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.
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.
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.
4. Masala Dal Vada
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.
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!