A complete Onam Sadya all prepared by yours truly! Definitely an experience I will cherish 🙂
This Onam something got into me and I decided to take on the huge task of making a complete Onam Sadya. I asked a couple of people for recipes and ideas. I find the idea of serving a complete meal on banana meal so nice and magical. Having grown up in Delhi, I never experienced this, till I moved to Bangalore and ever since I saw it I have been strangely attracted to it. I keep thinking of making one such meal and keep postponing and then suddenly this Onam I thought this is it, I am making it.
It was a back breaking task to say the least. I took a full 4 hours of cooking and some more for the most tedious process in Kerala cooking, like making coconut milk. I say take the shortcut and use Dabur Homemade if you wish but I also feel that the fresh homemade coconut milk adds a great flavor to it. I made Sambhar, Rasam, Parippu, Olan, Errisery, Avial, Cabbage Thoran, Inji Puli, Pineapple Pachadi, Cucumber Khichadi, Dal Pyasam and of course the apalam and banana chips and when I posted the picture online a lot of people asked me for recipes. This post is primarily to document what recipes I used and kind of document my onam sadya.
So it’s gonna be a more or less pictorial post with some links.
The Mooli sambhar and pepper rasam. For this, I used my standard recipes and used a trick to make the sambhar thick like Kerala style sambhar which a friend had once taught me. After the sambhar is almost ready, slit a bhindi in two, add to the sambhar and cook for one whistle, the bhindi will add the viscosity and thickness to the sambhar that you need.
Parippu – it’s basically moong dal which was a surprise in the first place because I didn’t know that moong dal is indeed used down south specially in Kerala. Then even more surprising was the way to cook the dal was so different from I have used. We first roast the dal and then cook and then add coconut paste in it and boil it some more, quite delightful. I used Nags recipe for this, most of the recipes I used are from either Nags or Aparna.
I have had thoran before and I usually I don’t make too much of it but I don’t know whether it was the result of my effort or the fact that recipe was great. I loved Cabbage Thoran that day. I used Nags recipe to make the same.
The dish of the day for me and many others who eat the sadya that day was the pineapple pachadi. What a delicate balance of flavours in this one. I loved it and I am itching to make it again. Used an interesting recipe to make the pineapple pachadi only used vegetable oil instead of coconut oil. Purists will say it’s a sacrilege but then something’s one gotta adapt.
Cucumber Pachadi, essentially a ratia with tadka but what shocked me was there was coconut in it too 😛 I think I used as much coconut that in one day as I have done in my entire life. Used Aparna’s recipe here.
Another dish that surprised me was olan. Both in the use of Cow peas which again I didn’t know is used down south and the second thing that surprised me was the simplicity of the recipe and yet how delicious it was. Recipe here
I also made Puli Inji which was so spicy yet I could licked it clean, we eat it two days with every meal and finished it. Delightful specially if you are a ginger fan like me. unfortunately don’t have a picture for this though. Here is the recipe
And the other dish I don’t have a picture for, I actually want to hit myself for it, is the dal pyasam but it was delicious nonetheless. A bit thin for Kerala style payasam, I would say but tasty still. Recipe I used here.
I had called some friends over and we had a good time dressing up and having Onam Sadya, making a pookalam.
We have such a huge and rich culture in India and I think nothing introduces your kids better to it than celebrating the various festivals at home. Every year I pick up something that we don’t celebrate and go through the complete motion for ojas to understand what it means, this year was Onam.
And when it comes to celebrating festivals, I feel they aren’t complete without friends and family. So thank you everyone who came that day to eat my first attempt at Onam Sadya and the love it spread. Thanks to Swati and Pallo, my mad friends to come and dress up my house as well as my life and also us 😉 As you can see, we all wore sarees and got dressed up that day.