The string of festivities has begun in India. With Onam which began on 12th August and will end on 23rd August, Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami, all lined up one after another, we have plenty of reasons to rejoice. Onam, Thiru-Onam or Thiruvonam, is a popular Hindu festival that is celebrated with much fervour in the southern state of Kerala. The 10-day-long festival is celebrated to commemorate the homecoming of Mahabali, a mythical king whose reign was considered a golden era of Kerala. The word ‘Onam’ translates to the rice harvest in Kerala and the festivities are obviously full of elaborate celebrations including a grand feast known as Onam Sadhya.  

Onam Sadhya/Sadya is a 26-dish vegetarian feast which is served on the last or 10th day of Onam. In Malayalam, Onam Sadhya means a banquet or a grand meal which is laid out on banana leaves. People sit cross-legged on a mat on the floor to relish the traditional feast. The 26-dishes on the Sadhya are also served in a particular order on the banana leaf.  

Starting from Pappadum, which is placed on the extreme left of the leaf. On the top of it is a banana, and starting from the right of the papad, salt, sarakarapuratti and banana wafers are placed. Only after this, ginger lime and mango pickles are served on the leaf. On the right is 'cabbage thoran', avial, kuttu curry and so on. If you are thinking of preparing traditional Onam Sadhya at home, we’ve got you a list of 26 dishes that are a part of it. 

Here is what all is served in the massive Sadhya feast:


1. Pappadam 

Made from rice flour, Onam sadhya is incomplete without these crunchy treats. 


2. Upperi 

These are basically banana chips that are served generously before the other 25 dishes. 


3. Sharkara Varatti 

Sweet banana chips made out of jaggery and while you may not want it before a meal, one bite in and you’ll be wanting more.


4. Inji Curry 

It's finally time for some wholesome curry. Made with ginger, tamarind and jaggery, inji curry makes for the perfect start.  


5. Mango Curry 

Not to be confused as a curry, this mango pickle will add a spicy kick to your meal. 


6. Naranga Curry 

This sour lemon pickle is exactly the zest you need in all your comfort meals. This is one of the only two pickles served in Onam Sadhya.

 

7. Pachadi 

Pineapple or bitter gourd come together with grated coconut for a comforting yogurt-based curry you can’t resist.  


8. Olan 

Ever thought of a mouth-watering combination of ash gourd and red beans? Here it is! Tossed in hand-pressed coconut milk, Olan is sure to impress your taste buds.


9. Ellisheri 

Another one with red beans and grated coconut but with an added goodness of pumpkin. 


10. Avial 

One of the most popular south Indian curies, avial is one of the best mixed vegetable dishes you can get. A perfect balance of healthy and tasty, it is made by cooking vegetable with grated coconut in coconut oil and milk. 


11. Thoran 

Traditionally made with cabbage and carrots or just beans with grated coconut, thoran  is one dish you can make from any vegetable you can get your hands on.   


12. Chor 

This is just rice since rice is an essential part of Onam Sadhya but on this occasion, most Malayalis serve red rice. And well, it is worth a bite, or more.


13. Parripu Curry 

Picture a bowl of plain moong dal topped with ghee, red chillies, and black sesame seeds, slurping much? Me too.

 

14. Chenna Mezhkkupuratti 

Trust south Indian cuisine to be as unique as you can imagine and you won’t be disappointed. Chenna Mezhkkupuratti is basically yam cut into thin slices, boiled with spices and fried in coconut oil. Yes, you read that right.  


15. Sambhar  

You thought so, right? An essential dish for not just the feast, but every south Indian home round the year, Sambhar is a comforting dish that needs no introduction. While every south Indian household has their own recipe and versions, it is usually cooked with almost every vegetable there is, from beans to potatoes to yam. 


16. Pulissery 

Pulissery is made with curd and a vegetable of your choice which could be anything from pumpkin to cucumber, and topped with a gracious amount of grated coconut. 


17. Kaalan 

This is quite a signature dish for Onam Sadhya, made with yogurt, yam or raw banana and grated coconut. 


18. Morru Kachiyatha 

Another comfort food from Malayali household. It is made by boiling yogurt to perfection with black sesame seeds, shallots, ginger, and garlic. Sounds yum, isn't it? 


19. Kichadi 

Another spicy yogurt-based dish wherein choice of vegetable is tossed in with yogurt and spices.  Choose from okra, cucumber, or even bitter gourd! 


20. Rasam 

Here is another south Indian staple making an appearance in the Sadhya feast. Rasam is generally eaten with rice and is known to aid in digestion. It is made with spicy tamarind soup, sprinkled with a generous amount of curry leaves, mustard and tomatoes. 


21. Kootu Curry 

You cannot imagine the ingredients in this one! Raw bananas, black chana and grated coconut made into a dry curry. Talk of uniqueness! 


22. Neyy 

This is basically ghee, topped over rice and parripu to give it an extra punch of flavour. Interesting! 


23. Inji Thayir 

Quick and super easy, inji thayir has thinly sliced ginger in huge amounts mixed with yogurt, black sesame seeds and spices. Can you imagine these simple ingredients made into such amazing delicacies? 


24. Poovan Pazham 

Small bananas mashed together and paired with Payasam, delicious! Throw in some pappadam for that extra crunch. 


25. Palada Pradhaman 

This is where you start with sweet treats! Here is one made with milk, dry fruits, and rice ada which helps in counteracting the spices in the end.

 

26. Pazham Pradhaman  

Rice ada, cashew nuts, thinly sliced coconut pieces and jaggery made into a sinful dessert you will still have space for. 


Happy Onam!