Onam is fast approaching and if you are wondering how to plan your Onam Sadya menu then today’s post has the solution to your problem. Presenting Onam Sadya Recipes – A collection of sweet and savoury dishes that you can easily cook at home.
Before we being, let me share something about Onam.
The Festival of Onam is celebrated in a very grand way in Kerala. Keralites look forward to spending the week long festival with family and delicious food.
Since I am a Palakkad Iyer, we celebrate both Vishu (Tamil New Year) and Onam. Sadya or OnaSadya is something we all look forward to eating or rather stuffing ourselves with.
Sadya is a festive spread served on a banana leaf or plantain leaf. There are many varieties of food items served. Items range from sweets to savories made with fresh seasonal produce.
Sadya preparation starts a day earlier as vegetables need to be prepped, masalas need to be ground and since most of the items on the menu are coconut based, there is a lot of grating involved! Family members unite for this purpose and like I always believe – Food unites!
Before I share some of the recipes on the blog especially for Onam Sadya, let me share some information about the festival, in detail.
Note – You can skip this part and scroll below for the recipe list!
Onam is a state festival of Kerala which falls in the Malayalam calender month of Chingam. It marks the summer harvest and is celebrated as one of the major annual event in Kerala.
The festivities include Vallam Kali (Boat race), PuliKali (Tiger dance), Pookkalam (Floral arrangements at homes), dance by woman folk and Sadya – the Festive Lunch.
Onam and Hindu Mythology
According to Hindu mythology, Onam is celebrated for Mahabali, who was the great great grandson of Sage Kashyapa, the great grandson of Hiranyakashipu and the grandson of Vishnu devotee Prahlada.
As you all know, Prahlada prayed to Lord Vishnu when Hiranyakashipu tries to kill him and Lord Vishnu appeared in his Narasimha Avatar (One of the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu) to slain Hiranyakashipu.
Prahlada’s grandson Mahabali came to power by defeating the gods, the Devas and taking over the three worlds.
Mahabali, after his victory over the gods, declared that he will perform Yajna and grant anyone any request during the Yajna. Vishnu took the avatar of a dwarf boy called Vamana and approached Mahabali. The king offered anything to the boy – gold, cows, elephants, villages, food, whatever he wished.
The boy said that one must not seek more than one needs, and all he needs is the property right over a piece of land that measures “three paces”. Mahabali agreed.
The Vamana grew and covered everything Mahabali ruled over in just two paces.
For the third pace, Mahabali offered himself, an act which Vishnu accepted as evidence of Mahabali’s devotion. Vishnu granted him a boon, by which Mahabali could visit again, once every year, the lands and people he previously ruled.
This revisit marks the festival of Onam, as a reminder of the virtuous rule and his humility in keeping his promise before Vishnu. The last day of Mahabali’s stay is remembered with a nine-course vegetarian Onasadya feast.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the festival and are now looking to try some recipes that you can easily cook at home with family for Onam.
Recipes for Onam Sadya Menu
Please note that plain Steamed Rice is served for all 3 courses.
THORAN RECIPES – Dry Sabzi or Veg to be served with rice and Sambar or Rasam.
SAMBAR AND RASAM (to be served with Rice)
SIDE DISH (to be served along with dry veg or thoran)
Avial (Mixed Veg)
Carrot Pachadi (with curd)
Tomato Pachadi (with curd)
Condiments (Pickles etc)
Narthangai Pickle (Citron Pickle)
Puli Inji (A must for Sadya)
Nendram Pazham Pradhaman (Banana kheer with coconut milk)
Along with the recipes I have stated above, there are few other things which make it on the Onam Sadya Menu. They are Banana Chips (3 varieties – Sweet, 3 cut and sliced), Jackfruit chips or Chakka Chips are also served.
These items are usually store bought. Papadam is also fried and served along with chips.
Do not forget the hour long nap after this delicious meal. It is mandatory, or so I believe!
This post was first published in Masalachilli on 1st September 2017. I have updated the blog post with fresh content.
Information about the Festival and Mythology related info from Wikipedia.
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