Onam is incomplete without the grand Sadya.
The 10-day harvest festival celebrates the homecoming of the mighty and generous King Mahabali. Apart from fresh flower rangolis and power-packed snake boat races, the culinary highlight of the festival is an extensive meal called the Ona Sadya.
Sadya, in Malayalam means ‘banquet’ and is an amazing multi-course vegetarian meal that features over 24 dishes served on a fresh banana leaf. It’s best enjoyed with the hands and is usually eaten sitting on the floor.
Listing down the items of a Sadya and the order of serving
On the Side
- Kichadi (Cucumber in curd and coconut base)
- Pachadi (Pumpkin in curd and coconut mustard base)
- Avial (A mix of vegetables in cocunut base)
- Thoran (Cabbage/French beans/String beans/Cluster beans stir fry with fresh coconut)
- Erissery (Pumpkin with black chickpeas in coconut base with a dash of roasted cocunut as tadka)
- Olan (Ash gourd/ Pumpkin with black eyed peas in cocunut milk)
- Kalan (Raw plantain / Yam in coconut and curd)
- Koottu Curry (Yam and or Raw Plantain in coconut)
Gravy dishes to mix with the rice
- Parippu (Green split dal in coconut base)
- Sambar (Mixed vegetables in dal)
- Rasam (Spicy tangy tomato soup)
- Pulissery (Tempered curd in coconut base)
- Sambaram (Buttermilk)
- Puli Inji ( Sweet & Sour Ginger pickle)
- Naranga Achar (Lemon pickle)
- Manga Achar (Mango pickle)
- Sharkara varatti (Yam in Jaggery base)
- Banana chips
Payasam: (3 or 4 varieties)
- Payasam (Vermiclelli in milk)
Though the order of serving may differ, in the ela (Banana leaf) more or less looks similar.
- Top half of the leaf : From Right to Left : The side dishes
- Top half of the leaf : Left hand side : Reserved for the pickles & chips
- Bottom half of the leaf : Left hand side : Place for the banana & pappadam
- Bottom half : Center : Occupied by the rice and gravy dishes
Fold your legs, get seated, enjoy.
Starranty wishes all Keralites a very happy and prosperous Onam 🙂