Onam is one of the festivals that most ushers in childhood nostalgia. From vivid athapookalams in cheerful colors like off white, orange and yellow, the jamandhi and thumbapoo which fills the flower carpets,fresh fragarance of chembakapoo and mullapoo from the veetumuttam, melodious onappatu (traditional and folk Onam songs) to mouth-watering onam sadhya (which is my favourite cuisine in the world) comprising of a melange of sweet and sour flavours with delicious payasams that dance on the taste buds throughout the year.
Chingam (the season of Onam) significantly marks homecoming and belonging. Expressed through the pristine colors of the Kerala Neriyathu and subdued elegance of our bountiful land, Vedhika Keralam is a collection that embraces the idea of pride of place and forms our identity.
Every masterpiece designed at Vedhika Design House is a labour of love. It embodies beautiful motifs, meticulous detailing and the art of storytelling. The brand is thus a cellular essence of God’s own country, encompassing nature, art, fables and folklores and constitutes a celebration of our homogeneous diversity. The artistic expressions rendered through warp and weft is inspired from the art forms like Theyyam of Kerala recognised by the UNESCO.
Panchavarna collection - Every piece in the collection is a blend of vintage handlooms and timeless handcraft(like cutwork, kutch work, aari embroidery, block print, zardosi to name a few)with a revivalist twist, evoking modern sensibilities Be it sarees, salwar suits, Kurtis, ethnic skirts, lehengas, set mundu or kids wear.. Mother of pearl embroidery, laser-cut florals, floral net fusion, kalamkari applique, musical motifs are some of the highlights of the collection.
Geometrics and florals, Grandeur and simplicity, Vibrancy and subtlety-the distinct charm of this matchless and vivid paradox form the warp and weft of the collection. A play of heritage textiles with exceptional color combinations, symbols and designs that stem from our soil, music from the soul and multi-layered spirit of fantasy, fragility, ferocity form the festive collection. It has been created and curated from the heart, dedicated to every woman steeped in tradition with a tryst of dynamism.
As I recollect Onam through the years, down my memory lane I have been blessed by its revelries –in spirit and strength. This year I see it through the eyes of both my children with the same marvel, magic and magnificence.
Posting a recipe that is a favourite among kids and adults. This is a small nutritive innovation to our favourite payasam.
Recipe of Dry Fruit and Nut Kheer (A twist to the traditional payasam):
- Milk: 1 litre.
- Sugar: 150 gms.
- Dates, raisins and figs (cut into small pieces): 6 numbers each.
- Cashewnuts and almonds (cut into small pieces ): 15 nos each.
- Cardamom powder: quarter teaspoon.
- Saffron strands: few.
- Boil milk and simmer it for ten mins.
- Add the sugar and let it melt in the milk.
- Make paste of the dry fruits in a blender and add to the milk mixture. To avoid the bottom of the vessel getting burnt keep stirring with a ladle. Now let it simmer for 5 mins.
- Sautee the nuts in some ghee and add to the milk mixture.
- Add cardamom powder and saffron stands and simmer for 5 mins. Keep stirring with the ladle.
- Serve warm or after cooling, keep it in the fridge and serve it cold.
Note: This kheer is medium in sweet and if you have a sweet tooth please feel free to add more sugar.
A healthy substitute for sugar is coconut sugar for the entire recipe and can be used.
Likewise, a diabetes-friendly option of using a sugar-free substitute can also be done.