Tamil New Year 2018: Five Traditional Dishes Without Which Tamil New Year Is Incomplete

Puthandu, or Tamil New Year, is celebrated as the first day of Chithirai - the first month in the Tamil calendar year. People of Tamil origin begin the celebration with huge and colourful kolams (rangoli), which are drawn outside the main door of their houses.

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Tamil New Year 2018: Five Traditional Dishes Without Which Tamil New Year Is Incomplete
Puthandu, or Tamil New Year, is celebrated as the first day of Chithirai - the first month in the Tamil calendar year. This time Tamil New Year is on 14th April 2018, which is today. People of Tamil origin begin the celebration with huge and colourful kolams (rangoli), which are drawn outside the main door of their houses. Then a variety of three fruits, including mango, banana and jackfruit, betel leaves, areca nuts, money, flowers, and a mirror are arranged in a plate. This plate is the first thing that people see in the morning after waking up. On this day, people wear new clothes and visit temples to seek blessings from the God. But, not just Tamil New Year, this day coincides with other regional festivals like Bihu (Assam), Pohela Boishakh (West Bengal), Vishu (Kerala) and Baisakhi (Punjab).

Food is a very important part of any festival. Thinking about festivals, the first thing that comes to our mind is the list of interesting, lavish festive food. Like other regional festivals of India, Tamil New Year boasts an extensive list of food and drinks. A special dish known as Maanga Pachadi, or raw mango pachadi, is a must in the Tamil New Year's menu. The dish is a mix of sweet, sour and bitter ingredients like raw mangoes, jaggery and neem flowers or betel leaves. The celebration not just stops there, but it continues to a nice and elaborated feast. The most common dishes, other than Maanga Pachadi, are Masala Vada, accompanied by the popular sweet, payasam. This is followed by the main course, which usually comprises steamed rice with vegetable dal and a simple rasam, all of this served on a banana leaf to create a festive touch. 

Here's a complete list of festive food that you can devour during this festival.

1. Manga Pachadi

Manga Pachadi is a combination of tangy, sweet and bitter ingredients like raw mango, jaggery, sambar powder masala and betel leaves. The dish is savoured as a side dish along with the traditional main course that usually comprises steamed rice, mixed vegetable, sambar and kurukku kaalan (raw bananas in coconut curry). Manga Pachadi is a must on the day of Tamil New Year Festival. 
 
 

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2. Manjal Poosanikai Sambar

This, we know, is everyone's favourite. Manjal Poosanikai Sambar is nothing but a simple nutrition-packed sambar made with pumpkin and toor dal. A staple food of south Indian homes. The sambhar is special because of the presence of yellow pumpkin, or Manjal Poosanikai, that adds a sweet taste to the sambhar, which makes it even more appetising. Pair this dish with hot boiled rice and ghee to enjoy a nice afternoon meal.
 

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3. Arachuvitta Rasam

Rasam has earned quite a name in India, not only in the southern states, but also in the northern side of the country. The ingredients added in Arachuvitta Rasam, or Kalyana Rasam, are known to have intense digestive properties, which is good for your tummy. Arachuvitta Rasam is prepared by grinding dal and adding it to a pepper flavoured tamarind water and freshly ground rasam spice mix.
 
 

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4. Masala Dal Vada

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A delectable snack that is prepared from a combination of urad dal and chana dal. These dals are soaked in water for a few hours and then grounded into a thick batter. Further, some oats and vegetable are added to make it a rich filled snack. The vada is then shallow-fried in a pan till it is golden brown. You can pair it with sambhar, rasam and coconut chutney.
 
 

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5. Aval Payasam

Aval Payasam is a traditional south Indian kheer made of rice, which is soaked and boiled in milk till it gives a creamy consistency. The best part of Aval Payasam is that it doesn't take very long time to cook and can be a good option for dessert incase when you have unexpected guests.

Along with these main dishes, the Tamil New Year platter is served with steamed rice, cup of curd and sliced carrots. So, enjoy this festival with much fervour and its exotic traditional dishes!
 

Wishing you a Happy Puthandu 2018!


 

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