What Kerala dishes can you eat during Lent? Here's a wholesome menu

Corn puttu
Corn puttu with kadala curry and salad. Photo: iStock/Adela Srinivasan

Lent is a period of austerity that is observed by many Christian denominations as a time of preparation, reflection, repentance, and spiritual discipline. It is a symbolic journey that commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness, as described in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Lent falls 40-50 days before Easter during which Christians observe an austere life by avoiding entertainment and non-vegetarian food.

Many Christians use Lent as a time for fasting or abstaining from certain foods, practices, or luxuries as a form of self-discipline and spiritual focus. Lent is a season of preparation leading up to Easter, the most significant celebration in the Christian calendar. The focus is on preparing one's heart and soul to fully experience the joy and significance of Christ's resurrection. Lent would conclude on Holy Saturday, just before Easter Sunday.

Kerala Christians often follow a Lenten menu that excludes meat and focuses on simple, wholesome, and plant-based dishes. Here's a sample Lenten menu options that you can follow:

Appam served with coconut milk
Idiyappam paired with coconut-based curries
Puttu served with kadala curry (chickpea curry)

Make soft idiyappam from leftover rice
Photo: iStock/SUSANSAM

Meals- Rice served with thoran, mezhukupuratti and moru curry
Vegetable biryani: A fragrant rice dish with mixed vegetables and spices.

Muringa thoran. Photo: Mnaoramaonline

Crispy and sweet neyyappam
Semiya payasam: Vermicelli pudding with milk and sugar.

Neyyappam is called 'yeriyappa' in Kannada. Photo: iStock/santhosh_varghese

4pm snacks
Banana chips: Thin slices of banana, deep-fried to crispy perfection
Pazham pori: Banana fritters made with a batter of flour and ripe bananas
Uzhunnu vada: With super crispy skin and delightfully soft insides, the good old urad dal vada or uzhunnu vada served with coconut chuteny makes a wonderful tea-time snack.

Pazhampori. Photo: Shutterstock/SAM THOMAS A

Kanji, or Rice Porridge, has always been a go-to option during the time of fasting, illness, or as a comfort food. The good old combination of kanji or rice gruel and stir-fried mung beans (cherupayar) is considered one of the most nutritious food items by Keralites.

Photo: Shutterstock/Santhosh Varghese
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