Today is Ugadi Festival, we the South Indians celebrate it as New Year’s day. We, the Kannadigas (people of Karnataka) consider Ugadi as an auspicious day for commencing new ventures. This is the time when New Year’s Day is celebrated in other states of India as well. The term “Ugadi” is basically originated from Sanskrit word “Yugadi” which means beginning of a new yuga or period. Apart from sweet dishes, we prepare a very special dish called “Bevu-Bella” on this auspicious day and offer it to God along with other festive dishes. Neem is called Bevu in Kannada (language of Karnataka) and jaggery is called Bella. This dish has got its own significance. My grandma used to tell me about the significance of this dish. Life is the mixture of joys and sorrows and we should accept both as and when they appear in our life, in the right spirit. Neem indicates bitterness or sorrow of life and jaggery indicates sweetness or joy of life. I am telling you the very simple and authentic way of preparing “Bevu Bella” which I learnt from my mom. Let’s see the preparation of tasty and delicious Bevu Bella.
- Petals of neem flower – 1/2 Tea spoon
- Jaggery (crushed) – 2 Table spoon
- Sugar – 2 Table spoon
- Ajwain – 1/2 Tea spoon
- Poppy seeds/Khas Khas – 1 Tea spoon
- Puffed Bengal gram/Hurigadale/Puthani – 1 Table spoon
- Dry coconut powder – 1 Table spoon (you can use grated dry coconut)
- Raw Mango (grated) – 1 Table spoon
- Grapes – 250 grams
- Musk Melon – 1 (Medium size)
- Seedless Dates/khajur – 8
- Sapota – 2 (Medium size)
- Ripe Mango – 1 (Medium size)
- Tamarind Pulp – 5-6
- Dry fruits – 50 grams (together)
I use raisins, almonds and cashew nuts as dry fruits. You can use dry fruits according to your taste.
- Wash and clean all fruits. Cut each grape into two pieces. Cut Sapota, Muskmelon, Dates and ripe Mango into small pieces. Pour all chopped fruits into a big Stainless steel bowl. You have to add all ingredients to it.
- In case of fruits – you can use any number of fruits available in the market.
- Crush ajwain coarsely and add it to fruits bowl.
- Remove skin of raw mango and grate it. Add one table spoon of grated mango to fruits bowl.
- Crush all dry fruits and add it to fruits bowl.
- Crush puffed bengal gram(Hurigadale/Puthani) coarsely and add it to fruits bowl.
- Add grated or powdered dry coconut to fruits bowl.
- Add crushed jaggery, sugar, tamarind pulp, poppy seeds to fruits bowl.
- Now comes the important ingredient of the dish which is…..Bevu (Neem). You have to be very careful while adding this ingredient. Take neem flowers, remove petals from it, I repeat only petals not seeds. There will be small seeds in the centre, you have to takeout only petals add it to fruits bowl.
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and offer it to God as naivedya. After naivedya, you can serve it to guests and family.
- Ugadi Special Bevu Bella is ready to serve.
- Isn’t it simple and easy!
- Enjoy cooking.