Sunday, 25 September 2022


   Festivals and special occasions bring in lot of joy and a cool chance to meet relatives, friends and neighbours over lunch, dinners or chat. Celebrations are complete only with food and drinks and the menu for the festivals  will be according to the tradition. Menu on special occasions can be of of the choice of the host and the wish of the guests can also be included. Where as with festivals all adhere to the set menu based on traditions by the ancestors.

Today being the Mahalaya Amavasya or the new moon day-  the day preparations for the Navarathri begins (arranging wooden steps or  fixing iron racks to display dolls) and the ceremonies are performed for the ancestors. Mostly any menu or feast on any occasion is surely has  a place fixed for certain vegetables and this can be witnessed in the huge stock of those vegetables in the market.

The demand for the vegetables like raw banana and ash gourd (white pumpkin)is on high level.  One is the vegetable cooked and served on this day and other as a ritual broken out side /in front of the house to ward off evil. It is a customary thing in  Tamil Nadu to break the ash gourd on the new moon day. It is believed that this protects and guards the family from evil eyes and bad effects . Ash gourd demands grow in large numbers from  three days ahead of the new moon. It is also used in cooking but on the new moon day it is just to keep all the bad things at bay.

  Coming to Raw bananas or plantain, it is the star vegetable today and is definitely cooked in every household of Tamil Nadu. They belong to the banana family but tend to be firmer and cannot be eaten raw. They require cooking and are used when green or under ripe. They are a staple food in tropical regions of the world and are used in varied ways like steamed, fried etc. Raw bananas  are also called as green bananas because they are typically harvested while they’re still green.  The plus point of green bananas is they have an appetite-reducing effect due to their high content of fiber and resistant starch. These are  easily available through out the year and are very popular and go into making some seriously scrumptious meals. 

Bananas serve a prominent part in many festivals and occasions. In south Indian weddings, banana trees/plantain trees are tied as festoons in pairs to form an arch as a blessing to the newly wed for a long lasting and fruitful life.

In Kerala and coastal Tamil Nadu during rainy seasons large banana leaves are used as umbrellas.  waste bananas are used to feed live stock. From top to bottom a plantain tree is highly useful and each part is used for a particular way.

The northern part of India heartily cooks up koftas, curries, kebabs and pakoras out of it whereas in South India, raw banana chips can be found in every household. They can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried, batter-fried, deep-fried, mashed and curried, and also be used as a stuffing, in salads or to make traditional dips.

 Here is an interesting recipe of raw banana usually prepared on new moon day ;

Do  share about the vegetable specifically cooked on new moon day  at your place.

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