Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vishu Sadya - Delicious Vegetarian Malayali cuisine Feast & Recipe for Kerala Banana Halwa.

Vishu Sadya is an authentic vegetarian  feast  served on a Vishu Day in Kerala.  This year I cooked few sadhya dishes, My Vishu sadya is  not as elaborate as traditional one but  it was good enough to feel festive spirits of  Vishu. Here I am sharing  pictures of  my Vishu sadya spread.  Also sharing  recipe for Kerala Banana Halwa. It is very tasty rustic sweet, which can be prepared at home with minimal ingredients but with some extra efforts of stirring.
Published on 06/29/2012

Vishu Sadhya Menu :

Sambar with Kerala Matta Rice,
Pappadam, Curd chili,
Banana Halwa,
Cabbage Thoran, Green beans thoran,
Cherupayar parippu payasam (Moong Dal payasam).
In the side leaf plate - Mathanga errisseri (Pumpkin+Red chawli curry), pavakka/bitter melon/kaypakka pachadi.

 Kerala Vishu Sadhya spread.

Left : Mathanga Van payar Errisseri (pumpkin_red chawli curry)
 Right : Kaipakka  pachadi (deep fried bitter melon in seasoned yogurt)

Vegetarian Vishu Thali.

Recipe for Kerala Banana Halwa.

Ingredients :
  • 5 Fully ripe bananas (scroll down to check image of ripe banana)
  • 3/4 cup - crushed jaggery
  • 2-3 Tb.spoon sugar
  • 5-6 Tb.spoon - pure ghee/ clarified butter
  • 5-6 cardamom - finely powder seeds
  • 1 Tb.spoon - fine powder of pistachio - Use microplane coarse grater.
  • 7-8 Pistachio - roughly chopped and partly make thin slices for final top garnish.
Directions for  preparing Banana Halwa:
  1. Peel ripe bananas, cut into one inch thick slices.
  2. Heat medium size thick bottomed pot/saute pan. Add one tbsp ghee, slowly keep adding banana pieces. Maintain medium heat. With back of the wooden spoon press and mash all pieces. You will take 5-6 minutes to mash all banana pieces. (you can use immersion blender to puree banana. I wanted to keep it all natural so mashed with the spoon) Keep stirring, once it starts to boil add one more tbsp ghee. Now sprinkle  half the quantity of cardamom powder.
  3. Continue to stir and make sure banana pulp does not stick to the bottom. If it gets thicker and drier you can pour little ghee. After 20 minutes add crushed jaggery. Continue to stir, press all chunks of jaggery with spoon to ease jaggery melting process. Add one more tbsp ghee and continue rigorous stirring.
  4. Now add 2-3 tbsp sugar, mix well..check for sweetness and adjust sugar quantity. Add 1 tbsp ghee, chopped pistachios, remaining cardamom powder. Continue cooking and stirring for another 15 minutes. If you find it exhaustive to stir continuously then reduce heat to medium low so that you can take momentary pauses.
  5. Consistency will keep changing.  After half an hour it will start turning into thick jelly like mass. Keep going until it gets thick and stiff enough to form  layer on the plate. Texture will be quite sticky and you can improve it it by finally adding some more ghee. I used around 5 tbsp ghee during stirring process.
  6. It took me around 45 minutes of continuous attentive cooking. Shut off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer banana halwa on a  ghee greased  plane surfaced plate. I used butter knife and gave square shape, you will need to do lot of patting from different angles. Sprinkle finely powdered pistachio or you can directly scrape pistachio by holding microplane over set halwa. Also randomly sprinkle and press some thin slices of pistachio for appeal. Cover with plastic cling wrap, refrigerate for one hour before serving. Texture is going to stay sticky and smooth so carefully lift and  separate each halwa square piece with knife and pat to  bring it back to fine  square shape.
  7. It  turns more tighter in texture next day, also taste matures and gets more delicious.
Home made Kerala banana Halwa

Rightly ripe Banana for making Halwa.

Anand Banana Halwa - bigger piece with more darker brown shade.

Kelyacha Halwa

Kerala banana  Halwa


KK said...

These are heavenly spreads. Well done Usha ji.

Usha said...

KK, Thanks for stopping by. Vishu and Onam spreads are very divine...I try my best to cook few dishes.