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6-min read

Vishu Special: Know All About The Festival

Vishu is the Hindu new year festival celebrated in Kerala. The festival follows the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar as the first day of month called Medam.

Manila Venugopal | News18.com

Updated:April 14, 2017, 9:51 AM IST
Vishu Special: Know All About The Festival
Image courtesy: Getty Images

Vishu is the Hindu new year festival celebrated in Kerala. The festival follows the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar as the first day of month called Medam.

Literally Vishu means equal and in this context it connotes the completion of spring equinox. On this day, the people set up Vishukkani, which they have to see first thing in the morning and prepare scrumptious meal, Vishu Sadya, for the family.

How to prepare Vishukkani?

It is believed that your fate for the rest of the year depends of the first thing they see in the morning on Vishu. So, Vishukkani is prepared with all the auspicious things or things that are associated with prosperity.

Things you need:

Uruli/Silver/Copper Vessel

Golden Ornaments

Silver/Golden/Ordinary Coins

Fresh white clothes, if possible Mundu/Neryathu/Saree with Kasavu

A measure of rice or paddy

Halved jack fruits

Halved coconuts

Yellow cucumber

Statue or picture of Lord Krishna

Nilavilakku/ Oil Lamp

Konnapoovu/ Cussia fistula

Aranmula Kannadi/ Vaalkannadi

How to Prepare

Keep the Uruli and put vegetables and rice first.

Keep the clothes and ornaments on the side.

Then keep the Vaalkannadi.

Keep Lord Krishna's idol behind Vaalkannadi.

Keep the oil lamp in front of the idol.

The kani is prepared on the eve of Vishu by the lady of the house. The master of the house is the first one to see the kani and then the other members of the family. Children are brought blindfolded from their rooms to see the Vishukkani in the morning.

What is Vishu Sadya?

Sadya means feast, Vishu Sadya as the name suggests is the feast prepare on Vishu. The sadya consists of various dishes that are prepared for lunch including payasam.

Here is a list of dishes prepared for Vishu lunch or Vishu Sadya:


In Sadya mostly Kerala Matta rice (semi-polished parboiled brown) is used. The rice is boiled and the water drained out.

#keralaRice #mattaRice

A post shared by Oscar Dom Victor Castellino (@operawala) on


Parippu is dal curry which is ussually served with rice, papadum and ghee.

Kerala Parippu (Dal)Curry #keralafood #indianfood #spicenflavor #parippu #dal #parippucurry

A post shared by Thomas Vellaringattu (@tomvell) on


Sambar is made out of lentils, tamarind, vegetables and asafoetida.


A watery dish made with tamarind, tomatoes, and spices like black pepper, asafoetida, coriander, chili pepper.


Avial is a mixed vegetable dish with coconut, coconut oil and curry leaves.


Made with curd, coconut and one vegetable, mostly yam.

Kurukku kaalan! #kaalan #kalan #keralaculture #keralacuisine #festivalfood #southindianfood #thaninaadan #indiancooking #desifood

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Ussually prepared with white gourd or black peas, the dish has coconut milk, and ginger seasoned with coconut oil

Pumpkin - poosanikai #spicesandaroma

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Koottukari is prepared with raw banana or yam with chickpeas, coconut and black pepper.

#koottukari #keralameals #kerala #traditionaldishes #vishu #sadya #myowncooking

A post shared by jaseela kansool.m.p (@princess_shan_clicks) on


Erissery is made from pumpkin, black-eyed peas and coconut.


Made of curd, Kichadi is a sour curry that has cucumber or ash gourd. It is cooked in coconut ground with mustard seeds and curry leaves.


Another for of Kichadi, Pachadi is made with pineapple, pumpkin or grapes in yoghurt. The gravy masala comprises coconut ground with cumin seeds and green chillies.


Made with slightly sour curd and cucumber, Pulisseri is yellow-coloured thin curry.

മാമ്പഴ പുളിശ്ശേരി..... #cooking #keralafood #pulisseri

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Injipuli/ Puli-inji:

Injipuli is a sweet pickle made of ginger, tamarind, green chilies, and jaggery.

#puliinji #shanthiskitchen #recipe The goodness of ginger can be enjoyed as "puli inji" with curd rice ,idli,dosa, pesarettu,etc. The simple recipe goes like this! 1) soak one tennis sized ball of tamarind ( 50-75 gms) in 1.5 cup luke warm water and extract thick pulp around 1.5 to 2 cups using more water if required to extract the full pulp. 2) peel and cut 100 gms ginger ( should be neither too tender nor too hard) into tiny cubes or grate them into fine pieces. 3) heat a wok with 50 ml ( 1/4 cup) sesame oil ,crackle mustard,1 tsp methi seeds,a big piece of asafoetida or 1 tsp asafoetida powder and add the chopped ginger.Saute for few minutes or till the ginger pieces become almost soft. 4) add a pinch of turmeric powder,2 tsp chilli powder,saute for few seconds and add the thick tamarind pulp.Add required salt and let it boil for 10 minutes in medium flame.once the gravy starts thickening add 1 tbsp powdered jaggery and let it melt & mix with the gravy.in another 5-6 minutes the ginger will absorb the moisture with all the spices added to the tamarind pulp.add some more oil if required ( shouldn't stick to the bottom of the pan) and cook till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.switch off ,check for salt and adjust. Your puli inji is ready when the oil starts to float on top which can be served with any tiffin of your choice. Variation: You can add 8-10 deseeded chopped pieces of green chillies along with ginger but omit the step of adding chilli powder. The amount of jaggery to be added depends on your taste and purely optional.

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A simple recipe, the dish is made of sauteed vegetables such as peas, green beans, raw jackfruit, carrots, or cabbage with grated coconut.

These dishes are ussually served with pickle, pappadam (papad), jaggery chips, banana chips, banana and buttermilk.

| Edited by: Manila Venugopal
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