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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tamil new year every year falls on April 14th. It marks the first day in Tamil / Hindu calendar in the month of Chithirai. It is also known as Tamil varuda pirappu / varusha pirappu or Chithirai thirunal. Elders in home use the new Tamil panjangam from this day (Tamil calendar). We keep the New panjangam (with manjal kungumam on four corners) too in our prayer while offering food to God. We use this panjangam for determining the auspicious time for festival celebrations. We wake up early, take head bath and pray God. We decorate our house entrances with maakolam (Check out my mom’s kolams to learn), make a feast at home. We also visit temples. Many temples celebrate this whole month as “Chithirai thiruvizha”. Just like English calendar new year, we believe this day too as auspicious day for new and prosperous beginnings.

This is the first day of Tamil new year, its more important for us Tamil Hindus. Which ever country we are living in, we make sure to celebrate in our house holds the same way our mom and mom in law do. We want out kids too to know about these traditions and carry these traditions to the next generation.

We collect neem flowers through out the year from our backyard neem tree, dry it in shade and preserve it for the whole year. If fresh flowers are available, we use that new flowers for tamil new year day cooking. As a kid I never used to like the neem flower toppings in rasam and pachadi. I used to take out all the neem flowers patiently before eating and argue with my mom to not to add in those. My parents and grand parents used to explain me patiently about the importance of including all the tastes. They used to say it is healthy too.  But these days, I am craving for those as that bitterness is also a taste and one cannot explain the flavour that it passes to the dishes it is added to.
We prepare a full meals feast which has 2 types of pachadi, 2 types of vegetable side dishes, sambar, rasam, payasam, vadai and end with buttermilk.  We always include raw mango and neem flowers in the menu. Rasam is made with neem flowers and mango pachadi is a must, which is made with jaggery, raw mango and tempered with neem flowers – to include all tastes sweet, sour, spice, salt and bitterness. Meaning we should be prepared to face all moments in life and treat them equally.
Since this festival falls in summer, we make neer mor and panakam as well. How our elders have made the festival menu according to the sesaons and things available that is also good for our health is quite astonishing!

Being a foodie I love the special dishes prepared on that day – Mango pachadi and neem flower rasam the best. I like vadai payasam too. 
Wishing you all a very Happy and prosperous New Year! அனைவருக்கும் இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்

Check out the Tamil New year recipes. Neem flower (Fresh preferred – or use dried) can be tempered in mango pachadi to include all the taste in one dish, on the first day of the New Year.
ulundhu-vadai1 Payasam recipes Sakkarai pongal Mango pachadi Veppam poo rasam Neer morPanagam
Other options (Consult elders at home about the veggies you can add for offering God)

Refer my post to get an idea on how to plan a full meal and prepare.

 Payasam recipes

Pachadi recipes

Sambar recipes(Skip onion if offering to God)

Poriyal and kootu recipes (Skip onion)

Rasam recipes (Skip garlic)

  • Easy basic rasam

  • Lemon/ginger rasam

  • Pepper rasam

  • Tomato rasam(without garlic)

  • Veppam poo rasam

  • Mysore rasam

  • Mor rasam (buttermilk rasam)

  • Annasi/ Pineapple rasam

  • Beetroot rasam

  • Selavu rasam

  • Narthangai rasam

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    1. Nice collection ya thank u

    2. Thnx a ton..I was breaking my head to decide tomorrows menu..it is really helpful..

    3. Thnx a ton..I was breaking my head to decide tomorrows menu..it is really helpful..


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