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Kerala Onam Sadhya

Onam is a major festival for the people of Kerala state, India. It is celebrated by malayalies around the world. It is an annual harvest festival with several interesting legends and stories associated with it. These legends and stories have been passed on by generations and are woven into the very fabric of Kerala society and culture. Onam is a ten-day-long festival celebrated in Kerala around the months of August and September. Onam celebration is joyous time and reflects the spirit of Kerala 
Here we are concentrating on Onam Sadhya or the traditional feast, but Onam is also a cultural event which promotes equality and brotherhood. The ten days are celebrated with great pomp and show  with full display of Kerala culture, dance, music, martial arts, folk arts, and folk music. Big events include Vallam Kali( boat race), Puli Kali, costume dance parades, sports competitions, ritual worship dance, etc. When I was in college, pookalam( making floral designs) competition was the event that I looked forward to every year during Onam. It is a collective effort to find lots of flowers for the pookalam. You need ten different types of flowers to make these floral designs. Most of the homes in Kerala decorate their front yard with pookalam.
Now coming to the most important part of our post, the yummy food. Onam celebration is not complete without the traditional vegetarian feast -Onam Sadhya. It is served on a banana leaf and there is a colorful array of vegetarian curries, rice, and desserts. The celebration starts on Attam and ends on Thiruvonam . The grand feast is on Thiruvonam day (Tenth Day). My grandmother starts preparing Onam palaharangal or snacks like unniappam, neyyappam,vettucake,orappam, avalose unda, mixture, murukku, etc,one week before Thiruvonam.
Preparation of Sadhya is a lengthy process and starts the day before on Uthradam. There is also a popular saying called uthrada pachil meaning the last-minute shopping spree. Chips and sharakara upperi is usually made the day before. Preparation for pickles like inji curry, manga curry and naranga curry is also done the day before. All the curries and payasam is made on Thiruonam day. The sadhya making ends with the frying of pappadam or fitters. That's when you know that the sadhya is ready. As kids, this was our time to prep the banana leaves. The tapered end of the banana leaf comes to your left-hand side and chips, pappadam and banana are placed on the left side of the leaf.Sharkara Upperi and Kaya Upperi are also served on the left-hand side. Pickles are also placed on the left. All the main curries are placed in an order starting from the center towards your right. Rice is served on the bottom part of the leaf.
Onam is next week and it is time to gear up! So I thought it is a good time to share some Onam recipes with you. Here are a few recipes ideas that will help you prepare a tasty Onam Sadhya.
Click on the recipe title or picture for the recipe.
Varutha Upperi
Banana and Pappadam

pavakka varuthathusharkara varatti

Kadumanga ( mango pickle)
 Naranga Curry (wild lemon pickle)
Nellika Curry( goose berry pickle)
Inji Thayir ( ginger in yogurt)
Inji Curry (ginger pickle)

vadukapuli naranga curry Kadumanga Mango Pickle Nellika Curry
inji-curryinji thayir

Thodu Curry
Beetroot Kichadi
Pavakka Kichadi ( bitter gourd pachadi)
Cucumber Pachadi (vellarikka pachadi)

kaithachakka tenga arachaulli puli sweet and tangy onion currybeetroot kichadi
Vellarikka pachadicucumber pachadipavakka kichadi

Main recipes
Olan ( ash gourd curry) 
Aviyal ( mixed vegetable curry) 
Mathanga Erisheri (pumpkin curry)
Kootu Curry ( Plantain Yam curry)
Vazhuthananga Mezhukkupuratti ( Brinjal Stir fry)

Aviyalpotato masalaKootu-curryolanmathanga erisserikalan sadhya style ethakka-plantain-and-vanpayarred-beansvada kootucurryvazhuthananga brinjal mezhukkupuratti

Ozhichu curry
Mambazham Pulisheri ( Mango Curry)
Pineapple Rasam
Kumbalanga Moru Curry
Ethapazham Pulisheri ( sweet plantain)
Parippu Currry

ethakka plantain pulisherrivarutharacha vendakka sambarpineapple rasammambazha pulisserykumbalanga moru curryparippu curry

Payasam and Pradhaman (Desserts)
Elaneer Payasam ( tender coconut payasam)
Gothambu Payasam (cracked wheat payasam)
Neipayasam/Sharkara payasam 
Paal Payasam
Ada Pradhaman
Aval Payasam (flat rice)
Chakka Pradhaman (Jack fruit)

Elaneer payasamgothambu-payasam

For more Sadhya recipes from this blog check here 100 Kerala Sadhya Recipes
 Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!


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