Vishu, the festival that rings in a new year for Malayalis, is observed on the first day of Medam month. Vishu is is a special occasion for devotees of Lord Krishna. Vishu literally means equal and it connotes the spring equinox. A long array of rituals starts with the viewing of first sight of New Year-Vishukkani-followed by a blast of crackers and the Vishu Sadya at noon.
Vishu Sadya is a wholesome meal containing every type of traditional Kerala food starting from healthy Kanji to delicious Pradhaman, involving flavours ranging from salt and sweet to sour and bitter. Bawarchi brings you a list of tried and tested Vishu Recipes.
1. Vishu Kanji
Vishu Kanji is served as breakfast served on the auspicious day of 'Vishu'. It is traditionally relished after viewing the Vishukanni, early in the morning. In major parts of Central Kerala, it is referred to as ' Vishu Katta'. It is prepared with parboiled rice, white beans and finely scraped coconut. This kanji tastes best with Chakka puzhukku - steamed jackfruit.
2. Vishu Puzhuku
Vishu Puzhuku is a must-have dish on this harvest festival. The tasty side dish is made with Kada Chakka (Breadfruit) , ripe pumpkin, white peas, raw plaintain , grated coconut mixed along with rich Kerala spices. The protein-rich raw fruit is slow cooked along with other vegetables and seasoned with spicy masalas. Coconut oil is added at last for some extra kick.
3. Kerala Style Aviyal
A simple and delicious stewed recipe with the goodness of varied healthy veggies. It occupies a major place in the vegetarian feast of Kerala - Vishu Sadya. This rich, flavourful curry uses a bunch of vegetables like banana, yam, brinjal, snake gourd and drumstick with a thick coconut paste. People enjoy it along with steamed rice and sambhar.
4. Jackfruit Unniyappam
A perfect sugary treat for your sweet tooth - ' Chakka Unniyappam', a must-try festive delicacy. Also called as ' Neiyappam', it is traditionally prepared with bananas but this special recipe is made with jackfruit. Raw rice (pachari), fleshy jackfruit pieces and grated coconut are mixed to a smooth batter. Jaggery, cardamom powder and ginger powder are added to attain the delectable sweet taste. Finally, the sweet dumplings are shallow fried on a medium flame.
5. Mambazha Pulissery
Mambazha Pulissery/Mambazha Kalan is one of the traditional curries of Kerala made during peak mango season and festive occasions. It is a sour-sweet curry as ripe, juicy mangoes are used with thick curd. The fresh spices are blended well with the mango-curd mixture for a super tangy Mambazha Pulissery.
6.Kerala Banana Chips
Who isn’t fond of this all-time favourite snack? This tasty snack is also called as 'Nendran Chips' because it is made with Nendrankai/banana. This snack is deep fried in coconut oil and mixed along with chilli powder for the extra spiciness. These crispy chips have a shelf-life of 7-8 days.
Puli-Inji is a sweet-sour appetizer that is usually served in Kerala Sadhya.. The ingredients -ginger, dried red chillies, tamarind paste, jaggery and mustard seeds give the needed tartness for the meal. Puli-Inji can be relished as a side dish and you can refrigerate for future use.
8. Cabbage Thoran
Cabbage Thoran is cabbage stir fried with grated coconut. A Kerala Sadya is incomplete without a thoran recipes and Cabbage Thoran is among the most popular among them. There are many versions of this dish and this specific recipe uses shallots instead of plain onions. The fresh cabbage is gently cooked along with coarse masala mixture of coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Stir fry in such a way that the thoran remains crunchy and not mushy.
9. Kerala Parippu Curry
Kerala Parippu Curry is a traditional Moong Dal curry of Kerala that finds its place in a sadya. Otherwise called as 'Parippu koottan', it is relished by Keralites with ghee and plain steamed rice. The green gram dal (moong dal) is pressure cooked along with turmeric powder and then thick coconut paste is added to it. Make sure that proper amount of water is used to achieve a thick, delicious curry.
It is rich in dietary fibre and high in water content, making it a good option for people who watch their weight.
10. Chakka Pradhaman
Because Vishu occurs during jackfruit season, Chakka Pradhaman is a popular way to end a sadya. This payasam or kheer is prepared with ripe, juicy jackfruit pieces or with jackfruit preserve (Chakka Varatti) / jackfruit paste. The jackfruit paste is slow cooked along with jaggery and coconut milk. Garnish with cashew nuts and coconut bits and serve warm or cold.