Although most of the world celebrates New Year on the 1st of January based on the Gregorian calendar, several cultures celebrate the new year following the Solar or Lunar Calendar. India being a land of diversity, various states celebrate the new year on the 1st day of the month of Baisakh or Chithirai as known in the southern states, which is also heralded as the spring harvest month. Also Read: Tamil New Year: Know The Importance Of 5 Essential Ingredients
Be it Tamil Putthandu in Tamilnadu, Vishu in Kerala, Poila Baisakh in West Bengal, Rongali Bihu in Assam, Bishuva Sankranti in Odisha or Baisakhi in the North and Central India, this year we celebrate the beginning of the Solar calendar on April 14.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, when the entire nation is under social lockdown, this new year is going to be a bit different. Unlike other years, you cannot offer puja at the temple, meet your relatives, eat out with your family or just chill somewhere with your friends. But now more than ever, you can do a small puja and offer prayers for a better tomorrow right at home, do a simple Rangoli or Kolam at the doorstep and spend loads of time with your family.
Every year, the traditional new year is celebrated with an elaborate preparation of meals that are consumed with family or friends, and the distribution of sweets to near and dear ones. This year with the essential commodities and groceries being limited, most people are worried as to how to prepare a traditional meal to suffice the cravings and uplift the spirits and make one forget about the pandemic at least for a day.
While gearing to celebrate this auspicious festival with your loved ones with limited essentials at hand, this article brings you a few mouth-watering recipes from the diverse cultures of India, that you can try making at home this new year:
Incredible Feasting Ideas From The Various Regions Of India:
This traditional flavoursome recipe from the idyllic and serene southern state of Kerala brings a nicely concocted stew of various nutritious easily available ingredients. Kerala is famed for its lush green coconut plantations and tasty, succulent raw banana and plantain yield. These are also added to the aviyal preparation. The unique blend of vegetables like drumstick, carrot, potato, raw banana, snake gourd, and brinjal mixed with spices, curd, tamarind and shredded coconut, makes this recipe a truly nutritious meal for celebrating the festivities. Paired beautifully with steaming hot coconut or lemon rice, the Aviyal is an indisputable option for the Vishu new year feast. Also Read: Celebrate Chithirai Varsha Paraph
A classic lentil-based savoury, Keerai Vadai is a delectable, appetizing and wholesome option in Tamil households on the auspicious agrarian and religious occasion of Puthandu, which marks the beginning of the Tamil month of Chithirai. Tamil Nadu is a beautiful southern state in India, rich in agricultural produce with a tremendous bounty of rice, lentil, vegetable and fruit crops. This harvest is used in the preparation of keerai vadai. The mixture of different types of dal like toor or urad and leafy greens like coriander and spinach sprinkled with various spices makes this snack a rich protein option. Not only does it enhance digestion and improve metabolic functions but also satisfies the appetite and prevents untimely cravings for junk items.
This authentic Bengali dish made using potol or parwal stuffed with shredded spiced up paneer is a fan favourite for most Bengalis. The rich blend of various spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric, and whole garam masalas not only enhance the taste but also increases the therapeutic efficacy of the dish. Parwal being high on fibre, antioxidants and vitamins provide relief from constipation, whereas paneer not only enhances heart health but also improves digestion.
The traditional dessert of Eastern states, this is the equivalent to the payasam or kheer. This festive favourite is made with a twist of rice (i.e. gobindo blog chal) and laden with cardamom, besides wholesome dry fruits and nuts like cashews and raisins. The goodness of milk gives a boost of vitamin D and calcium to the body making this sweet pudding a must-have for almost all Bengali festivities.
Kele-Badam Ki Lassi
This classic beverage from the North-western regions is not only a yummy way to suffice your cravings but also serves as a natural coolant and aids in digestion. The blend of creamy yoghurt and banana topped with walnuts, pista and honey offers a nutritious punch to the body and makes for a delicious combo for the Baisakhi meal in the sweltering summers.