Festivals in India are never complete without delicious foods. And rightly so, as Indian cuisine boasts of myriad, palatable, irresistible dishes for every occasion.
States across the country are gearing to usher in the New Year. While for some it’s Ugadi, Baisakhi, and Bihu, it is known as Vishu in Kerala. The Malayali New Year starts with Vishu Kani in the morning which comprises of cucumber, rice, areca nuts, betel leaves, gold ornaments, new clothes, coins, mangoes, jackfruit, metal mirror, lemon, along with a lit metal lamp; the intention being members of the house must see these items, as the first thing in the morning.
This is followed by a special feast called ‘sadya’ which is a customary thing in every Malayali household.
Let’s take a look at some of the yummy delicacies prepared during Vishu:
Aviyal: No Kerala feast or sadya is complete without this traditional dish, aviyal. It’s one of the favourite Keralite delicacies. Served as an accompaniment to rice, it’s a thick mixture of different vegetables, ash gourd, curd, grated coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves.It is said that Bhima had come up with this mixed vegetable preparation during their exile period, according to Hindu mythology.
Olan: Yet another must-try delicacy from Kerala. It is a tantalizingly delicious item prepared with ash gourds and cowpeas, coconut milk, coconut oil and fresh curry leaves.
Kootu Curry: A delight for your taste buds would be this fine kootu curry dish. A thick curry based dish made with roasted coconut, a few veggies- yam, plantain, black chickpeas, this traditional curry is undoubtedly a divine sadya delicacy. This is a perfect, non-spicy, slightly sweet, satisfying side dish, best enjoyed with steamed rice.
Kurukku Kalan: It’s a silky, smooth, creamy curd (yoghurt) based dish prepared during both Vishu and Onam. Made by thickening (kurukking) beaten curd, grated coconut, peppercorns, cumin, mustard, fenugreek seeds, this yummy dish is a must-have delicacy. Other variations of this dish include ingredients like chena or elephant foot or yam or raw plantain.
Vishu Katta: This is a traditional, mouth-watering authentic Malayali dish. It’s a lovely preparation of rice cake made with coconut milk, raw brown rice, cumin, dry ginger powder; and eaten with jaggery syrup.