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4-min read

Happy Onam: Time to Treat Your Taste Buds With These Traditional Dishes

News18.com

First published: September 14, 2016, 12:19 PM IST | Updated: September 14, 2016
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Onam, a 10-day long harvest festival of Kerala celebrates the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali who Malayalees consider as their King. These power-packed ten days of feasting are followed by traditional boat races, dancing and singing. The rich culture of Kerala can be understood in the best form during these 10 days of celebration.

There’s a famous Malayalam proverb ‘Kaanam Vittum Onam Unnanam’ which means that one must have the Onam lunch even if he is forced to sell his property. For all food connoisseurs, the main highlight of the festival is Onam Sadya, a grand feast which is traditionally served on a Banana leaf. This ‘mouth-watering’ feast is to be relished without the use of cutlery and is an indispensable part of the festivity.

Onam vannae

Sadya literally means a bouquet in Malayalam and staying true to the literal meaning, the feast does offer a whole lot of 26 dishes (or more) for the foodies.

On the eve of the tenth day of this festival, we bring you an insight into the scrumptious items that comprise the Onam thali.

Kerala Red Rice is the main dish of the feast. It is also the first dish to be served. Ghee is sprinkled on the rice ‘swaad-anusaar’. Various different side dishes and curries that are collectively called Kootan are served generously along with Kerala Red Rice.

@Regrann from @grubsociety - * Alleppey Chooru and Meen Curry* How can something be so beautiful that you wish to keep looking. Rice so beautiful, each grain has this gorgeous red hue and glows like little rubies. The red rice as they call it in this Gorgeous place is as gorgeous as it can be. And somehow the gravies taste so wonderful when had with it. Its like a match u cannot deny was made to be perfect. This gorgeously red curry is a fish curry we had at Alleppey that was loaded with the king of sourness Kodampuli. Somehow when served on the banana leaf, the food tastes different. Somehow when you eat with your fingers the food tastes different. Somehow when you sit near the backwaters of Kerala and have Chooru and Meen Curry the world seems different. . . . . . . #alleppey #meencurry #choorumeencurry #kodumpuli #kerala #keralafishcurry #redrice #keralaredrice #alleppeybackwaters #alleppeymeencurry #keralafood #rblock #kerala🌴 #keralatourism #allapuzha #Regrann

A photo posted by Anjali (@chef_anjali) on

Sambar and Rasam are among the most famous dishes that we are thankful to South for. Both Sambar and Rasam – the ‘made-to-activate-your-taste-buds’ preparations – are considered as one of the most important items on the menu.

Parippu, a thick curry dish made of Moong Dal, eaten with rice is a treat to most of the Keralites. If there’s Parippu, Papad and ghee around, it’s like a mini-Sadya for them. Other ingredients include coconut, jeera, green chilli and turmeric powder.

Kootan is a collective name for the side dishes and curries that include Aviyal (a mixture of coconut and various vegetables seasoned with curry leaves), Kaalan (a thick dish consisting yogurt, coconut and any one vegetable), Olan (a preparation of pumpkin, coconut milk and ginger), Koottukari or Erissery (a hot-sweet tasting dish made of coconut and vegetables like), Puliyinchi (a paste like dish that includes ginger, tamarind, green chilies, and jaggery).

Aviyal #aviyal #sadya #kerala #keralasadya

A photo posted by NisBip (@nisbip) on

Other special dishes that are a part of this full course meal include Kichadi, a dish made of yogurt and cucumber in raw form and Pachadi, a sweet yogurt made with sliced ash gourd, or a squash and Thoran, a preparation from the sauted vegetables such as peas, green beans or cabbages with grated coconut.

The platter also includes Achaar (usually pickles of mango and lemon) and a crispy, easy to eat Pappadam made of lentil flour that is usually treated as an appetizer. Banana chips, called Kaaya Varuthathu are also included in the menu.

Towards the end of the grand meal, desserts such as Prathaman and Payasams are offered. Payasam is a pudding made with varied ingredients. Depending on your liking, different forms of Kheer can be prepared ranging from Pineapple Payasam to Carrot Payasam.

Enter into festive spirits by feasting upon the delicious payasam. #dessert #festival #HappyOnam #payasam

A photo posted by Freshmen's Valley (@freshmensvalley) on

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