10 Yummy Dishes Without Which Onam Sadhya Is Incomplete

It’s that time of the year when Malayalees all around the world can be spotted wearing traditional Kerala dresses and decorating homes with pookalam. This is because Onam, one of the most popular festivals in Kerala is just around the corner. The harvesting festival that also celebrates the homecoming of Mahaballi is incomplete without a sumptuous feast or meal called Onam sadhya.

Onam celebrations will surely be very different this year. However, different doesn’t mean bad because we will still be able to celebrate the festival with our loved ones. Even though Onam will be different, there is one thing that will never change, Onam sadhya. Onam sadhya is an integral part of Onam celebrations for Malayalees. In fact, it is something we all look forward to and never want to miss out on. 

The significance of Onam sadhya to Malayalees can be explained with a popular Malayalam proverb. The proverb says “ Kaanam Vittum Onam Unnanam.” The proverb means that one should even be ready to sell his property to have Onam sadhya. So, as most of us are looking forward to enjoying sadhya, let us take a brief glimpse into ten popular Onam Sadhya dishes without which Onam sadhya is incomplete.

Onam Sadhya Dishes

Kaaya Varuthath ( Banana Chips)

Is there anyone who doesn’t love banana chips? A handful of banana chips is served first in the banana leaf along with several other dishes. You may have probably finished the chips before the entire dishes are served.

Sarkara Varatti

Sarkara Varatti is another dish that is served along with Banana chips. It is actually a sweeter and a bit harder version of Banana chips. It is an absolute delight for the ones with a sweet tooth. 

Lemon Pickle

Most Onam sadhus usually contain a pickle while some may have more than one pickle. Lemon pickle is a common dish that is seen in Onam sadhyas. Some households also include mango pickle in their Onam sadhya. 

Pulissery

Pulissery is another common dish that is served during Onam sadhya. It is prepared by using curd and different types of ingredients are added to bring out the signature sour taste. 

Avial 

Avial is among one of the popular traditional Kerala dishes and Onam sadhyas are incomplete without this delicious dish. It is prepared by using different types of vegetables that include carrot, pumpkin, drumsticks, and more.

Sambar

Another essential Onam Sadhya dish, Sambar is prepared with several vegetables. In fact, you can see that every vegetable from beans to potatoes is used by Malayalees while preparing Sambar. 

Rasam

The delicious and spicy tamarind soup, Rasam can be either enjoyed with rice or you can also try it as a soup. The irresistible aroma and taste of Rasam are sure to leave a lasting impression on you. 

Puli Inji 

Puli Inji, also known as Inji Puli is another delicious dish included in Onam sadhya. The dark brown colored and sweet, sour, & spicy curry is definitely worth a try. If you are someone who loves unique Kerala dishes, you will love Puli Inji. 

Olan 

Olan, another delicious signature Kerala dish made with ash-gourd, peas, ginger, and coconut is also a common presence in Onam sadhyas. It is a very simple and easy to prepare curry without which traditional Kerala sadhyas are incomplete. 

Payasam

Yes, we were saving the best for the very last. Payasam doesn’t need any introductions. The mouth-watering and delicious dessert is undoubtedly one of the best onam sadhya dishes. Multiple varieties of payasam are often served during Onam sadhya like Palada Payasam & Paal Payasam. 

Do you know that a typical Onam sadhya contains 20+ dishes? Would you like to know more about these Onam sadhya dishes? Don’t worry, we are here to help you.

The season of Onam is back…

Onam

Onam is the harvest season of Kerala which is celebrated with high fervour and excitement. It is celebrated amongst the Malayalee Diaspora in the entire world. The festival is celebrated with a lot of grandeur and can also be called as the homecoming of ‘Mahaballi’.

It celebrates the prosperity and culture of Kerala, and also centers around the tale of ‘Mahabelli’ and ‘Vamana’. The tale tells about how the latter conquers the earth, sky, and ‘Mahabelli'(who is sent to hell) himself in just 3 footsteps. Although being sent to hell, the king wishes to visit Kerala on a particular day, which is known as Onam today.

Onam sadya

Dozens of traditions are practiced for Onam, like ‘Pookalam’ (flower arrangement), ‘Vallam Kali’ (boat race), and ‘Puli Kali’ (tiger dance). However, ‘Pookalam’ is the most prominent when it comes to the season, and the size and complexity of the flower arrangement gradualy increases in 10 days. The boat race is witnessed most commonly in Alapuzha, and people from different parts ok Kerala join in to watch the enthralling boat race.

These days, various organizations and informal groups organize events and games for Onam which gives a memory of a lifetime. Floral swings are fixed to add a playful yet decorative element to the whole festival. The beautiful women of Kerala are witnessed in the famous ‘Kasavu Saree’ while the men adorn themselves in ‘Kasavu Mundu and Kurtas’.

After a tiring day of celebrations, the festival is completed by noon after a delicious Sadya. ‘Sadya’ is nothing but the assortment of various Onam delicacies along with rice on a banana leaf, and the flavours vary from being sweet to spicy. The ‘Sadya’ is completed with a dessert called ‘Payasam’ to give a sweet end note to the day.

Pookalam
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