Oats For Onam? Chef Kunal Kapoor’s Sadya Recipes Inside

It’s the season of festivals in India, and we aren’t complaining one bit. While Maharashtra is gearing up for Ganesh Chaturthi, Kerala is preparing for one of its biggest festivals, Onam, which falls on September 8, this year. 

Onam is a 10-day festival, marked by many interesting rituals like ‘Vallam Kali’, which is a traditional Boat Race. Then, there’s ‘Pookalam’, in which women decorate the floors of their courtyard with beautiful floral designs. But one of the biggest highlights of the festivals has to be the Onam Sadya. 

Sadya is a traditional banquet, where guests sit down on the floor and enjoy a multi-course vegetarian meal, comprising nearly 25 dishes. The meal is served on a giant banana leaf and you find everything from payasam, chutney, papad, rice, and sambar to different types of curries.  

Celebrity Chef Kunal Kapur is adding a touch of health to this year’s Onam celebrations with his oats-based recipes. Oats are incredibly versatile and yummy, and can be adapted according to our Indian dishes as well.  

Here are three mouth-watering Onam recipes made with Saffola oats, straight out of Chef Kunal’s kitchen.

1. Mathanga Erissery

Cooking time: 25 mins


  • 1 cup pumpkin slices
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup coconut grated
  • ½ tbsp turmeric, salt, and red chilli
  • 2 garlic cloves
  •  ½ tsp cumin and mustard seeds
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • ¼ tsp pepper powder
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp oil


  • Blend grated coconut and cooked oats along with garlic cloves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds spluttered in oil, turmeric, red chilli powder, green chillies into a fine paste. Set it aside.
  • In a pan add oil, pumpkin slices and turmeric, and salt, and boil them for 5 mins. 
  • Once cooked, mash them with spatula.
  • Now, add the coconut and oats paste to the pumpkin mash, and let it simmer for 5 mins on a medium flame.
  • Once it’s ready, take another pan, add 1 tsp oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and red chillies
  • When they start to splutter, add it to the erissery as a garnish.

2. Paniyarams

Cooking time: 15 mins


  • ¼ cup urad dal
  • ½ cup rice
  • ½ cup poha
  • 1 cup oats
  • ½ cup carrot
  • ½ onion
  • 1 pinch hing
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 tsp coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp curry leaves
  • Oil, as required


  • Soak together the urad dal and rice overnight or at least 12 hours.
  • After soaking, remove excess water and blend to smooth puree along with poha and oats, using minimal water. The batter should be thick like a shake.
  • In a pan, heat oil, add in the mustard seeds and hing, splutter the masala and add in the curry leaves green chilli, onion, and carrots. 
  • Sauté until soft and add to the batter. Mix well.
  • Heat a paniyaram pan and oil each using tissue dipped in oil. 
  • Begin adding enough batter, to each depression, to fill them halfway.
  • Cover with a lid and cook for about 3 mins until the batter seems cooked till half way.
  • At this point, use a toothpick to lightly flip the paniyaram. Cook for another 2 mins until the colour turns brown.
  • Serve along with coconut chutney.

3. Chana Dal Payasam

Cooking time: 20 mins


  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • ¼ cup oats
  • ¼ cup jaggery
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • 4 cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp ghee  


  • Roast the chana dal and oats. 
  • Then, add to a pressure cooker.
  • Add in just enough water to submerge the dal lightly, and pressure cook over medium flame for 3 whistles.
  • Let the pressure cooker cool down before opening. 
  • Bring back to heat and add in the jaggery softened with some hot water. 
  • Stir well until mixed. Mash the dal while heating.
  • Add very little water to the coconut and puree in a mixer grinder. 
  • Put in a muslin cloth or a fine mesh and squeeze or press to take out coconut milk.
  • Add to the pressure cooker, and switch off the heat. 
  • Add the cardamom powder and allow to cook.
  • Garnish with cashew nuts and ghee before serving.

Happy Onam everybody!