Vishu, Kerala's New Year, celebration in Malabar is similar to that in rest of the state till the list reaches sadya - the sumptuous lunch.
Just like in rest of the places, the 'Malabari Vishu' starts with the kani - an assortment of auspicious items, bursting crackers, giving kaineetam - a token of blessing. But when the proceedings reach sadya – a 26-course meal served on a plantain leaf, the menu literally changes. While rest of the Kerala serves a vegetarian meal for lunch, fish and meat take pride of place on the plantain leaf in Malabar.
Other than the usual sambar, pulinji, avial, rasam and payasam, Malabarites also need a fish curry (mostly thenga aracha meen curry) and/or a mutton masala curry – not chicken or beef which are part of the common lunch/dinner menu - for the sadya.
There is a unique way to start the Malabari sadya, says Thangam Vijayan, a seasoned foodie from Kannur. “We have a habit of starting our lunch by crushing the pappadam on a steamed banana. Add a bit of ghee and sugar and it is heaven,” said Thangam. Watch the video to get a feel of it.
Here is a list of Malabar recipes put together by Thangam for this Vishu.
Special meat masala curry
Vishu is generally celebrated with an array of delicious vegetarian preparations. But the culturally rich Malabar region stands out in this regard with its non-vegetarian recipes for the harvest festival. Mutton masala curry is one such preparation. Read the recipe
The light sweetness of nenthrakaya/plantain seasoned with coconut, curry leaves and spices, makes this curry absolutely delicious. Nenthrakaya erissery is the best side dish you could have for this Vishu. Read the recipe
The star dish of every Kerala sadya, the avial can be made with different vegetables. Now, whatever vegetables you choose, the ground coconut
with spices and the nal drizzling of the coconut oil over the avial makes it impossible for you to get this wonder dish out of your mind. Read the recipe
Sweet and sour eggplant curry
Eggplant is a versatile ingredient because of its chewy texture that absorbs flavours very easily. This recipe is not your regular masala preparation. There has a sweet twist. Jaggery balances the flavours in this exciting Vishu recipe. Read the recipe
Pachamanga pachadi is the sweet addition of Vishu sadya. It is easy to make with the following recipe. Read the recipe
Mashed jackfruit with pulses is the staple food of Keralites during the summer. It's succulent, with a smooth savoury flavour. Read the recipe
There's always some space on the plantain leaf for the inji curry - the hot, tangy and slightly sweet pickle that complements all the other dishes for the sadya. Read the recipe
It is always a must to finish your Vishu feast in perfection and a payasam is the best choice. Try this authentic Kannur preparation of Parippu pradhaman and enjoy this Vishu with your loved ones. Read the recipe