Vishu is a festival celebrated by the Hindus of Kerala and marks the beginning of the Malyali New Year. It is when the sun enters the first solar month and people celebrate this day by wearing new clothes, eating a traditional meal and following rituals like Vishukkani and seeking the blessings of the elderly. However, like every festival, Vishu too has its own set of traditional dishes that are prepared in most Malyali households. The meal includes seasonal as well as staple dishes and is usually eaten on a banana leaf. If you are celebrating Vishu this year, here are the dishes you can savor on the day of the festival. (ALSO SEE How to flaunt a traditional Vishu look)
One of the most authentic dishes that one can savor on Vishu is Vishu kanji. It is a dish that consists of rice with coconut milk and Indian spices. It has a porridge-like consistency and is usually had as it is for with papad. In some parts of Kerala, it is also made using different pulses, a little rice and salt. Some add jaggery to it too. Vishu kanji is a filling dish that you can relish on this New Year.
Another dish that you can relish is Vishu katta which is made using coconut milk, powdered rice and jaggery. It is sweet in taste and is absolutely delicious. Even though it is high in calories, it has nutritious ingredients which makes it a rich but healthy delicacy. Katta translates to solid so this is a dry dessert instead of a liquid one.
Thoran is a part of all sadhyas. It is a side dish that is usually consumed with rice. It is a dry, vegetable dish that also uses coconut in the preparation. Traditionally, the dish is prepared using vegetables like cabbage, unripe jackfruit, beans, bitter gourd and more. The vegetables are finally chopped and seasoned with turmeric powder, mustard seeds, curry leaves, etc.
A difficult dish to pronounce but nevertheless one of the best ones of a Vishu meal, this dish is a seasonal one as it is made using mangoes. It has a soup-like consistency and is sweet and sour in taste. Mampazhappulissery can be relished as it is or eaten along with rice as well. Since mango is a seasonal fruit, this dish is one of the favorite ones during this time.
While these dishes are specials of a Vishu meal, other staples of a sadhya are also part of it and served on the banana leaf. These include banana chips, rasam which is a thin, spiced liquid dish, sambar which has vegetables and is eaten with rice. Usually red rice which is coarser is served on Vishu. Pyssam which is one of the most popular sweet dishes is also served along. Buttermilk is also served which is a Kerala staple and had at the end of the meal. It acts as a digestive and soothes the stomach as well. The sadhya consists of dishes that offer different tastes like sweet, sour, bitter, tangy to tickle your taste buds as well as expect a roller-coaster ride in life on the first year of the New Year. Just like you cannot eat only sweet or salty foods, you should be ready for all kinds of experiences in life.
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