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When Maveli, our King, rules the land,
All the people form one casteless race.
And people live joyful and merry;
They are free from all harm.
There is neither theft nor deceit,
And no one is false in speech either.
Measures and weights are right;
No one cheats or wrongs the neighbor.
When Maveli, our King, rules the land,
All the people form one casteless race.

The complete folk-song is given above in its English version.

Thiru Onam is celebrated in the second half of August (the Chingam month of Kollam Era) when the August monsoon rains come to an end and the summer heat gives way to the pleasant warmth of the Kerala autumn. Anthropologists see in Onam a great fertility rite, the ceremony of Thanksgiving for a plentiful harvest. For Keralites Onam is the celebration of the return of Mahabali, their once beloved king.

The Origin of Onam

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Onam or Thiruonam originated as a joyous annual reminiscence of the golden rule of King Mahabali, a mythical king, who ruled Kerala a very long time ago. It recalls the sacrifice of the great king, his true devotion to God, his human pride and his ultimate redemption. This king once ruled over the Keralites during the Golden Age before caste existed, "when all men were equal, when no one was poor, when there was neither theft nor dread of thieves" (Maveli natu vanitum kalam... Manusharellam onnu pole ... ).

The Legend

Facts and fables blend as Kerala celebrates this royal return, year after year with the festivities of Onam. Legend has it that the gods plotted against Mahabali to end his reign. For this they sent Lord Vishnu to earth in the form of a dwarf Brahmin. But before being trampled down to the netherworld, Vishnu granted the king's sole wish: To visit his land and people once every year.

The Custom

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A flower carpet called 'Pookalam' is laid in front of every house to welcome the advent of the vanquished king, and earthen mounds representing Mahabali and Vishnu are placed in the dung-plastered courtyards. Traditional rituals are performed followed by a lavish feast called 'Sadhya'. Onam also means new clothes for the whole family, sumptuous home-cooked delicacies on plantain leaf and the lingering aroma of the sweet Payasam.


Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.OrgOnam is in the air.Its time to revive our rich folk arts when women come out with their dances, especially kaikottikalli.This is the period from "atham" to Onam when the Malayali celebrates a bumper harvest and is in a festive mood.

The women-folk neatly decked up in mundu-veshti and ornamental flowers in their hair decorate their frontyard and "nadumittam" with flowers and light a lamp near an idol of Ganapathy in a gesture to overcome all hurdles in their pah to prosperity.

The simple rythmic group dance which involves clapping each other's palms while encircling the pookalam is what's known as kaikottikali, the essence of Onam.

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.OrgWomen, young and old, take part in the folk dance which signifies joy, happines and festivity. Though kaikottikali is neither a ritual form of dance or stage art, it derives its "ragachaya" from kathakali and the songs are based on episodes and legends like Krishnaleela, Shakunthalam, Kuchelavritham and Dhruvacharithram. Emphasis is given on rythmic movements than on mudra.The uniqueness of kaikottikali lies in the fact that the songs are sung by the participants themselves and the dance involves just simple steps in unison.

The most common ragams found in the kaikottikali songs include the Hussaini, Bhairavi and Kamboji and on several occasions the song deviate from puranic tales to folk stories.

Songs are also sung in praise of Saraswati, Ganapathy and Krishna which is considered to be very auspicious. Sadya over, on Onam day, women dance away to glory till the euphoria wanes.

The Spectacle

Spectacular parades of caparisoned elephants, fireworks and the famous Kathakali dance are traditionally associated with Onam. It's also the season of many cultural and sport events and carnivals. All this makes Onam-time a perfect period to visit this coastal state, touted as "Gods Own Country". No wonder the Government of Kerala has declared this time every year as Tourism Week.

The Grand Boat Race

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.OrgOne of the main attractions of Onam, is the 'Vallamkali' or boat races of Karuvatta, Payippad, Aranmula and Kottayam. Hundreds of oarsmen row traditional boats to the rhythm of drums and cymbals. These long graceful Snake Boats called 'Chundans' are named after their exceedingly long hulls and high sterns that resemble the raised hood of a cobra.

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.OrgThen there are 'Odis', the small and swift raiding crafts adorned with gold tasseled silk umbrellas, the 'Churulans' with their elaborately curled prows and sterns, and the 'Veppus', a kind of cook-boat. This traditional village rivalry on watercrafts reminds one of ancient naval warfare.

Thousands throng the banks to cheer and watch the breathtaking show of muscle power, rowing skills and rapid rhythm. These boats - all pitted against their own kind - rip through the backwaters of Kerala in a tussle of speed.

Onam is for All

Although this festival has its origin in Hindu mythology, Onam is for all people of all class and creed. Hindus, Muslims and Christians, the wealthy and the downtrodden, all celebrate Onam with equal fervor. The secular character of Onam is peculiar to this land where unity had always coexisted with diversity, especially during festivals, when people come together to celebrate life's unlimited joys.

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A long long time ago, an Asura (demon) king called Mahabali ruled Kerala. He was a wise, benevolent and judicious ruler and beloved of his subjects. Soon his fame as an able king began to spread far and wide, but when he extended his rule to the heavens and the netherworld, the gods felt challenged and began to fear his growing powers. Presuming that he might become over-powerful, Aditi, the mother of Devas pleaded with Lord Vishnu to curtail Mahabali's powers.

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Vishnu transformed himself into a dwarf called Vamana and approached Mahabali while he was performing a yajna and asked for alms. Pleased with the dwarf brahmin's wisdom, Mahabali granted him a wish. The Emperor's preceptor, Sukracharya warned him against making the gift, for he realized that the seeker was no ordinary person. But the Emperor's kingly ego was boosted to think that God had asked him for a favor. So he firmly declared that there is no greater sin than going back on one's promise. He kept his word.

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.OrgThe Vamana asked for a simple gift "three paces of land" and the king agreed to it. Vishnu in the guise of Vamana then increased his stature and with the first step covered the sky, blotting out the stars, and with the second, straddled the netherworld. Realising that Vamana's third step will destroy the earth, Mahabali offered his head as the last step.

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.OrgVishnu's fatal third step pushed him to the netherworld, but before banishing him to the underworld Vishnu granted him a boon. Since he was attached to his kingdom and his people, he was allowed to return once a year from exile. Onam is the celebration that marks the homecoming of King Mahabali. It is the day when a grateful Kerala pays a glorious tribute to the memory of this benign king who gave his all for his subjects.

Another Legend

Another legend has it that King Mahabali was a devout worshipper of Lord Vishnu. He was sincere, honest, just and a good ruler. But he had one weakness ego. And to eradicate his pride and redeem his beloved devotee of this one sin, Vishnu came to earth in the form of a dwarf Brahmin named Vamana.

Visit Us @ www.MumbaiHangOut.OrgThe king in his pride asked the Brahmin what he wanted for he could give anything. Vamana asked for three paces of land and the king agreed. To humble him Vishnu, as Vamana showed Mahabali that he is just a puny creature in front of God's universal stature.
Mahabali, who was a man of principles, realized God's purpose and offered his head for Vamana's footstep, as he was sent to another world. This fatal step proved a blessing in disguise for the good king the foot salvaged and released him from the recurrent cycle of birth and death. That is why Onam is celebrated by wearing new clothes and resolving to lead a new life of truth, piety, love, and humility.


'Onasadhya' is the grand feast served during the celebration of Onam in Kerala. It is served in Banana leafs. There is a way of placing the leaf and an order of serving the dishes. The picture given below shows the serving order beginning from the left with 'Upperies'.

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Rice is the main course. With rice, various kinds of dishes are served.... curries, 'upperies' (things fried in oil), 'pappadams' (round crisp flour paste cakes of peculiar make), 'achchars' (pickles of various kinds), 'payasams' and 'prathamans' (Desserts). Fruits are also served, mainly plantain.



Ingredients :

1. Lentils (green gram dal) - 1cup
Water - 3cups
Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp

2. Salt - to taste
Ghee - 2tsp

Method of Preparation :

Lightly fry the lentils in a pan. Boil 3cups water and add the washed lentils and turmeric powder. When it boils, lower the flame. When the lentil is cooked well, add salt to taste and ghee. Mix well and remove from fire.


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The chief ingredients are dhal and vegetables such as, brinjal, drum-stick, bitter gourd (pavakkai), ladies finger etc. It is a favorite dish in South India.

Ingredients -
Serves 10

1. Bitter gourd - 1/2
Brinjal (egg plant) - 1no

Drum Stick - 1no
Ladies finger - 4nos

Red chillies - 4nos (split into2)

2. Sambar dal (Red gram dal) - 1cup

Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp

Curry leaves - 1sprig

Water - 3cup

3. Tamarind - size of a golf ball

Water - 1cup

Red chilli powder - 1tsp

Salt - to taste

Curry leaves - 1sprig

Asafoetida powder - 1/4tsp

Grated molasses - 1/4tsp

Coconut oil - 2tbs
White gram dal - 1/4tsp

Fenugreek - 1/4tsp

Dried chilli - 4nos

Coconut oil - 1/2tsp

4. Dried coriander seeds - 2tbs

5. Coconut oil - 2tsp

Mustard - 1tsp

Dried chillies split into 2 - 2nos

6. Coriander leaves - few

Method of Preparation :

Clean the vegetables and slice into long pieces.

Wash the dal. Boil 3 cups of water and cook dal in it. Add turmeric powder and curry leaves into the dal. Keep it aside.

Fry the 4th ingredients in 1/2tsp coconut oil. Grind it to a smooth paste and keep aside.

Mash the tamarind in 1 cup water and strain. Boil the tamarind water with red chilli powder, salt, curry leaves, asafoetida and molasses. When it boils, add 2tbs of coconut oil. Add the vegetables except the ladies finger into it. Cook till done and add the prepared dal into it. Bring to a boil and add the ladies finger and the ground masalas. Remove from fire after boiling.

Season with mustard seeds and dried chillies. Sprinkle the Sambar with chopped coriander leaves.

Note : Various vegetables like potato, carrot, radish, tomato etc can also be added to the sambar.


This is a semi-dry preparation which is a mixture of all sorts of vegetables.

- Serves 10

1. Yam sliced thinly into 11/2" length pieces - 1cup
Cucumber sliced lengthy into 11/2" thick pieces - 1cup
Snake gourd sliced into 11/2" length pieces - 1cup
Carrot sliced into into 11/2" length pieces - 1/4cup
Long runner-beans sliced into 11/2" length pieces - 1/2cup
Drumstick cut into 2" length pieces - 2nos

2. Raw bananas sliced into 11/2" length pieces - 1no
Mango pieces - for sour

3. Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp
Salt - to taste

4. Grated coconut - 1/2quantity
Green chillies - 5nos
Cumin seeds - 1/2tsp

5. Curry leaves - 2sprigs
Coconut oil - 3tbs

Method of Preparation :

Coarsely grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Keep it aside.

Clean the vegetables. Heat 2tbs coconut oil in a thick bottom vessel. Add the vegetables and cook in a low flame. Do not add water. When it is done, add turmeric powder, salt and mix it well. Remove the vegetables from the middle and put sliced bananas and mango pieces and cover it with the other vegetables. When steam comes out, add the coconut paste and stir well. Remove from fire. Mix the remaining coconut oil and curry leaves in the avial.


It is a preparation of buttermilk with thick gravy. Sliced plantains known as nenthra-kaya and yams (chena) are boiled in water with salt and chillies. Buttermilk mixed with ground coconut pulp is poured in proper time and the preparation is flavored by the addition of mustard, fried in coconut oil.

- Serves 10

1. Yam sliced into small pieces - 100gm

Small raw banana - 1no

Green chillies (slit the edge) - 3nos

2. Pepper powder - 1tsp

Water - 1cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp

Salt - to taste

3. Ghee - 1tsp
Curry leaves - 1sprig

4. Mashed yogurt (without water) - 1/2litre

5. Grated coconut - 1/2quantity

Cumin seeds - 1/2tsp

6. Fried and powdered

fenugreek - 1/2tsp

7. Ghee - 3tsp

Dried chilli (split into 2) - 2nos

Mustard - 1tsp

Method of Preparation:

Remove the skin of the plantain and slice it into small pieces.

Grind the coconut and cumin to a smooth paste without adding water. Keep it aside.

Dissolve the pepper powder in 1/2cup of water and strain it through a clean cloth. Cook the vegetables in this water. Add the turmeric powder and salt. Stir well. When the water dries, add 1tsp ghee. Pour the yogurt and mix well. Lower the flame. When the curd boils and becomes dry and thick, add the grinded coconut mixture and fenugreek powder into it. Stir well. Brings to a boil and remove from fire. Season with mustard, dried chillies and curry leaves.


- Serves 10

1. Ash gourd - 100gm
Pumpkin - 100gm
Green chillies - 4nos (split the edge)
Red gram dal - 1tbs (soaked in the water for about 6 hours)

2. Grated coconut - 1/2quantity

(Squeeze out 1/4cup of the milk from the coconut without adding water. Take one more cup of milk from the coconut)

3. Salt - to taste

4. Coconut oil - 1tbs
Curry leaves - 1sprig

Method of Preparation :

Remove the covering of the ash gourd and pumpkin and cut it into small pieces. Cook the vegetables and red gram dal in water. Add enough salt and the green chillies. When it is done, add 1cup coconut milk and boil. When it thickens well, add 1/4cup coconut milk. Bring to a boil and remove from fire. Add 1tbs coconut oil and the curry leaves and mix well.


Ingredients :

1. Cabbage, long runner-beans or any other vegetable, cut in to small pieces - 500gm

2. Coconut oil -2tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2tsp
Black gram - 1tsp
Dried red Chilly (cut into 2-3 pieces) - 4 no.

3. Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/4tsp

4. Coconut - 1 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1/4tsp
Curry leaves -2 sprigs
Garlic cloves - 2

Method of Preparation :

Crush the coconut, cumin seeds, curry leaves and garlic. Put the vegetable in a pan and boil with salt and chillies. Heat the oil in a pan and saut
? 2nd ingredients. Add the tumeric and chilly powder, boiled vegetables and crushed ingredients. Mix well and serve hot.


This is a preparation where ginger is the main ingredient.


1. inger - 25gm
Green Chilly - 4nos.

2. coconut oil - 1tsp
Dried red chilly 1no. cut in to 4 pieces
Mustard seeds - 1/2tsp

3. Tamarind - size of a lemon
Water -2cups

4. Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Chilly Powder -1/4tsp
Asafoetida powder -1/4tsp
Jaggery (grated) - 25gm
Curry leaves -1 sprigs
Fenugreek seeds -1 pinch

Method of preparation:

Peal ginger and cut into very small pieces. Cut the green chillies also into small pieces. Heat oil and saut
? the 2nd ingredients for a minute. Add ginger and green chilly pieces and fry well and keep it aside. Put tamarind in two cups of water, squeeze well and take the liquid. Keep this liquid on fire adding the 4th ingredients. Boil till the solution becomes thick. Add the fried ginger and chilly pieces, boil once more and remove from fire.



Nicely chopped ginger - 4 spoons
Curd - 6 spoons
Salt - as required

Method of preparation

Mix all the ingredients and stir well. The injithair is ready.


Ingredients :

1. Ripe pineapple cut into 1/2" square pieces - 2cups
Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp
Salt - to taste

2. Grated coconut - 1cup
Dried red chilli - 1

3. Coconut oil - 2dsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2tsp
Dried red chillies - 3 (cut into 6 pieces)
Curry leaves - 1sprig

4. Crushed mustard - 1tsp

Method of Preparation :

Boil pineapple, with turmeric and salt in 1/2cup water. Grind coconut with dried chilli to a fine paste.

Heat the oil and season with mustard seeds. Saute the coconut paste and add the curry leaves and dried red chillies. When it is done, add the boiled pineapple pieces. The gravy should be thick and the cover the pineapple pieces. Add the crushed mustard just before removing the pachhady from fire.


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It is made of raw plantains and Yams sliced and boiled in water with salt and chillies or pepper added. The pulp of the coconut is ground with a little cumin seed added to it. When the whole thing is properly boiled, a few mustard seeds along with scraped coconut pulp fried in coconut oil, is added in to it to give it flavour. Erissery is also made with pumpkin and red oriental beans, the recipe is given below.


Ingredients :

Yam cut into small pieces - 60gms
Big raw banana - 1
Pepper powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Water - 1cup
Salt - to taste
Grated coconut - 1/2coconut
Cumin seeds - a pinch
Ghee - 10gm
Coconut oil - 1tbs
Mustard seeds - 1/4tsp

Method :

Split the banana lengthwise into 3 pieces. Do not peel the skin. Cut it into small pieces.

Boil yam and banana with pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt in 1 cup of water. Grind one fourth quantity of grated coconut and cumin seeds together and add to it.

Grind the remaining coconut and saute in a low flame till brown in colour. Keep it aside.

Season mustard seeds in ghee. Add the coconut oil, seasoned mustard seeds and the sauted coconut to the vegetable mixture. Mix well.


Ingredients :

Ripe Pumpkin sliced into pieces - 2 cups
Red oriental bean - 1/2 cup
Oil - 2 dsp
Squeezed coconut milk - 1 dsp
Dried chilli - 2 nos
Mustard - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 springs
Salt to taste

To be Ground:

Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Small onions - 1 or 2 nos
Garlic - 2 nos
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chilli - 2 or 3 nos


Cook pumpkin after adding enough water and salt. Cook red oriental beans separately and mix it along with the pumpkin. Grind the ingredients to be ground coarsely. Add it to the pumpkin, boil for sometime and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, season mustard, curry leaves and dry chillies and add the thick coconut milk. Pour it to the cooked pumpkin curry & mix well. Tasty erissery is ready to be served.


In this curry, a miscellaneous variety of vegetables and some Bengal gram are used. The difference between this and 'Aviyal' is that no tamarind is added.

Ingredients :

Bengal gram dal - 1/2cup
Pumpkin, snake gourd, Long runner beans, yam, Cucumber - 1/4kg (all together)
Inner flesh of drum stick - 1/2cup
Grated coconut - 1/2cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Green chillies - 3 (split into 2)
Salt to taste
Coconut oil - 1/4cup
Mustard - 1tsp
White gram dal - 2dsp
Dried red chillies - 3 (each sliced into 3)
Curry leaves - 2sprigs
Ghee - 1dsp
Grated coconut - 1/4cup

Method of Preparation :

Cook the bengal gram dal with salt and water to a thick gravy.. Clean and cut the vegetables into small pieces. Par boil the vegetables by steaming. Grind 1/2cup grated coconut and mix it with turmeric powder and green chillies.

Heat oil and season mustard, white gram dal, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Add the ground coconut mixture. Saute for sometime, till the water dries. Add the cooked vegetables, salt and bengal gram dal. Saute well.

Heat 1dsp ghee and fry the 1/4cup grated coconut in it till golden brown. Add this to the koottucurry and mix well.


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Ingredients :

1. Big size ripe lemon - 12nos

Salt - 2dsp 4. Green chillies - 18nos (split the end)
Chopped ginger - 1/2dsp

2. Gingelly oil - 2dsp Garlic flakes - 1dsp

3. Mustard - 1/4tsp
Fenugreek - 1/4tsp 5. Water - 1/2cup

Vinegar - 2dsp

Sugar - 1tsp

Method :

Steam the lemon. When it is half cooked, wipe out the water from it. Heat some gingelly oil and saut
? the lemon in a low flame and allow to cool. Wipe out the excess oil from the lemon. Cut each lemon into 8 pieces. Mix well with 1/4cup of salt and keep aside.

Season mustard and fenugreek in 2dsp of gingelly oil. Saute the 4th ingredients and add water, vinegar and sugar into it. When it boils, remove from fire and add the lemon pieces. Mix well. Pickle is ready.



Raw mango (sour) -1
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch
Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Fenugreek - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Gingelly oil - 1tbs
Salt - to taste

Method of Preparation:

Cut the mango into small pieces. Mix turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 1 hour. Fry and grind Asafoetida.

Heat gingelly oil, add chilly powder, Asafoetida, fenugreek and mix with the mango pieces.



Ripe Mango - 1 or 2
Green chilli - 2 or 3
Mustard - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1tsp
Coconut milk- 2 cups

Method of Preparation:

Chop mango and green chillies into very small pieces. Grind mustard, turmeric powder and chilli powder and apply this paste to the chopped mango, keep it for some time. Season mustard and curry leaves, saut
? mango, salt and green chilli, add coconut milk and boil. When it thickens remove from fire.


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Ingredients :

Semi ripe Banana - 1
Coconut oil - 100gms
Molasses or Jaggery - 75gms
Dried ginger powder - 5gms
Ghee - 1tsp
Water - 1/4glass

Method of Preparation :

Peel the bananas and split it into two pieces. Cut it into 1/4" thick pieces. Fry it in warm coconut oil.

Heat the molasses in 1/4glass of water. Remove from fire when it becomes thick. Add dried ginger powder and fried banana pieces in this molasses solution. Keep stirring till the banana pieces separates.


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Ingredients :

Semi ripe banana - 1
Coconut oil - 150gm
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp

Salt - to taste

Method :

Peel banana and slice into thin round pieces or split bananas into 4 thin pieces and slice. Heat oil and fry the banana pieces. When it is 3/4 done, add turmeric powder and salt mixed in 1tsp water. Fry well.


Pappadam's are round crisp flour paste cakes readily available in the market. They are fried in oil and served. Several types of pappadams are now avilable. You can pick one according to your choice.


There are several varieties of 'payasams'. One is in which rice, wheat or vermicelli is boiled with milk and sweetened with sugar. It goes by the name of 'pal payasam'. Another, is made of boiled rice or dal or wheat, to which is added jaggery and coconut milk. Both are flavoured with spices.


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Ingredients :

Milk - 3litres
Dried red rice - 180gm
Sugar - 700gm

Method of Preparation :

Boil the milk. Add sugar and mix well. When it boils again, add the washed rice in it. Simmer in medium flame. Cook till the rice is done. Serve hot.


Ingredients :

Vermicelli - 1 cup
Cashew nuts - handful
Raisins - handful
Water - 3/4cup

Sugar - a cup
Saffron - a pinch
Milk - a cup
Cardamom - two or three pods

Method of preparation :

Heat the ghee and fry the vermicelli till light brown. In the meanwhile, boil the water. Add the vermicelli to the boiling water and cover it. Keep stirring occasionally. Once the vermicelli becomes soft , add the sugar and continue to stir. Put the saffron in the milk and dissolve it, add this milk to the vermicelli. Powder the cardamom and add it to the mixture. Then fry the cashewnuts and almonds in ghee and add these. Mix well and boil for about two minutes. Your payasam is ready and can be served hot or cold.



Broken Wheat - 250g

Coconut - 2
Jaggery - 500g

Raisins -10g

Cashew Nuts -10g
Ghee -3tbs
Cardamom -5g
Dry ginger powder-10g
Cumin Powder-10g

Method of Preparation:

Grate the coconut. Add1/2 glass warm water to the grated coconut. Extract the first milk. Extract the second milk by adding 1 1/2 glass warm water. Again repeat the process to extract the third milk.

Fry broken wheat lightly in one teaspoon ghee. Cook the wheat well in 1 1/2 liters of water.

When it is done add the third milk and the second milk to the wheat and bring to a boil. when it thickens to a semi solid consistency, add powdered jaggery. Add the first milk, fried nut, raisins, powdered Cardamom, ginger and cumin. Mix well and remove from fire immediately. Serve hot.


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Parippu (Green gram dal) - 250gm
Sarkara (Jaggery) - 250gm
Coconut milk - From 2 coconuts
Ghee - 2 tbs
Cashew nuts, Raisins - As required for seasoning

Method of preparation :

Fry dal till light brown. Clean and boil the fried dal well.
Heat jaggery with some water and make a thick solution. Take milk from the coconut thrice. Keep the thick milk taken 1st, aside. Add the 2nd and 3rd milk and the jaggery solution to the boiled dal. Simmer on medium flame till thick. Fry the cashewnuts and Raisins in ghee. Add these and the 1st milk to the payasam . Mix well and remove from fire.


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There are various kinds of Prathamans such as Ada, pazham, parippu and palada prathamans.

In 'Ada prathaman', rice flour mixed with molasses is formed into a paste, cut into small pieces and boiled in water. To these, coconut milk and molasses are added in proportion. It is then flavored with ghee.

In 'pazham prathaman', plantain fruits of a special kind known as 'Nentra Pazham' are well boiled in water till the whole water is dried and the whole thing is reduced to a pulp by constant pressing. Then it is tempered with ghee. Coconut milk is added and the thing sweet in itself, is further sweetened with molasses. The kernel of a dried coconut, cut into small slices is boiled in ghee, and added to it.

The main ingredient used in 'parippu prathaman' is pulse. Many more kinds of prathamans are made of other articles as with Bengal gram, pumpkins etc.


In palada prathaman pieces of flour paste (ada) are boiled in milk and sweetened with sugar. No ghee or spices are added except some cardamoms.

Ingredients :

Thick milk - 3litre
Par boiled rice (dried red rice) - 250gm
Water to mix flour
Coconut oil - 1tbs
Sugar - 2tbs
Plantain leaf pieces - as required
Sugar - 625gm
Cardamom powder (optional)

Method of Preparation :

Wash rice and drain the water. Dry grind the rice well. Add enough water to make a semi thick batter. Add 1tbs coconut oil and 1/2tbs sugar in it.

Clean and wipe the plaintain leaf pieces and pour the batter in a thin layer evenly and roll the leaf pieces tightly. Boil water in a big vessel and steam the flour batter. Take the steam batter from the leaf and cut into small pieces. Wash the pieces and strain.

Boil milk well and add sugar. Continue boiling till its colour changes to pale pink. Add the ada pieces to it. Boil again and remove from fire.

Note: 'Ada' is now available in the market. You can boil 'ada' with milk and sugar and make Palada in no time.