Recipe: Vellarikka Kichadi
Vellarikka Kichadi or Cucumber Raita Kerala Style is a refreshing and cooling side dish that is a part of the Onam Sadhya.Vellarikka here refers to cucumber. Kichadi is not a rice dish but a yogurt based side dish. Usually,the large yellowish cucumbers are used for this recipe. One can, however, use the green ones as well.
What Is Onam Sadhya?
Onam Sadhya is a traditional meal that is enjoyed during the Onam Festival. A full Onam Sadhya is a delightful sight. It consists of a minimum of 26 food items all served on a banana leaf. Note the word minimum, as the number of food items can go up to 64! Sadya or Sadhya actually means banquet. A trove of colours and flavours, the Onam Sadhya packs in spicy, sweet, salty and sour flavours. Sadhya is usually enjoyed on the last day of Onam celebrations.
What Is Served For Onam Sadhya?
Generally, Onam Sadhya is vegetarian but there are some parts of Kannur fish is a must and some in Malabar region serve chicken biryani with other traditional dishes.
Crispy crunchy snack like upperi (banana chips), sharkara varatti (banana chips sweetened by jaggery), pappadam.
Like manga curry (raw mango curry), Inji curry (ginger tamarind curry), naranga curry (sour lime curry). These are not curry dishes with gravy but more like instant pickles.
Yogurt based curry usually made from pineapple, bitter gourd or just coconut. I am made to understand that the mustard seeds are ground together with coconut, chilli for pachadi.
A coconut based curry whereby ash gourd and red beans are used.
Yogurt based curry with yam or raw banana, plantain.
This pumpkin, red bean, and coconut vegetable dish is also called Ellisheri.
Mixed vegetables made with coconut.
Usually a dry stir fry, made from cabbage, carrots or beans.
The main part of the Sadhya, it is usually red rice. Sometimes matta rice is served.
Lentil based curry.
Is a stir fry. Can be made from beans, yam or potato.
A lentil and vegetable based curry.
A watery soup like dish.
Moru Curry /Moru Kachiyathu
Seasoned buttermilk or yogurt based curry.
A spicy side dish made from yogurt and vegetables like okra, cucumber, bitter gourd. Kichadi is similar to pachadi except that mustard seeds are not ground along with coconut.
Kootu Curry is made from raw bananas, black chana and grated coconut.
Yogurt spiced with ginger and green chillis.
Ghee is very much a part of the sadhya.
Small banana, a specialty of Kerala. Generally, it is mashed and enjoyed with payasam.
A sweet dish made with milk, dry fruits, and rice ada. It is served in the end to help in counteracting the spices. Rice ada is rice noodles.
Palada pradhaman can sometimes be substituted for rice or vermicelli payasam. Payasam is kheer.
My Dish For Onam Sadhya
The idea of preparing the whole sadhya is an overwhelming task. I am sure with a bit of help it is doable. Perhaps one day when I am in India will make an attempt to prepare the whole sadhya. Ingredients will be more readily available and also I will find banana leaf easily. Till then have to be content that I made Vellarikka Kichadi, considering that it is so difficult to come by ingredients here in Magog. Back in India we literally take the availability of many ingredients for granted.
Why I Made Just One Dish From The Sadhya?
Priya Vijaykrishnan suggested this theme for Onam which is from 20-31 Aug this year. She suggested we make traditional Onam Sadhya meals or any one part of the sadhya. For this theme she has prepared a delicious kichadi too. Her kichadi recipe is with okra. Check out her Vendakka Kichadi.
For this theme I have partnered with Anu who blogs at Ente Thattukada. She gave me mustard seeds and curry leaves. With those two ingredients I decided to use them to prepare Vellarikka Kichadi. I gave Anu coconut oil and cumin to use. She included them in the popular and must have Onam Sadhya dish, Avial. A mixed vegetable dish that is prepared using coconut and yogurt.
Some Dishes From Kerala Cuisine On My Blog
The only Onam Sadhya dish I made some years back is Kalan. And with matta rice, is super delicious.
The list is pretty small. It now going to urge me to try out more recipes from the Kerala Cuisine.
Ingredients Required For Vellarikka Kichadi or Cucumber Raita Kerala Style
Cucumber – I have used green cucumber. Peel and cut into small pieces. Smaller pieces will cook faster.
Fresh Coconut – grated.
Plain Yogurt – should not be too sour.
Water – just enough required to cook the cucumber. Need a little to grind the coconut, cumin seeds and green chillis.
Cumin Seeds – jeera, jiru.
Green Chillis – add according to your taste. You don’t want the kichadi too hot.
Salt – add according to your taste.
Coconut Oil – for tempering/tadka.
Mustard Seeds – for tempering/tadka.
Dry Red Chilli – for tempering/tadka, one is enough.
Curry Leaves – kari patta, limbdi. For tempering.
Watch How To Make Vellarikka Kichadi
VELLARIKKA KICHADI | CUCUMBER RAITA KERALA STYLE
- 1 large cucumber
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup yogurt thick and plain
- ¼ cup coconut grated
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1-2 tbsp water for the paste
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 dry red chilli
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
COOK THE CUCUMBER
- Peel the cucumber. If it has too many seeds, remove them. Cut/dice the cucumber into small pieces.
- Add cucumber,salt and water in a pan. Cover it and cook the cucumber over medium heat till it is done and the water evaporates. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Check to see if the cucumber is cooked.
PREPARE THE PASTE
- While the cucumber is getting cooked, prepare the coconut paste.
- Add grated coconut, cumin seeds and green chillis in a food processor.
- Add about 1-2 tbsp water and process to a coarse paste.
- Add the coconut paste to the cooked cucumber.
- Mix it well and cook the mixture for 1 minute. Excess water from the paste will evaporate.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Allow the cucumber mixture to cool down completely.
- Allow the cucumber mixture to cool down completely before you add the yogurt.
PREPARE THE TEMPERING
- Heat oil in a small pan over low to medium heat.
- When it is hot, add mustard seeds.
- As they begin to pop, add the red chilli.
- Add curry leaves and mix.
- Take the pan off the heat.
PREPARE THE KICHADI
- Add yogurt to the cooked cucumber mixture.
- Mix well.
- Add the tempering and mix well.
- Serve immediately or chill it till required.
- If the cucumber has too many seeds remove them.
- Can use the Indian yellow cucumber for this recipe.
- Make sure the yogurt is not watery or sour.
- Add green chillis according to your taste.
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