When I was a kid,the most exciting thing during Onam was to collect flowers to make Pookalam (Flower Carpet), now that I am grown up, it has been replaced by the preparation of Sadhya (Feast), there was a time in between when I was in my teens that I used to wait for Onam only because I could wear Kerala Set-Saree – which is slightly different from the normal Saree, dress like a “Malayalee” (Keralite)
Onam is a festival beyond any religious boundaries ,though the believes related to the same and the traditions are typically followed by the Hindus in our place, but most of our homes would have a Sadhya (Feast) prepared on that day & also would have a “Pookalam” (Flower Carpet) in front of our house.
I wish I was in Kerala,I could help my NA make a “Pookalam” & make Sadhya, sit with my family and enjoy the same after which we would lie down watching TV as all you can do after this grand feast is to just rest 😀
Here’s a video I made 🙂
Sharing a very special Kerala Dessert recipe , made during all festive occasions
To be honest I haven’t made it much,as someone in my family doesn’t appreciate it 😦
I miss that Dark Brown color in my payasam here, which is possible only with the extra brown Jaggery/Brown Sugar or Palm sugar that we get in our place.
Now that Sadhya is the main attraction, sharing with you few tips that I learned from my mistakes, am sure I have much to learn while preparing a grand Sadhya 🙂
- Different vegetables have varied cooking time, while cooking recipes with the combination of root vegetables and other vegetable’s (with less cooking time) like Kalan, Avial, Sambar etc , care should be taken when you cut the vegetable’s, let the root vegetable’s be little bigger in size than the other vegetable’s.
- I made an Alleppey style Errishery last week and was very disappointed with its taste, as this is one dish I will ask my Mom to make when I am at home and it never tasted this bad 😦 After researching I realized that the vegetable’s weren’t cooked properly. Flavors of vegetable’s get released only if it is cooked nicely for certain dishes (Errisheri, Kalan etc) the vegetable’s need to be nicely cooked and mashed, then alone would it contribute to the authentic taste.
- Salt shouldn’t be added initially to those dishes which need legumes (Pulses, like sambar, Errisery, Parippu Curry etc) as the addition of salt to the legumes/Pulses would delay its cooking process. Hence add salt only after cooking pulses well, also some starchy vegetable’s (Chena / suran , Kaya /Raw banana etc) also tend to have the same property.
While all other Vegetable’s like Onion, tomato’s, cucumber – those vegetable’s which has more water content in it tend to cook faster when salt is added to’em.
- Cook and keep dishes like Rasam , Inji puli etc , a day before the Sadhya as it taste best when its allowed to sit for some time. Also if you are inviting people for sadhya, its better to cook and keep the legumes/pulses/Parippu for parippu curry, sambar etc a day before, this would make cooking easier.
- Do not cook vegetable’s for more time after the addition of ground coconut and curd. This is the first thing everyone learns while preparing any dish with coconut, as high temperature tends to curdle and would contribute a “not-very pleasing texture” 🙂
- Make dishes with Coconut Oil for all Kerala Sadhya dishes as everything tastes authentic only with Coconut oil in it :).
Also addition of Coconut pieces for Mezhukkupurati (Payar, beans etc which doesn’t need grated coconut) would make it extra rich and flavorful.
- Do not forget to store Dry red chili’s, curry leaves, coconut pieces while planning to prepare Sadhya, as it plays a major role in seasoning the dishes. these not only contributes to the look of the curry, also gives extra flavor’s and makes the dish complete.
- While preparing white payasams, take correct measurements of Semiya, rice etc as the addition of more would make the Payasam thick and ruin the dessert. Hence take accurate measurements while make the same.
- While preparing Payar Payasam, Rice Payasam etc, add sugar/Jaggery only after the rice, Payar etc is cooked in Milk (at last) as the addition of sugar initially delays the cooking process. Add less sugar initially and the rest after everything is nicely cooked.