Pachadi is a spicy, savory, sweet or tangy South Indian accompaniment dish, usually made of vegetables or dals(lentils), traditionally served as an accompaniment to rice, Indian savory pancakes or breads. Generally pounded, minced or cut into small pieces as per the pachadi recipe, the pachadi is cooked in different ways in different regions of South India. The pachadi recipe cooked in Tamil Nadu and Kerala comes in the form of a curry and resembles the “Raita” of North India in a number of ways. In Andhra Pradesh, this dish is prepared into a fresh pickle, which is eaten within 2 to 3 days as it doesn’t have a long shelf live.
Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparation of Pachadi Recipe
The basic ingredients used in the preparation of pachadi are fresh vegetables. The vegetables used in the recipe can be of different types and sometimes, peels of certain vegetables are also used in the preparation of this South Indian side dish. One popular peel used in making pachadi is that of Ridged Gourd, and the preparation is mostly made in Andhra Pradesh, where it is known as beerapottu pachadi. This particular pachadi recipe has a very spicy and hot taste. Often the vegetables used in most of these recipes are somewhat raw or are sautéed in peanut oil. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, pachadi is generally savored fresh. In these two states, the pachadi recipe commonly involves the addition of finely chopped vegetables along with spices and condiments like coconut, red or green chilies. The vegetables are boiled and then sautéed in the oil tempered with ginger, mustard seeds and curry leaves. The vegetables commonly used in this vegetarian recipe include squash, cucumber, tomato, mango or bitter gourd. Amongst fruits, pineapple is quite common. For making the curry base of pachadi, yogurt or curd is commonly used.
Serving and Eating Pachadi
Pachadi is traditionally served as a side dish with regional delicacies like steamed rice, idli (rice cakes), dosa (sour rice and lentil pancakes) and pesarattu (Moong dal dosa). Often, this dish is eaten in combination with a lentil curry along with any of the aforementioned rice based main dish. Sometimes, pachadi is also made on special occasions like the Ugadi pachadi, which is made on Ugadi Day in Andhra Pradesh. In the traditional feast of Kerala, Sadya, pachadi dishes made of raw mango, pineapple, cucumber are a must include, which are savored with cooked rice.
Popular Pachadi Variations
One of the most popular variations of pachadi is Ugadi pachadi, commonly eaten in Andhra Pradesh. This dish is cooked with fresh blossoms of neem, salt, tamarind juice, jiggery, pieces of raw green mango and red chili powder. Another common preparation is the vellarika pachadi, where cucumber is the main vegetable used alongside the regular green chili, red chili powder, coconut, salt, tamarind pulp, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Some people even prefer adding shallots, cilantro, bay leafs and cumin seeds to the pachadi recipes. The other common variations are beetroot ladies finger pachadi made by crisp frying grated beetroots and chopped ladies finger, tomato pachadi cooked with roasted or sundried tomatoes. The mango pachadi recipe cooked with raw mango pieces and the Vendakka Thayir Pachadi cooked with curd and okra are two immensely popular variants eaten in Kerala.