Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala and celebrated around the world by Keralites with much fun and fervour. This 10-day harvest festival of Kerala is also marked as the return of the legendary King Mahabali who is known to sacrifice his life for his subjects. Decked up in new attire, each Malayali celebrates this day with much enthusiasm. Pookalams, payasam, Onam sadhya and kaikotti kali are some of the trademarks of the fesitval along with a wide range of other traditional foods that are cooked and served on banana leaves.
Dishes in Onam Sadhya
Traditionally, Onam Sadhya comprises of 26 dishes including upperi, sharkara varatti, manga curry, naranga curry, ellisheri, pulissery, kaalan, olan, pachadi, chena mezhkkupuratti, inji curry, parripu curry, choir, sambhar, morru kachiyatha, pappadam, avial, kichadi, rasam, kootu curry, neyy, inji thayir, thoran, poovan pazham, pazham pradhaman, and of course palada pradhaman. We at Mesmara have curated two such recipes for you that you can include in your Onam Sadhya menu.
1. Upperi or banana chips:
Is a must to have in your Onam Sadhya lunch menu. This is one of our all-time favorite namkeen to munch on anytime. From adults to children, everyone loves freshly fried upperi or banana chips. No Onam Sadhya is complete without having upperi in the menu list. Make them fresh at home this Onam with this easy recipe.
- Raw banana – 5
- Salt – 2 teaspoons
- Turmeric powder – 1 tablespoon
- Mesmara extra virgin coconut oil – for frying
Take a big bowl of water and dissolve the turmeric and salt in it. Peel the bananas and soak them in the water. The turmeric salt water helps to remove the stickiness while retaining the original color of the bananas. Cut the bananas into thin circular slices. Let the banana slices dry on a baking sheet. Dry them well. Once the banana slices are completely dried, take oil in a cooking vessel and heat it well. Now slide the banana slices slowly and keep frying them until they are cooked completely. Keep the flame low to prevent burning. Check one or two slices. If they are done then take them out. Let it sit n kitchen towel to drain the excess oil. Your crispy banana chips are ready to be served!
Pro tip: Coconut oil gives the authentic taste. If you don’t like the smell or flavour of coconut oil, you can also try the same recipe with Mesmara Groundnut oil.
Avial is another popular Keralite delicacy that has to be there in an Onam Sadhya lunch menu. Here is a simple recipe, the traditional way.
- Freshly grated coconut – 1 cup
- Cumin seed – 1 teaspoon
- Green chilies – 2-3
- Water – ½ cup
- Vegetables of your choice (drum stick, carrot, fresh beans, pumpkin, yam, brinjal, etc.) – ½ cup of each type
- Mesmara cold-pressed coconut oil – 3 tablespoons
- Salt – according to taste
Take a deep bottom pan and add water. Let it boil and add the drumsticks. Cook it for a minute and then add the rest of the vegetables. Add salt and water if needed. Cover and cook on low flame. Make a paste out of the cumin seeds, grated coconut, and chilies and add to the vegetables. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish with curry leaves and coconut oil. Serve hot.
Pro tip: Add beaten curd to the vegetable mix if you want your Avial to have a thicker consistency.