The arrival of spring – as well as the new year – is a grand affair in Karnataka. Vibrant traditional clothes are retrieved from the back of wardrobes, while mango leaves and traditional floor decorations adorn the entrances of homes. Also a popular feature – a sit-down meal that features the state’s most delicious creations – lemon rice, mango pickle, dal, banana fritters, payasam, the works. If you’ve yet to savour these festive South Indian foods or need a reminder of home, head to these spots in the city with special, Ugadi-specific ‘oota’ this year, 2023.
As the chill of winter dissipates and spring flowers – including the famed ‘cherry blossoms’ – begin adorning the streets – Bangalore prepares to ring in the New Year. This is based on Hindu mythology, which points to the day when deity Brahma first created the universe. Derived from the Sanskrit words ‘yuga,’ and ‘adi,’ this celebration is centred on the hope for prosperity and healthy new beginnings. This involves prayers, extensive cleaning of homes, and family get-togethers.
An important part of the festivities? Ugadi chutney – a special fusion of ingredients that represent all six primary flavours of food – neem (bitter), jaggery (sweet), salt, tamarind (sour), green chillies (spice), and raw mangoes (astringent). The idea is for each bite to encourage embracing all different aspects of life with grace. That aside, most homes use the season’s best produce to create a plate of traditional desserts and mains- including tamarind rice (puliyogare), sweet flatbreads (holige), and payasam. If you’ve yet to experience a meal of this sort, here’s a quick guide to a few spots in the city that have festive oota on the table.
Where to get Ugadi-special food in Bangalore
One of the city’s most elegant destinations for regional South Indian fare – Oota always rings in the New Year with a feast. This time around chef Mandaar Sukhantar and chef Dinesh Poojary (along with their team) have curated the most festive spread. On the table is the annapakshi (salver) with salt, lime, bevu-bella (chutney), mavinakayi uppinakayi (mango pickle), and shunti bella (ginger jaggery chutney).
These complement the lineup – with starters like kadlekai kosambari (boiled groundnut salad), alsande kalu vade (black eyed peas fritters), balekai bajji (raw banana fritters) and hapla (assorted papad) paired with a dry fruit bella panaka (jaggery cooler). This is followed up with the mains – heerekayi palya (ridge gourd), gorikayi palya (cluster beans), mavinakayi chitranna (raw mango rice), hesaru bele tove(dal), Udupi badanekayi sambar with mattu gulla brinjals and drumstick, amongst others. Round out the meal with tangy obbattu saaru (sweet flatbread) and sorakaya payasam (bottle gourd kheer). If this doesn’t spell festive, we don’t know what does.
Address: 7th Floor, 331, Road, 5B Rd, Whitefield, EPIP Zone
Contact: +91 88802 33322
Long Boat Brewing Co
Known for its Pinterest-perfect ambience – complete, with an extravagant waterfall – and delicious brews, Long Boat Brewing Co is a must-visit. And while a brewery might not be the first place to spring to mind for a festive meal, the space’s delicious lineup is as festive as they come. On offer are delicacies like puliyogare (tamarind rice), sakkare holige (sweet flatbreads), majjige (buttermilk), and two kinds of kosambari (salad).
Address: Long Boat Brewing co, 108/2, Ist Main, MSR Layout, Marathahalli, Bangalore
Contact: +91 89048 89050
The Bengaluru Brasserie
The city’s go-to for breezy brunches by the pool – The Bengaluru Brasserie has a festive lunch in store this Ugadi. On the menu are ugadi pachadi (chutney), mavinakayi chutney, kadlebele southekai kosambari (salad), mavinakayi chitranna (mango rice), and vani bath (brinjal rice). There’s also a range of sweet treats like shenga holige (sweet flatbread), hesaru bele payasa (jaggery kheer), and more. You also get to choose from international and Indian delicacies from the main menu. Need we say more?
Address: The Bengaluru Brasserie, Hyatt Centric MG Road, Bangalore
Contact: +91 95915 10193
Chalukya Samrat Cafe
Celebrating regional culinary delights – Chalukya Samrat Cafe is a must-visit if you’ve yet to savour Karnataka’s true flavours. For Ugadi, the spot has a special menu in store with delicious food options like gramdal as well as molake kalu and fruit kosambari (salad), chutneys (tomato, coconut, pineapple) with aloo bonda and Udupi Matagulla (brinjal), aloo bhindi dry, thondekai kaju palya, puliyogare (tamarind rice), mango chitranna (mango rice), thondekai kaju palya, akki roti, Hithak bele avarekalu kurma, thove, raw mango thambuli, Udupi red rasam, brinjal drumstick sambar, and more. For dessert, there’s bele holige (sweet flatbread) with ghee and shavige sabbakki payasa. These will be served on a plantain leaf at a table with a kharbuja panaka (melon refresher). Need we say more?
Address: 1 Sobha, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru
Contact: +91 96069 74767
Rounding out this list is a popular spot for hyper-local cuisine in the city. Hallimane’s Ugadi offering includes kokum juice, bevu bella burfi, shavige sabbakki payasa, midi uppinakayi (pickle), carrot as well as corn kosambari (salad), kadale kalu ulsi (bean salad), tondekai godambi palya, aloo peas palya, pineapple gojju (curry), mavinakai shavige chitranna (mango rice), mango holige (mango flat bread), raam, curd, mango rasayana, bharatha (brinjal), vangi bath, vegetable sagu, kali doe, poori, murukku, pakoda, and more! Available during lunch as well as dinner, this is a meal that comes straight from the heart of the culture. You could also order this home or pre-book the meal online.
Address: 3rd cross Sampige Road, Malleshwaram
Contact: +91 98808 33199
Which of these spots are you headed to with your loved ones this Ugadi?
All images: Courtesy Brands/Shutterstock
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