A guide to Onam sadya (feast) recipes, from vegetarian side dishes to desserts, whether you are making them at home or ordering them out.
In general, Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala, focuses on family get-togethers and happy moments. And without a doubt, the lip-smacking feast called Onam sadya always take the spotlight.
Vegetables are the stars of the show, and they’re cooked in a myriad of spices and coconut to bring you a world of flavors, textures, and deliciousness. Without a doubt, desserts (payasams) also play a significant role in balancing the spicy flavors from the vegetarian side dishes.
Whether you are hosting a fabulous feast for your friends or just whipping up a simple meal for your family in the comfort of your own home, every Onam sadya must feature the key traditional dishes. Here’s a rundown:
Served on fresh banana leaves, this traditional Onam sadya or vegetarian feast comprises of 15 – 25 dishes including delectable payasams or puddings to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The dishes are served in a particular order starting with
- Banana chips
- Colocasia chips (optional)
- Banana chips sweetened with jaggery (sarkkara upperi). In some parts of the state, fried small chilies are also served.
- Crispy pappadums and sweet bananas are two quintessential accompaniments to this feast.
- The three types of pickles – ginger (puli inji), mango and lime (lemon curry) and sometimes, inji thayir – can be made ahead to save time.
- Now, the main vegetarian side dishes of this Onam feast.
- Avial (Mixed vegetable curry)
- Thoran (Vegetable & coconut stir fry)
- Pachadi made with beetroot or pineapple (Vegetables in coconut yogurt sauce)
- Erisseri (Pumpkin and green gram in coconut sauce)
- Ulli Theeyal (Shallots in Coconut Sauce)
- Koottu curry
- Kaalan (Raw bananas & yam in tangy yogurt sauce)
- Olan (Ashgourd in coconut milk)Once all these dishes are arranged on the banana leaf, serve rice topped with:
- Parippu (dal) curry and a dollop of ghee.
- One of the most important side dishes of this feast is served at this stage – sambar (lentils and vegetables curry) followed by pulisseri or even kaalan.
- Finally, desserts (in this case payasams) are served. The king of payasams adapradhaman is served first followed by other varieties of payasams like palada pradhaman, semiya payasam and wheat payasam. Pal payasam (rice and milk pudding) is served last. If you love payasam, try this delectable pasta payasam with an Italian twist.
- After desserts, moru (buttermilk) and rasam are also served.Now, if you want to create this feast for your family or friends, click here to view all the Onam sadya recipes. Make them and enjoy the array of exciting flavours and tastes.