Onam 2023: Moolam, Seventh Day of The Harvest Festival

One of India's biggest harvest festivals, Onam is celebrated with grandeur and zeal all over the state of Kerala by the Malayali people. The 10-day festival brings immense joy, and a great representation of harmony, celebration, and delicious food. The Onam festival started on the 20th August 2023 and will go all the way through the 31st August 2023 this year. Today is the seventh day, Moolam, and with each day comes a new level of significance and enthusiasm. The celebrations begin with Atham (first day), which is followed by Chithira (second day), which displays artistically created flower carpets, and Pooradam, which hosts a Pookalam competition to add colour. Uthradam (ninth day)is the time when houses are prepared for the festival by being cleaned and decorated, and Thiruvonam is the day of the main Sadhya feast.    

Moolam, the seventh day of the vibrant Onam festival in Kerala, is a crescendo of excitement as the grand finale, Thiruvonam approaches with only two days left. Streets and shops burst with color and activities, a visual treat for the eyes. Amidst the hustle and bustle, people rush to grab last-minute essentials, their expressions reflecting joy and anticipation. People redo the floral carpets in their homes and visit neighbours, friends, and relatives in order to see the lovely decorations that have been created at home. The puli kuli dance, also known as the masked leopard dance, is another activity that is performed as part of the moolam celebration. The temples in Kerala begin to offer the Onasadya starting from today and a small sadhya is cooked in a customary manner as part of a lunch presentation at homes. The seventh day marks the time to meet Onathappan, a clay pyramid symbolizing Vamana, Lord Vishnu's incarnation. The year-long wait is over, and Kerala resonates with celebrations, uniting people in happiness, cultural spirit, and the delectable flavors of traditional feasts.  

With the festival setting its tone, here is how you can prepare the Kadu manga, a mango pickle at home. Mango pickle is amongst the first to be served on the Sadhya meal. 

Kadu manga recipe


Raw mango - 1 (about 200 gms) 

Turmeric Powder – a pinch 

Red chili powder - 2 tsp 

Fenugreek powder – a pinch 

Salt – according to taste 

For the seasoning 

Sesame oil - 2 tbsp 

Asoefaedita - 1 pinch 

Mustard seeds -1 tsp 

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig 

Method: Clean the mango by rinsing it under running water to get rid of any dirt or other dirt. Use a towel to dry it. Cut the skin into small pieces.  Mix the mango pieces with salt, turmeric powder, fenugreek powder, and chilli powder. Combine it well. Taste the mixture and, if necessary, add more spices. In a tadka pan, heat sesame oil until it starts to smoke. Mix in the mustard seeds, asafoetida, and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to pop, pour over the mango pieces. Mix it well with a dry spoon. Transfer it to a dry, clean container and store it in a cool place.