. Adjust the consistency of the payasam by adding more milk. Allow the rice and milk to cook well.

5. In a small frying pan, add 1 tbsp ghee and fry the cashews until golden brown.

6. To the boiling milk, add 3-4 cardamom and ¼ cup of sugar. Mix well. Now add the roasted cashews and mix well. Rice payasam is ready to serve.