“Wishing all the readers of this blog A Happy and Prosperous Vishu’”
Vishu is one of festival which brings back a lot of nostalgic memories. It falls in the month of Medam (Malayalam calendar, which run from April-May). This year it falls on April 15. It is one of traditional festival celebrated in Kerala next to Onam where everybody celebrates. In other parts of India it is celebrated as Baishaki in Punjab, Bihu in Assam and Tamil Nadu as Tamil Puthandu. Main customs related to vishu are vishukani, visit to temple and eat a awesome feast with the fruits and vegetables kept in the kani. Vishnukanni is observed early morning around 4.30- 5.00 A.M. Women in the family usually keep vishu kani in the pooja room. Vishu kani would include Lord Krishna idol, Uruli (flat bottom vessel), contains rice, dal, glass mirror vegetables like cucumber, jackfruit, mango, coconut, fruits like banana, pineapple, a new cloth, some ornaments, coins, and at last kanikkonna poo (Cassia fistula,golden shower tree) with oil lit lamp by the side.
According to literal meaning of Vishnukanni, in the form of idol of Lord Krishna, you are seeing the entire world. Kanikonna flower represents his crown, golden cucumber and ripe mango like bright colored fruit and vegetables represents his face. Lamp and mirror represents his mind and book represents his words. Gold ornaments represent his dressings. So you are seeing entire nature and world in this Vishukani.
It also noted that kannikonna poo plants has flowers only till Vishu, after which it loses it flowers and waits for the entire year to flower again. It is welcoming the spring with its bright yellow color. Usually in Kerala, rice is planted during this auspicious time and day of year, with the belief that harvest will be good for the rest of year.
I keep vishukani in our Pooja room and make as simple a feast as possible.
Chakka Payasam or jackfruit preserve pudding is usually made during Vishu. As jackfruit becomes abundant, the way of preserving them for rest of year is chakka varatti or jack fruit preserve. You can make a variety of sweets with them. Most common are Ela ada, kumblappam (cone shaped steamed cake), appam (fried version) and Payasam. During my visit to India, I was gifted with a pack of chakka varatti (jackfruit preserve) from my sister in law who visited Kerala recently that time. My mother in law kept aside for us. I made Ela ada with half of the preserve and with other half I decided to make Chakka Pradhaman. One beauty of this dish is that you need only a can of coconut milk, a teaspoon of ghee and some toasted coconut, with a touch of dry ginger. I didn’t add any extra sweetener if you want you can add jaggery as your wish. Amma used to do the laborious work of extracting coconut milk starting from removing the hard skin of coconut, then grating and finely grinding them. But her daughter now only opens a can of coconut milk which is very easy. One more thing, I think we people from Kerala like to do is add jaggery with coconut milk instead of sugar in our desserts. I think combo of unrefined jaggery with silky coconut milk makes the taste awesome. Delicious, lip snacking Pradhaman is ready in no time, I made it according to amma’s recipe.
One year ago: Vishu a festival of agriculture and vishu feast
Print recipe from here
What you need
Chakka varatti/Jack fruit preserve: ½ cup packed
Water: 1 1/4 cup
Coconut pieces: 1/5 cup
Cashew nuts: 15 no
Cardamom: 4 no ( crushed into fine powder)
Ground ginger: ¼ teaspoon
Ghee/clarified butter: 1 tablespoon
Coconut milk: 1 cup
How I made
In a thick bottom pan add jackfruit preserve and ½ cup water so it gets loosens and becomes jam consistency it takes 2 minutes.
In small bowl mix ¼ cup coconut milk with ½ cup of water and add this mixture to jackfruit preserve and let is cook for about 7 minutes.
In a small pan heat ghee and first roast the cashew nuts till they become golden brown and set aside.
In the same pan add coconut pieces and fry them for about 3-4 minutes or until they brown in color and set aside.
Then add ¼ cup coconut milk along with ¼ cup water to the jack fruit preserve and cook for another 3 minutes and then finally add rest of coconut milk and switch of the flame.
To this add roasted cashew nuts, coconut pieces, dry ginger and cardamom powder.
Enjoy as much you wish.
Preparation time: 17 minutes
Will you make it again: yes I will