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Vishu Sadya - Recipes From Kerala

Chitra Parayath
04/08/2003

Keralites all over the world celebrate Vishu, the Malaylee New Year in mid April. This year Vishu falls on April 15th. Following the custom of viewing the Vishukani( the lucky sight) in the morning of the festival, children's are brought blind folded from their beds to where the Kani ((the lucky sight or gift) is kept. The Vishu kani traditionally has a large dish with a grantha (palm-leaf manuscript), a gold ornament, a new cloth, some flowers from the konna tree (cassia fistula), some coins, a split coconut, a cucumber, some fruit arranged on it. On either side of the dish are two burning lamps with a chair facing it. It is believed that the Kani we see and its good tidings stays with us till the year ends.
A feast or Vishu Sadya follows after the bursting of firecrackers to greet the New Year.

Kaalan
Ingredients
Raw Bananas or Yam
Green chillies - 6
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coconut - 8 tbsp ( grated)
Cumin seeds - 1/8 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek a pinch
Red chilli (whole) - 2
Thick yogurt - 1 cup
Curry leaves - a few
Oil and Salt - to taste
Preparation
Cook the vegetable with 3 green chillies, turmeric powder, chilli powder, water and salt. When done mash it using a spoon. Grind coconut with the remaining green chillies and cumin seeds. Add to the cooked vegetable and heat to boil. Turn off the flame. Add yogurt and mix very well. Season with mustard seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek and whole red chillies. Serve with Rice.

Thoran
Ingredients
Green Beans (1lb)
Onion (1 medium - Optional)
Garlic (2 Coves)
Coconut - Grated (1 Cup)
Cumin Powder (1 Tsp.)
Red Chili Powder (1/4 Tsp.)
Turmeric Powder (1/2 Tsp.)
Oil (2 Tbsp.)
Mustard seed, red chili, curry leaves for seasoning
Preparation
Cut beans, onion and garlic. In a frying pan, season oil, mustard seed, red chili and curry leaves. Add the beans and onion. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder and chili powder. Cover and cook. If the beans are very dry, sprinkle some water. Once it is half-cooked, add the grated coconut and chopped garlic. Mix well. Serve with Rice.

Avial
Ingredients
2lb Vegetables (Drumsticks, Eggplant, Yam, String beans, Raw Banana, Ash gourd, Carrots, Zucchini, Squash cut lengthwise)
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
6-8 nos. Green chillies
2 large Onions
1 cup Grated coconut
1 tablespoon Tamarind paste (or cup beaten sour yoghurt)
2 tablespoons Oil
5-6 nos. Curry leaves
Preparation
Peel and cut the vegetables into 2 inch long strips. Slightly boil the drum sticks with salt. Grind the coconut to a fine paste.
Boil some water and add vegetables to it. Add the red chilli and turmeric powders. When the vegetables are almost cooked add green chillies and salt. Add the tamarind extract and coconut paste. Simmer on a low flame for 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a small pan and add the curry leaves. When the leaves change color pour over the cooked vegetables.
Serve hot with rice and pickle.

Erisseri
Ingredients:
Chana dhal cup
Green unripe banana 1
Finely ground Black Pepper teaspoon
Turmeric powder teaspoon
Red chili powder teaspoon
Salt to taste
Fresh or frozen grated coconut cup
Cumin seeds a pinch
(Blend the coconut and cumin seeds to a fine paste using very little water)
Oil 2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Dried Red chili pepper (broken to pieces) 2
Curry leaves 5-6 sprigs
Grated coconut cup
Preparation
Clean and wash the Chana Dhal. Add the dhal to 2 cups of water in a cooking pot, cover it with a lid and cook over medium heat. Do not over cook to the point that the dhal is a paste.
Cut the peeled banana in to inch cubes. Wash and place them in a cooking pot. Add 2 cups of water, black pepper, chili powder, Turmeric and salt. Cover with a lid and heat it up. Stir in between and see that the banana cubes are cooked. Now add the cooked dhal and mix well and boil for a few more minutes. If required add small quantities of hot water to prevent the contents from burning. Add the coconut-cumin paste to this and continue heating till it comes to a boil. Stir the contents occasionally for uniform cooking and to avoid burning.
Remove from stovetop.
Heat up a saucepan and when it is hot and dry add the oil. Now add the Mustard seeds to the oil and cover the pan with a lid to prevent splattering. Once the seeds start popping, add red chilies, curry leaves and cup grated coconut and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue until the grated coconut turn golden brown in color and an aroma is released. Add this seasoning to the prepared Erriseri and mix very well. Cover with a lid.

Paalada Pradhaman
Ingredients:
Ada pieces of dried rice flour cakes(available at Indian stores) I packet
Whole milk 5-8 cups
Sweetened Condensed milk (14 oz can) - cup
Sugar 1-1 cup
Cardamom powder 1 teaspoon
Ghee cup
Raisins roasted in Ghee
Cashews broken and roasted in Ghee 1 tablespoon-
Preparation
Wash the Ada and add this to 4 cups of boiled water and turn off the stove. Drain the water after 20 minutes.
Heat up a heavy bottomed pot and add 2 tablespoon ghee. Transfer the softened Ada to the ghee and heat and stir for 3-5 minutes. Add milk and cook the Ada at medium flame. Stir occasionally and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer this for about 45 minutes stirring to prevent the Ata sticking to the bottom and burning. Now, add cup condensed milk. Stir well. Add of the sugar and mix well. Taste and add the remaining sugar, to the desired sweetness. Let it simmer, stirring constantly, for 10 more minutes. Turn off the stove and let this stand in the cooked vessel for a couple of hours. Stir the contents in between to prevent a creamy layer forming on top.
When the paayasam is cooled down, add the Cardamom powder and mix.
Add the Raisins and broken Cashew nuts roasted in Ghee to the paayasam.



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