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Recipes - Vishu Sadya

Chitra Parayath

 Keralites all over the world will celebrate the festival of 'Vishu', on the first day of the Malayalam month 'Medam' (Aries)on April 14 this year. Following the custom of viewing the Vishukani ( the lucky sight) in the morning of the festival, children 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 and 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 season.

Kaaya (Raw Banana) Erissery

Ingredients :
Raw bananas cut into cubes -6
 black pepper powder- quarter teaspoon
Green Chilis -2
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Chilli powder -1 tea spoon
Turmeric powder -,1/2tea spoon
Udad dal 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin seeds-1/4 teaspoon
Mustard seeds-1/4 teaspoon
Oil 3 Table Spoons
Curry Leaves 7-8 leaves
 Salt to taste.
Method of Preparation
Soak the cut raw bananas in warm water mixed with turmeric for ten minutes. Drain and cook with the remaining turmeric and salt. Grind 1/4th cup of coconut well with cumin seed and green chilis and add to the cooked bananas. Let it cook on low heat for a few minutes. Heat oil and pop the mustard seeds. Add udad dal and the coconut gratings and stir till brown. Add this mixture to the erisherry and then add the curry leaves.

Okra Kichadi

Lady's finger pieces   - 31/2 cup
Yoghurt 31/2 cups
Green chillies                         - 2
Dry Red chillies                      - 3
Mustard                                 - 1 dsp
Grated coconut                      - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves                         - 2 springs
Oil                                       - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation:
Slice the okra into small round pieces. Fry in oil till crisp. Ground coarsely grated coconut, green chillis and mustard. Season mustard, red chilli and curry leaves in 2 tsp oil. Lower the flame add curd and the ground ingredients. Keep stirring. Add fried okra and salt and when it begins to boil, take the pan off the stove. Make sure that the yoghurt does not curdle.
Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) can also be used instead of okra.

Kootu Curry
Ingredients :
Bengal gram
 dal                       - 1/2cup
Pumpkin, snake gourd,
Long runner beans, yam,
Cucumber            - lb
Grated coconut    - 1/2cup
Turmeric powder  - 1/4tsp
Green chillies      - 3 (split into 2)
Coconut oil         - 1/4cup
Mustard              - 1teaspoon
White gram dal   - 2dsp
Dried red chillies - 3 (each sliced into 3)
Curry leaves       - 2sprigs
Ghee                 - 1teaspoon
Grated coconut   - 1/4cup
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation:
Cook the bengal gram dal with salt and water to a thick gravy. Clean and cut the vegetables into small pieces. Steam the vegetables till they are almost cooked. Grind 1/2cup grated coconut and mix it with turmeric powder and green chillies.
Heat oil and season mustard, white gram dal, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Add the ground coconut mixture. Saute for sometime, till the water dries. Add the cooked vegetables, salt and bengal gram dal. Saute well.
Heat 1dsp ghee and fry the 1/4cup grated coconut in it till golden brown. Add this to the koottucurry and mix well.

Traditional Vishukanji

Ingredients :
Red Rice   - 3cups
 Raw Rice   - 1cup
 Jaggery     - 1cup
 Grated Coconut - 1
 Water        - 20cups
 Salt           - to taste

Method of Preparation :
Make a syrup of Jaggery and Water. Cook the rice well.. When done, add salt and jaggery solution. Allow the content to thicken. Add grated coconut. Boil for about 5 minutes and remove from fire.

Wheat Dal Payasam

Broken Wheat - 300gm
 Fried green gram dal cup
 Jaggery         - 2 lb
 Ghee            - 1/2cup
  Coconut milk 2 cans

Cashew nuts  - 10-12
 Raisins          - 20
 Cardamom - 5, powdered
 Water            - 5cups

Method of Preparation :
Heat and melt jaggery in water, strain and keep aside. Boil water and add wheat and fried dal. Cook well till done.
 Add the jaggery syrup to this and mix well. Pour required ghee to it and make it thick by stirring continuously. 
When its consistency thickens, one can of coconut milk. Boil well and when it thickens, another cup. Sprinkle cardamom powder and stir well.
Fry cashewnuts and raisins in ghee. Spread it over the payasam and serve.


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