Vishu Recipes for a Fantastic Feast!

Try em this festive day!

Vishu is all about the Vishukazhineetam, the family get together, the fragrant Kerala fields and the lip-smacking sadya. Here are some traditional culinary treats laced with unconventional recipes, each a scrumptious tale of its own.

By Lekshmi Gopinathan, author of This Delicious Life.



Vishu Katta

Before we get to the sadya, here is the traditional Vishu Katta, the succulent Vishu breakfast.


  • 300gms raw rice
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. ghee



  1. Soak rice for 30 minutes
  2. Divide the coconut milk into thin and thick.
  3. Dilute half the milk to get the thin version.
  4. Crush the cumin and add it to the thin milk.
  5. Take a pan, pour the thin milk and add the raw rice.
  6. Once the rice is cooked and looks similar to porridge, add the thick milk and boil for a minute.
  7. Sprinkle the salt and mix the rice well.
  8. Layer a pan with ghee and scoop the rice onto it. Use a ladle to set it.
  9. After a while, cut it into cakes and serve with chutney or plain jaggery syrup.

Tip- Use a traditional brass uruli to cook the rice for the perfect Vishu kattas.


Mango Pulisheri

Though the regular curd pulisheri is expected, the mambazham or mango pulisheri is as tasty as it is unique.


  • 2 mangoes
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 500 ml curd
  • 250 gms coconut, freshly grated
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 4 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek
  • 4 red chilis
  • 1 twig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt



  1. Slice the mangoes and mix with the green chillies, turmeric, water and salt. Let them cook.
  2. Add the cumin to the grated coconut and grind them.
  3. In a pan, spray coconut oil and add mustard, red chilli, fenugreek and curry leaves.
  4. Into the crackling pan, add the ground paste.
  5. Now add the cooked mango mix, blended curd and chilli powder. Keep stirring to avoid curdling.
  6. Cool it a bit and serve.

Tip- Use mangoes which are a little sour instead of overtly ripe ones.



Olan is a recipe that is a constant at Vishu Sadhya. It is also healthy with yoghurt serving as a base.


  • Half a sliced ash gourd
  • Half a sliced yellow pumpkin
  • 3 green chillies
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 200 gms black eyed peas
  • 3 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 twig curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak the black eyes peas overnight. Cook them close to mush, sprinkled with salt.
  2. Slice the ash gourd and pumpkin into medium cubes.
  3. Divide coconut milk into four parts, three parts thin and one thick.
  4. Add thick coconut milk to the vegetable cubes along with slit chillies and cook them.
  5. Once it is cooked, add cooked peas, thick coconut milk and let it simmer.
  6. Don’t let the milk curdle, keep stirring.
  7. Spray some coconut oil on the top and add the curry leaves.

Tip- Keep the olan in an earthen pot all day and it will stay fresh.


Iddichakka Thoran

Jackfruits from the garden are plucked to cook the first jackfruit dish of the New Year.


  • 1 small raw jack fruit
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 green chillies
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 piece ginger
  • 2 pods garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 250 gms coconut, freshly grated)
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 twig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil


  1. Cut the jackfruit into small pieces and cook them in pan with water, turmeric and salt till it softens.
  2. Pound the pieces gently to shred, but do not mash or crush them.
  3. With the grated coconut add shallots, green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and turmeric. Grind them.
  4. Add the ground paste to the jackfruit
  5. In a pan, spray coconut oil, crackle the mustard, add dry chillies and curry leaves.
  6. Sauté the jackfruit and coconut mix.
  7. Top it with a splattering of coconut oil, some curry leaves and grated coconut.

Tip- The leftover jackfruit thoran can be used to make cutlets.


Kootu Curry

Kootu Curry is one of those rare dishes which are as much a routine fare as an irrefutable part of the feast.


  • 2/3 piece yam
  • 2 raw plantain
  • 250 gms black chana
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 150 gms coconut, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorn
  • 2 pods garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 2 dry red chilli
  • 1 twig of curry leaves


  1. Cut the yam and plantain into cubes and cook them in water, with salt and turmeric till they soften.
  2. Cook the overnight soaked chana until they are soft.
  3. Grind the grated coconut with pepper corn, cumin, garlic and green chillies.
  4. Take a pan and add the chana, vegetables and the ground paste, sprinkle salt to taste. Add a very small amount of water and let them cook.
  5. Spray a kadai with coconut oil and roast some grated coconut in it till they are dark brown and keep them aside.
  6. In the same kadai, add some coconut oil and temper with mustard seed, dry red chillies and curry leaves.
  7. Now add the tempering and roasted coconut to the dish, your kootu curry is ready.

Tip- To make it healthier, you can add other vegetables of your choice which resemble in thickness to yam/plantain.



Parrippu Payasam is one of the most popular desserts known to Keralites and most generously heaped onto the plate!


  • 400 gms chana dal
  • 600 ml water
  • 200 ml jaggery syrup
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 3 cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. dry ginger powder
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • 4 tbsp. ghee



  1. Soak the chana dal for three hours.
  2. Take a deep bottom pan, add ghee and roast the chana dal till the aroma fills the kitchen.
  3. Pour the water and cook the dal, you can use a pressure cooker if in a hurry.
  4. Once the dal becomes mushy, use a ladle to make a paste.
  5. Divide the coconut milk into three parts, two parts thin and one part thick.
  6. Roast the cashew nuts in ghee and keep them aside.
  7. In the same pan pour the chana dal paste and add the jaggery syrup, let it boil.
  8. Add the think coconut milk and once the payasam boils, top it with the thick milk.
  9. Garnish with the cashew nuts and serve piping hot.

Tip- It may sound peculiar, but banana chips and sesame seeds are also garnish for parippu payasam.

back to top icon
More in Recipes
5 must try Christmas Recipes this season!


5 Christmas Recipes to try this season!