Guest Chef Saras shares her recipes for the aadi perukku festival of Tamil Naadu. Served here in the traditional style on a fresh banana leaf. The leaf adds its own flavor to the meal.
Aadi perukku is a very traditional festival of thanksgiving to the monsoon god for filling the rivers with his abundance. After prayers on the riverside people carry a big spread of mixed rice and share and eat together in a community lunch. Those of you who read Tamil many remember that in Kalki‘s legendary novel, Ponniyin Selvan, the story and protagonist are introduced on the banks of the Veeranarayana Yeri on the eve of Adi Perukku. Urban Tamils also follow this tradition which embraces the rural roots of their culture and preserves distant cultural memories.
Aadi perukku/ pathinettam perukku spread
I wish to share the lunch spread that I cooked for my family for this occasion today. It included semiya (vermicelli) pineapple kesari ( instead of Vella sadam ) vellari boondi thayir pachhadi (raita) puliyanchadam (tamarind rice) elumichhai sadam ( lemon rice) ellu sadam ( sesame rice) thayir sadam(yoghurt rice) I will share the recipes for pineapple kesari, thayir pacchadi and ellu sadam, as recipes for the rest are already available on this site.
- Pine apple - 200 gms cubed
- Semiya roasted - 100gms
- Sugar - 250 gms
- Rawa roasted - 100gms
- Kesari powder - 1/2tsp
- Pineapple essence - Optional few drops
- Cashew - For garnish
- Ghee - 150 gms
- Sesame seeds ( til )( white)and black - 100 gms
- Urad dal, channa dal - Together 25 gms
- Black pepper corns - 1 heaped tablespoon
- Red chillies - 2-3
- Til oil - 3-4 tbsp
- Cooked rice
- Vellarikkai ( Kerala cucumber) - Finely cubed or grated
- Boondi - 25 gms
- Thick curd - 1 bowl
- Coconut grated - 3-4 tbsp
In a thick bottom vessel heat a few tbsp ghee, cashew, roast, add the rawa and semiiya and roast once more. Add sugar ( 1:1/2 ratio) to this mixture set aside. Lightly toast the pineapple cubes in ghee, add 1/2 cup water boil well till the fruit is tender. Add water again ( 1: 2 1/2 cups ratio ) bring to boil. As it boils add the rawa semiya sugar mix . Cook till done. Add few drops of essence . Add enough ghee so that the kesari will leave the vessel without sticking to it, which is the indication that it is done.
Ellu sadam / sesame rice mix : Dry roast the sesame till it crackles. Roast the dals , pepper corns, red chillies in til oil. Roast grated coconut. Coarsely powder all the above. Cook rice without making it sticky. Spread it in a wide plate and let it cool. To the cooked rice add the powder, til oil , enough salt and mix . Garnish with curry leaves in til oil. Do not heat the til oil , as for this recipe raw til oil adds flavor. And if you are garnishing this rice do not use ghee.
Thayir pacchadi :
Boil the finely cubed / grated malabar cucumber in water with a little salt. Drain water completely and let it cool. Add this to thick curds (yoghurt), add boondi, grated coconut, coriander chopped, temper with mustard and mix just before serving.