Indian thali series/ Recipes

How to prepare Ugadi lunch menu at home – Karnataka Style

South Indian Lunch Menu Series

Day 3 of Kannada Cuisine

Continuing with my culinary adventures in Kannada cuisine and on my quest to explore more and more of this simple and beautiful cuisine, I dig deeper through the books, blogs and articles. And off course though my own memories that is still warm and fresh, the beautiful days we had spent in the countryside of Karnataka, the hills, the rain forest of Western Ghats, and the plantation life. Each time I was astonished to find the simplicity in their food and the culture, the traditions, rituals that is being followed religiously through ages with utmost devotion and conviction that one feels from heart for their cultural heritage and traditions.

We had once traveled during Ugadi festival to Malnad region on a short trip and had stayed with a family in their heritage villa in their own 100 acre spread coffee plantations. That was truly a wonderful experience for us as we got to watch closely the plantation life in details. Right from the fruit being plucked fresh from their farm to cooking it in traditional kitchen in earthen or brass wares in traditional method using firewood hearth and above all how the entire life process at the plantation was maintained organically in such efficient ways. There were glimpses of old world charm and each day I just fell in love with their life… and time just flew away.

We were once invited to a luxuriant spread of Ugadi delicacies that were arranged so beautifully and aesthetically on banana leafs, adorned with fresh flowers at places, and it speaks volumes about their rich and varied cuisine. Simple, aesthetic, flavourful and it taste heavenly.

ugadi lunch menu recipes



So today I had prepared a simple Ugadi lunch menu taking few elements from that elaborate festive platter and created a homely thali meals that can be arranged and cooked easily.

  1. On the platter is Obattu / Holige. More commonly in Northern India it is known as Puran poli. I had tasted its many variations and as you travel across the state from North to South, the flavours changes. Among lentil both chana dal and tuvar dal is equally popular and is entirely depend upon from which region of Karnataka you hails from. Traditionally it is being made with all purpose flour and rolled out very thin, but health conscious people has started using wheat flour too. Some use jaggery, other sugar and some are made just with coconut only knowns a koli holige. I choose the middle path that is an amalgamation of all the known flavours. So, my holige consist a filling of chana dal, jaggery, coconut and crushed nut powder.
  2. Chitranna is another must have essential on Ugadi lunch platter. Since Ugadi falls in between March – April, that is also the time to get plenty of raw / unripe mangoes. So mostly it is prepared with unripe mangoes known as Mavinakayi Chitranna. I had prepared it with lemons, so it becomes Nimbekayi Chitranna. This is one rice dish that is gently flavoured, no overpowering spices and with hint of tanginess that comes from the souring agent used.
  3. Puliogare or tamarind rice – this is the one dish that I instantly fell in love with when I was first introduced to Kannada cuisine through my office lunches. Yes, it used to be my staple office lunch on days when I didn’t get enough time to pack myself home cooked lunch boxes. It used to little spicy but with raita, and assorted fried items it was always a pleasant experience for me. Over the years I had gradually shifted towards my own variation of it, keeping only those spices that my family is comfortable with and deleting the others from the recipe. But you will hardly feel any differences. I have just lowered down the heat to a comfortable level.
  4. Obattu Saru – rasam for those who are not well versed with Kannada, including me. This is surprisingly good, a combination of sweet and spicy. This is usually made with leftover obattu filling.
  5. Kosambri – carrot-lentil-coconut salad . Ever since I discovered that raw grated carrots taste so good, I am preparing this Kannada style kosambri salad a lot.
  6. Shavige Payasam / Semiya / vermicelli kheer – a payasam is must in any festive platter across cultures. I had tasted lentil payasam on many occasion, which I feel is very unique to South Indian cuisine in general. Here I prepared a quick and easy Semiya kheer or Shavige payasam

chitranna lemon rice


Except preparing few things ahead like making puliogare spice blend before hand or keeping ready your holige filling, this platter is relatively simple, easy and consume less time to arrange.

So here how to go about it –

I followed the recipe for Obbattu Saru / Rasam from Archana’s Kitchen.

To prepare this Ugadi lunch platter and for the recipes I had refer Chitras foodbook  and VegRecipesofKarnataka

how to prepare Ugadi lunch menu Karnataka style
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to prepare Ugadi lunch menu Karnataka style
Serves: 3
  • Cooked white rice for the family
  • Coconut scraped :1
  • Wheat flour : 1 cup
  • All purpose flour :1 cup
  • Jaggery powder as needed
  • Chana dal for filling : 1 cup
  • Cardomom powder : 2 tsp
  • Nutmeg and cinnamon powder : ¼ tsp each
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee for tadka, for roasting the semiya and frying the holige
  • Semiya / vermicelli : ½ cup
  • Milk : ½ l
  • Sugar : 5 tbsp or as required
  • Cashew and raisin fried in ghee : a handful
  • Puliogare spice blend ( 1 tsp each of sesame, urad dal, bengal gram, cumin, 2 tsp coriander seeds, ¼ tsp each of poppy and fenugreek seeds, 2-3 dry red chilies, 3-4 black peppercorns = roast and grind everything to a powder)
  • Tamarind : one lemon size ball soaked in warm water
  • Tempering spices - Black mustard seeds, Urad dal, curry leaves, red chillies
  • Peanuts (soaked ) : 1 cup {1/2 cup each for Chitranna and Puliogare)
  • Grated carrots : 1 cup
  • Soaked moong lentil : ¼ cup or more
  • Cucumber grated or sliced thinly : ½ cup
  • Lemon juice : ½ cup diluted
  • Oil for frying
  1. Assuming you are using multi burner gas stove like me (mine is 4 burner)
  2. First start boiling the milk. While the milk is boiling quickly roast the cashews and raisins in ghee.
  3. While this is going on, pressure cook the chana dal and keep it ready.
  4. Once the milk is reduced enough, add the roasted vermicelli (I prepare it ahead)
  5. Keep stirring till the semiya becomes soft. This will take 20 minute around and do it in medium flame.
  6. Once done, add sugar. Cook further on low heat till sugar dissolves. Stir in the fried cashews and raisins. Sprinkle cardamom powder over it. Just a pinch is enough. Dessert is ready.
  7. Start preparing the rice dishes - The grains of cooked rice should be separated. For this add a knob of butter while cooking the rice. We cook the rice in dekchi with excess water, and then drain the water.
  8. Now for chitranna - heat a pan and grease it well with oil. Add one teaspoon ghee and temper it with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and red chillies. Once the dal turns brown add the peanuts and fry them. Add a large pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well.
  9. Add the rice required for chitranna (around 2 cups cooked rice) and mix really well till every grain of rice gets a light yellow color. Lastly add the lemon juice and mix it well. Chitranna is ready.
  10. While chitranna is getting ready, quickly heat a pan and add the tamarind extract with water jaggery, salt and turmeric powder. Add the puligare spice blend and stir well. Let it boil and the mixture turn little syrupy.
  11. In another pan grease it well with oil and add one teaspoon ghee. Temper the ghee with mustard seeds, curry leaves , urad dal, gram dal, red chillies. Once the dal turns brownish in color add the peanuts and fry well.
  12. Next add the rice and stir well. Add the above tamarind-jaggery-puliogare spice mixture.
  13. Mix everything really well. Puliogare is ready.
  14. For holige - prepare the filling. This I prepared the previous night and kept in the fridge.
  15. Blend the soaked chana dal (1 cup), jaggery (1/2 cup +), scraped coconut (1/2 cup) with little water until very smooth. In a pan add this mixture, and sprinkle it with nutmeg powder, cardamom powder and cinnamon powder (all one pinch around) and dry the mixture till it becomes soft but stiff ball. Holige filling is ready .
  16. Prepare the dough for holige - Sift both the flour (wheat + maida) plus salt and add the around 4 tsp oil. Rub it well till the dough looks like bread crumbs. Add more oil if requires. Now knead the dough by adding water gradually. Around 10-15 min time. The dough should be soft, ealstic and pliable. Cover the dough until required.
  17. Sprinkle rice flour (you can use maida too) on your work surface, pinch a 2inch size dough from the ball, flatten it, stuff it with one walnut size holige filling. Close it nicely and with the help of palm, flatten it carefully so the mixture inside spreads out evenly.
  18. Roll out the holige thinly and put it on heated tawa. Flip it once when the lower side is cooked well. Grease it with ghee and flip again. Repeat with rest of the dough. Holige is ready
  19. Prepare the salad just before serving. Mix the grated carrot with cucumber and lentil. Garnish it with little coconut. Drizzle it with lime juice and done.

Hope you have loved this platter. Share your views on Facebook or Instagram or in comment section.


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