Try these Vishu staples from different parts of Kerala

Now that you have bought the banana leaves, have you decided what to fill them with? Here are recipes to four quintessential dishes from different parts of Kerala

April 15, 2023 03:13 pm | Updated 05:42 pm IST

Traditional sadhya served on banana leaf

Traditional sadhya served on banana leaf

Inji puli (Different regions)

Serving size: 2 cups | Cooking duration: Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes

Inji puli

Inji puli


  • Tamarind - 1 lime sized piece
  • Ginger – 200 grams
  • Green chillies - 5
  • Jaggery- 100 grams
  • Roasted red rice – 50 grams
  • Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1 pinch
  • Fenugreek powder - 1 tsp
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water and make a pulp, sieve it into a mud pot or kadai, mix chilli powder, turmeric, salt and let simmer.
  2. Cut the ginger into thin slices and fry it in coconut oil till crisp.
  3. Cut the green chillies into round pieces and fry that as well.
  4. Grind the fried ginger into a coarse powder and add it with the fried green chillies to the boiled tamarind water and continue to cook the blend on flame.
  5. Keep boiling the blend until the tamarind water has evaporated and the mixture has thickened.
  6. Dry roast raw red rice, cool it and powder it in a mixie. Now add this to the blend on the stove, stir, cook for another five minutes and switch off the flame. Your puli inji is ready to serve.
  7. You can refrigerate it in an airtight clean glass container and use it for a few weeks.

Recipe by Chef Tresa Francis, founder, Papadum and Some, Bengaluru.

Vishu kanji (Palakkad)

Serving size: 2 | Cooking duration: 2 hours

Vishu kanji and butter beans stir fry 

Vishu kanji and butter beans stir fry  | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


  • Raw rice - 1/2 cup
  • Matta rice - 1/2 cup
  • Split green gram (dry roasted with skin) - 1/2 cup
  • Butter beans - 2 tsp (dry roast, pound to remove skin)
  • Water - 1 litre
  • Grated coconut - 1 cup 
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cook all ingredients except coconut in a pressure cooker (for six whistles).
  2. Add water to adjust the consistency. Sprinkle grated coconut, and serve hot with pappadums and kondattam.
  3. The variation in Kozhikode is cooking the rice in water, and adding coconut milk and ground cumin. 

Recipe by Manjula Jyothiprakash, Spicy ‘N’ Easy (YouTube)

Vishu katta (Thrissur) 

Serving size: 4-6 | Cooking duration: 2 hours

Vishu katta served with jaggery syrup

Vishu katta served with jaggery syrup


  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Milk extracted from two medium-sized coconuts or 400 ml of ready-to-use coconut milk 
  • Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dry ginger powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak rice for an hour.
  2. Start preparation by extracting coconut milk, the first extract should be without water (onnampaal).
  3. Add warm water to what remains of the grated coconut, and blitz in the mixie to extract semi-diluted milk (randaampaal).
  4. Repeat the process once more for thinner milk (moonaampaal) and keep aside. This should give you six cups. 
  5. Cook soaked rice (simmer) in moonampaal, as it evaporates add randaampaal.
  6. Add salt when the rice is three-fourths cooked, follow it up with onaampaal, cumin and dry ginger powder.
  7. Keep a tablespoon of the thick milk aside.
  8. Cook till rice thickens and begins to give out oil. 
  9. Transfer to a banana leaf or plate, flatten smearing the thick coconut milk.
  10. Cut into squares as it cools and serve with jaggery syrup. 

Recipe by

Karayappam (Kannur)


Karayappam | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Serving Size: 10-12 | Cooking duration: 10 hours


  • Raw rice - 1 cup (soaked for 4 hours) 
  • Cooked rice - 1 cup
  • Maida - 1/2 cup 
  • Sugar - 3/4 cup 
  • Salt - 1 tsp 
  • Water - 1/2 cup  
  • Baking soda - 1/4 tsp (just before frying the appams)
  • Coconut oil or refined oil to deep fry


  1. Grind together all the ingredients except baking soda.
  2. Add water if the mix is too thick and rest for eight hours or overnight.
  3. Add baking soda just before frying in an appam/paniyaram pan.
  4. Serve once cooled. 

Recipe by Revathi Biju, Recipes by Revathi (YouTube)

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