Delicacies to ring in New Year

From Muri Ghonto to Kadah Parshaad, traditional dishes are prepared by different sections of people to celebrate New Year.

Several communities in the city are getting ready to welcome a New Year. With Pana Sankranthi, Poila Boisakhi, Vishu, Pathandu and Vaisakhi falling on Saturday or Sunday, households across the city are busy preparing traditional delicacies to ring in good tidings. Metrolife spoke to Bengalureans from different communities who gave us a sneak peek into their special menu for the weekend.

Pana Sankranti

Pana Sankranti, also known as Poila Boishak, is celebrated in Odisha.

Sai Priya, food blogger, explains that Pana Sankranti itself is the name of the drink prepared to welcome the New Year. “It’s prepared from bel (wood apple), banana, jaggery and sattu. It’s a great drink for the summer season as it works as a cooling agent too. It is usually available in temples.”

Over the years, people have included non-vegetarian dishes, especially fish and mutton, into their menu for Pana Sankranti. Muri Ghonto (fish head curry), mutton fry, water rice and kheer are must-haves.

“Growing up, we would feast on Muri Ghonto with fried fish curry and vegetables like cabbage and potato, along with puffed rice on this day. I specially looked forward to the fish head curry,” adds Sai.

Vishu


Chakka Ada Pradhaman

Every Malayalee looks forward to Vishu, the New Year and the beginning of the harvest season. Dishes made with jackfruit are a speciality during this time.

Food blogger Soumya Gopi says, “I grew up in a nuclear family and it was mostly my mother who did all the cooking, unlike joint families where all the ladies of the house get together to prepare a feast. My mother would start preparing dishes a couple of days in advance. In the case of ‘kadumanga’ pickle (mango pickle), it would start a year in advance. She would also make fresh mango pickle for the sadhya. Mango curry, ‘pulissery’, ‘inji curry’ and payasam are some of the dishes that I personally looked forward to.” A minimum of 12 dishes will be served as ‘sadhya’ (feast) on Vishu. “Since jackfruit is in season, we would use all parts of it, even the seeds, to prepare curries, dry items and desserts. ‘Mambazha pulissery’ and ‘avial’ with raw jackfruit are specialities,” she adds. Different varieties of payasams are also prepared.

Vaisakhi/Baisakhi

For the Sikh community, the day marks the birthday of their Khalsa religion and is also called Khalsa Saajna Diwas. “Food is not the main aspect of the celebration as we are all mostly in the Gurudwaras on that day,” says Rameet Kaur. “On this day, all gurudwaras are decorated and kirtans and samagams are held there all day long. Sumptuous langar cooked in the community kitchen is served to everyone. Langar food is usually dal, subji, roti and raita.”

She adds, “Sikh baptism (Amrit Sanchar) happens in all Guru Singh Sabha Gurudwaras all over the world. In Bengaluru, it happens in the gurudwara at Ulsoor.”

With regards to the food, we make sweet saffron rice and ‘kadah parshaad’ (wheat flour halwa).

Kadah Parshaad Recipe

Ingredients

Ghee (clarified butter) - 1 cup

Atta (whole wheat flour) - 1 cup

Sugar - 1 cup

Water - 2.5 cups 

Method

Mix the sugar in the water and bring to a boil until all the sugar dissolves. Keep this aside.

In a pan, heat the ghee and add the atta.

Cook on a slow flame till the colour gradually changes into a golden brown. At this stage slowly add the sugar syrup and on a slow flame cook till it absorbs all the water. Cook for some more time till the ghee oozes out of the sides of the halwa.

Puthaandu

The Tamilians start their Puthaandu naal or New Year by taking an oil bath. Dressed in new clothes, they offer pujas to the Gods and read the panchangam (almanac) to know what the year holds for them.

At Vaishnavi’s house, the first thing to eat is minced neem leaves and flowers mixed with jaggery. “Having shredded ripe mango with jaggery is also a tradition that we follow,” she adds.

A wholesome meal comprising sambar, a vegetable curry, rice with the festive dishes poli (obattu), paruppu vadai or aamavadai, mango payasam, raw mango rice etc is what the Tamilians usually prepare for the festival.

Another age-old practice in Tamil households is tying a string of mango leaves to the main door frame. “This has to be done before anyone leaves the house in the morning,” says Vaishnavi.

Bohag Bihu

Though Bohag Bihu starts at the beginning of April, it’s mostly on the 14th and 15th of the month that the main celebration takes place. On April 14, traditional Assamese people start their day by bathing their cows with a paste made of turmeric, native herbs, mustard oil and black gram. The rest of the day goes in cleaning the cowshed, shopping and preparing for the main event the next day.

April 15 is Manuh Bihu. “On that day, there will a variety of pithas and ladoos like til pitha, ghila pitha, sunga pitha and coconut ladoo,” says homemaker Geeta Das. “Lunch will have different curries made from vegetables and available herbs.”

She adds that it’s customary to make seven (or 101) types of veggie dishes.

A must-have for the occasion is Jolpan, made with bora saul (a type of sticky rice) with jaggery and curd or milk. A crowd favourite is Kol Posola, a dish made from the insides of the banana plant stem.

Til Pitha recipe

You’ll need Bora Saul, til and jaggery.

- Soak and grind the bora saul. Fry and grind the til and mix it with the grated jaggery.

- On a tawa, spread a spoonful of ground rice and put the til-jaggery mix on it.

- Slowly roll it in folds.

 

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Delicacies to ring in New Year

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