The complimenting Neivedhyam for Thiruvadharai Kali would be the Upperi or rather a version of select steamed vegetables, spiced generously with ground coconut and green chillies. The Upperi as I remember is a combination of various tubers and roots that are combined and cooked to get the most delicious preparation. I remember as a child, when Thiruvadharai was around the corner, I knew a trip to the local crowded vegetable market at Ranganathan Street would happen pretty soon. Since the monsoons would have just finished, it would be a herculean task, just to walk in that crowded street. My friend would quip light heartedly that all one needs to do, was to stand at the beginning of Ranganathan street…the crowd would pull you to the very end!!! That said, one would hardly look forward to a weekend trip here, coming back with bagfulls of tubers and vegetables. Nevertheless, it had to be done…every year unfailingly, until, one day Madurai amma was convinced about buying it from the vegetable man, pulling his own cart, quoting his own fancy price.
1/2 cup chopped Raw Banana.
1/2 cup chopped Potatoes.
1/2 cup chopped Kavathu Kazhangu.
1/2 cup Flat Bean/Avaraikka slit in to 1 inch square pieces.
1/2 cup Koorkai / Chinese Potatoes
1/2 cup Mochai / Valor Lilva.
1/2 cup Sweet Potatoes.
1/2 cup fresh coconut.
4-5 green chillies.
2 spoons of coconut oil.
Mustard, Curry Leaves, Hing.
- Remove the skins from the potatoes, raw banana, sweet potatoe, Koorkai, Kavathu , wash and chop them in to slightly big one inch pieces.
- Arrange them in the base of a cooker vessel.
- Next arrange the valor lilva/mochai over the root tubers.
- Now chop the Avaraikka / flat bean over the valor lilva and add enough water for the vegetables to cook.
- We keep the root tubers at the base as they would need to cook more.
- Add salt and turmeric and steam in the pressure cooker for 1 whistle.
- Remove from cooker and allow to cool.
- Grind the coconut and green chillies to a rough paste and set aside.
- In a kadai, add coconut oil, mustard, curry leaves and hing and slowly add all the cooked vegetables without breaking them with the spatula.
- Mix well for a couple of minutes and then add the ground coconut paste.
- Allow a couple minutes for the coconut mix to spread on to the vegetables.
- Offer Thiriuvadharai Upperi to the Lord as Neivethyam.