Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vishu Sadya & Happy Vishu

   Vishu  for Malayalees mark the beginning of an astrological new year.  April 14th is Vishu and celebrated all over Kerala.  As part of the celebrations and belief the day starts by opening your eyes to see a resplendent pooja room(a room or space dedicated for pictures of Gods and worship).  On Vishu one of the elders make it to the room eyes closed and once they have their fill of the sight he/she guides the rest of the family by cupping their hands over their eyes ensuring the groggy heads in the family make it safely to the pooja room.  The belief is, by seeing abundance on the first day of a new year you attract goodness year round.

  The ladies of the household delight themselves decorating the pooja room on Vishu eve.   Flowers, decorative silk, gold, vegetables and grains are arranged in front of pictures of Gods.  The copper lambs are scrubbed to a glowing gold and kept ready to be lit in the morning.  Everything that symbolizes prosperity is arranged benevolently thanking the Gods.  One of the central pieces of the decoration is the flower from the Golden shower tree, Cassia Fistula ( Konna poo in Malayalam).   This flower, probably because it’s yellow, the color of sun and gold is considered auspicious.   On vishu eve if you have a Golden shower tree in your yard you can be sure it will be bare of any flowers.  Everyone willingly shares the flowers with their neighbors and friends. Another, interesting point I figured out from wikipedia is that the flower blooms when the "sun is in its most exalted position"  With the golden colored lamps lit, gold jewelry, rich silk and beautiful yellow flowers all around, it's a vision to behold.  It’s soothing, peaceful and enlivening all at once.  From my knowledge gleaned from movies I have also seen mirrors kept in the room and my guess is this will be in the hope that family members will see each others smiling faces securing harmony in the bargain. After all, isn't harmony with family members sometimes the most difficult to maintain.  However, the real reason for the mirror is to see once own face as "kani" (auspicious sight) which is considered good in the whole scheme of things.

  I am glad I can write all about rituals and customs on a food blog and still not be digressing from the subject of  the blog.  Every festival or celebration is incomplete without food significant for the occassion.  The same is true for Vishu.  An elaborate lunch (sadya) is served on banana leaves with a multitude of savory and sweet dishes.  We do use cutlery and china in Kerala but on this day do away with them all and embrace our age old custom of eating on banana leaves.  It may not be easily doable for all but it's fun and exciting like you are in play.  On a serious note, being in the tropical region I guess it was practical to eat on banana leaves.  If you think I am justifying this custom,  I am not.  I am just telling you as ridiculous as it may sound to you we have fun eating on banana leaf seated on the floor.  Most people grow banana trees in their backyard.  If not we spend an extra rupee or two to enjoy the feast served on it.

   Today it's not a new recipe that we have for you but a spread of all the food you will need to serve a sadya.   Hope this repertoire, all in one place, will be helpful for you to make your own sadya this Vishu.  We at Collaborative Curry wish you love, health and prosperity this Vishu and always.  Wishing in Malayalam “Vishu Dina Ashamsakal”

Check here for more sadya recipes that are not listed below


Vazhakka upperi/Banana chips



Next is Sarkkaravaratti/Sweet chips



Next to the chips we keep small plantain (vazhappazham) and Pappad


Now it's time for pickles


Puli inji (ginger pickle)
 Kadumanga Achar/Mango pickle


Next to these we serve pachadis, both sweet and savory

Beetroot Pachadi/Beetroot in yogurt and coconut gravy



Pineapple Pachadi



Inji pachadi



Olan is the next one
Now the dry dishes like thoran (veggies sauteed with coconut)and Mezhukkupuratti( stir fries)

Cabbage Thoran



Vazhakka Thoran

Pavakka Mezhukkupuratti/Bittergourd stir fry



Kovaikka Mezhukkupuratti

On the extreme right end you will get Aviyal, the most important dry dish.Normally people judge the quality of sadya after tasting aviyal :-)



Did you get mad waiting for the rice ? But now you have all the side dishes served in front of you.We as kids (sometimes even now) finish off the things like banana chips and sarkkaravaratti by now :-)

Once the rice is served the gravies will be served one after the other, starting with parippu curry and ghee to go with it. Remember you already have the pappad on your leaf.

Parippu Curry

Pulissery/Kaalan comes next.



Once you are done with pulissery, more rice (if you want) and Sambar will be served.



Now the last gravy will be served ,buttermilk. But some people prefer to take this part at the very end, even after taking Payasam/Kheer



Normally there will be a milk based payasam and a jaggery based payasam.Sometimes even 5-6 different types of payasam will be served.

We hope you enjoyed this virtual feast :-) HAPPY VISHU !!!

Contributors: Sunitha and Namitha

50 comments:

  1. I did so appreciate the information you have given us about the holiday. The food looks wonderful. I hope you enjoy the day. Blessings...Mary

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  2. Wish you all a Very Happy Vishu !!

    htp://heartyfeast.blogspot.com

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  3. What a banquet!
    Wish you a happy festival!

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  4. WOW!! Great post..Wishing you a very happy Vishu!!

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  5. Glad to know about the rituals and celebrations....u made your this post a virtual feast indeed...loved to see the fare of clourful dishes in one place...wish u a wonderful Happy festival.....

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  6. Happy Vishu !!! Great post....

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  7. Happy Vishu to you and your family.

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  8. Lovely post....ellam kandittu sherikkum sadya unda trupthikitti :).

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  9. Happy Vishu Cooking Pals!
    all the rituals are so well explained.. and to top it a wonderful menu!

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  10. Great post..Wishing you a very happy Vishu!!

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  11. Dear Sunitha and Namitha, Wish you all a Very Happy Vishu :)...lovely post, it was really nice reading about your celebrations and all those wonderful dishes :)

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  12. Wishing you a very happy Vishu.. nice post dear..

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  13. Happy vishu to you all Ladies..
    Nice post on tradition and celebrations.

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  14. Vishu Dina Ashamsakal to both of you Sunitha and Namitha and to your families !!!!

    that's a lovely description about the rituals and habits around the celebration!!! I love eating in banana leaf and on the floor ( please)!!! and I had a wonderful hearty meal ( virtually of course,lol) lovely and delicious treats there!!!

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  15. Nice post n well explained abt Vishu,,,Happy Vishu to cooking pals,,

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  16. Happy Vishu to both. Nice post

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  17. wow wht a treat my dear...i wish i could get such a wonderful meal today as it's my b'day...happy vishu:)

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  18. Wishing you a very happy Vishu. Lovely post makes me hungry.

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  19. Happy new year! It's the Thai new year too so I'm am in a way celebrating this with you both.

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  20. ഹൃദയം നിറഞ്ഞ വിഷു ആശംസകള്‍... adipoli writeup...

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  21. Where do you reside? Iam coming dearies.Oh my gosh,that was highly a visual feast,no doubt in it.Wonderful write up n wishing you n your family an amazing vishu.Both of you are rocking n tempting all of us with these display of delicious dishes.

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  22. Wow what a feast and thanks for sharing such a detail about the festival.Its very interesting.

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  23. Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! I'm so glad you brought me to your beautiful blog! I truly enjoyed reading this post - I learned so much... and I'm in awe of all the gorgeous recipes!

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  24. Wat a fabulous treat, feel like inviting myself to ur place...Happy Vishu to u and ur families dears..

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  25. oh wow love Indian festivals you guys know how to eat!!

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  26. This post is so exotic to me. All those terms and that food fascinate me.

    Nisrine

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  27. Wow, wow, wow Gulmohar. Those are so many yum recpies. Happy new year to you too.

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  28. Love all the dishes. I think I am having the problem of plenty here as I am having a tough time choosing what might be my favorite..maybe a sampler platter is what i need..

    Happy Vishu to you guys!

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  29. What a feast! Happy Vishu.

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  30. Sunitha and Namitha,

    Happy vishu, sadya kollam

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  31. Mmmmm, so much good food! The photos are just so pretty and colorful!

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  32. happy vishu to you and your family too, Namitha! everything looks so delicious.. its indeed a feast for the eyes!

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  33. Dear Sunitha and Namitha,
    Happy Vishu dears. This posting is very informative. Love all the postings,very colorful.

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  34. Happy Vishu !! this is such a great celebration with all good foods..

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  35. What a spread!? sweet chips is my fav....

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  36. We all enjoyed this virtual feast namita & sunita...& happy vishu to you both

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  37. Happy vishu!
    Wow what a spread:)

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  38. So many great dishes to choose from! I just bought some Indian spices today...not sure if they're quality spices or not but I'll know soon. This is a very informative post, thanks for sharing :)

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  39. Wishing you a Very Happy Vishu. Thanks for sharing al the info and lovely food. MaryMoh at http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com

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  40. Happy Vishu to u Sunitha and Namitha!. Your Visual Sadhya was a sure eye Candy!. Lovely and interesting post!.

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  41. Yum Yum....feel like i have had all these already....Well, i dint know the story beind the vishu and dint even know that vishu is celebrated as the beginning of the year!!!!What a shame...Thanks for the info.

    Thats a nice array of foods and feats for the eyes...wish if the piics were a bit larger...

    During my stay in INdia, i always wait for the unniyappam that our neighbors used to give us during vishu season.....I so love it!!!and the crackers...wow....

    Happy vishu to you all...

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  42. That was a virtual feast...i could feel myself seated at a sadya..happy vishu...girls..

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  43. Entammooooo ithellam kandu vellamirakki thanne vayaru niranju...Eneekkan vayye...

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  44. Very nice explanation. Happy New year! Felt like I am having lunch with you...the pictures, pooja procedure, vishu kani kannal and everything till that payasam .....your post took me to a dream world. I know , I know ...no one can beat the kerala sadya. Superb post dear.

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  45. Happy Vishu!
    Adipoli Sadya!vayar niranju.

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  46. happy vishu to all of you! Vayar naranju ith kanditt..ini onn kedun uranganam!! he he he

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  47. An excellent array of dishes! Happy Vishu!

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  48. Wow !! great collection, Happy Vishu to you guys.

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  49. My Stomach is heavy with all those dishes you served. Lovely spread and amazing write up on the Vishu celebration. Vishu Ashamsakal

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