Today is Vishu, the Malayalam New Year. Malayali Hindus around the world celebrate the festival by wearing new clothes, seeking the blessings of the eldery, and eating a traditional vegetarian meal on banana leaf, among others.

Similar to the Chithirai New Year, a major highlight of the celebration is the array of mouth-watering vegetarian feast, called Vishu Sadhya, prepared and served on the day.

Let's look at some the yummy delicacies usually made for Vishu:

1) Aviyal

No Sadhya will be complete without this traditional dish. Served as an accompaniment to rice, aviyal is a favourite Kerala delicacy made out of different vegetables, ash gourd, curd, grated coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. According to Hindu mythology, Bhima, who is one of the Pandavas, had come up with this delicious vegetable preparation during his exile period.

2) Olan

This is a delicious stew made with ash gourd (white pumpkin), cowpeas, coconut milk, coconut oil, and fresh curry leaves. It goes best with pumpkin and black-eyed beans with steamed rice, or potato roast for a wholesome lunch or dinner.

3) Vishu Kanji

This is a dish that consists of rice with coconut milk and Indian spices, which has a porridge-like consistency and usually had as it is, or with pappadom. Some also add a little rice and salt, as well as jaggery onto this filling dish.

4) Kootu Curry

This thick curry-based dish made with roasted coconut, and a few types of vegetables, including yam, plantain, black chickpeas, is one of the favourite sadhya delicacies. It is best enjoyed with steamed rice.

5) Thoran

This dry vegetable dish is prepared using vegetavles like cabbage, unripe jackfruits, beans, and bitter gourd, among others. The items are chopped and seasoned with turmeric powder, mustard seeds, and curry leaves, before being served with rice.

6) Vishu Katta

What's a fulfilling meal without a dessert? Vishu Katta is a rice cake made with coconut milk with a dash of cumin and dry ginger power, served along with jaggery syrup or tender cashew curry.

There you go, some lip-smacking delicacies commonly served for Vishu. If you are celebrating the festival, why don't try preparing it with your family?

Astro Ulagam wishes all Malayalis "Vishu Ashamsakal!"

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