Onam Sadya

Onam sadya is the traditional festive meal that is served in the auspicious occasion of Onam. A delicious vegetarian feast sumptuous enough to even tempt the Gods, the traditional Onam sadya is an integral part of the celebration. Usually comprising about 20 or more dishes, the Onam sadya is a perfectly balanced meal of everything you could want in a feast. 

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Years back, P and me went to the enchanted and ever so loved land of Kerala. Having always been in love with the idea of Kerala ever since reading God of Small Things when I was 14, when chance allowed us, we simply packed our bags and chose Kerala as our first holiday destination as husband and wife. That tiny little stretch of land surrounded by verdant greenery, miles upon miles of crystal clear lakes, skyline dotted with swaying coconut trees was everything I had dreamt of.  In fact, at first sight it looked as picturesque as a postcard! Our resort, the Kumarakom Lake Resort is one of the best properties there and it was set along the mighty Lake Vambanad. So so serene! Words cant do it justice. I probably have a load of pictures somewhere in a hard drive from another century.. for now, just close your eyes, imagine yourself in a calming, magical place and dream away.

That was where we experienced our first live Kathakalli and Kalaripayattu along with the Onam sadya. If the dance and the most spectacular form of martial arts made our senses come alive, the Sadya left our senses happily dulled, much like a lazy leisurely Sunday lunch at home. Like this thaali we had on a Sunday! Slept like a baby after that meal!

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Onam Sadya fit for the Gods!


Traditionally Onam Sadya is a feast served on a banana leaf, as is the tradition in South India. Families and friends come together and the feast in enjoyed sitting cross legged on floor. Nowadays of course, people serve it on a dining table, but I do believe the banana leaf adds a much needed touch of tradition to the air of festivity  and if you can procure it, please do so!  The Onam Sadya is a grand affair that pays attention to all six tastes – spice, salt, bitterness, sourness, pungency, and sweet. With that thought in mind, the almost 20 dishes on the menu pay homage to our taste buds and are a delicious balance of healthy and unhealthy.

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Ranging from a huge variety of pickles and chutney, to sambhar and rasam, the usual avial and a range of thorans, and finally ending it with sweet payasam, this meal is enough to satiate the hungry mouths of even the biggest gourmand. Served along side steamed rice, buttermilk, plantain chips and poppadum, this Onam sadya is a meal that will satisfy you to the core of your heart and soul.

Since I am married to a total Northie who sadly still doesn’t eat idlis unless its in the form chili idli (feel free to roll your eyes, I assure you I do too!), I don’t do a lot of traditional South Indian cuisine. I asked few of my fellow blogger friends who specialize in this cuisine to help me out. They came back with amazing dishes that covers every kind of Onam sadya dish possible!! Honestly, just looking at their posts made me so hungry that I went and gorged on my ever favorite Oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate and whiskey! I kept on seeing the food, reading their posts and one thing led to another and I finished 3 Brookies too! 

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Also, happiness today was waking up to the news that I got featured on Yahoo Food for a delicious Onam Sadya round up and that my Vermicelli rosewater cardamom kheer/payasam made the cut as traditional Onam sadya dishes with a modern twist! Cool right? 

However, lets come to the point now, shall we? Lets talk Onam Sadya!! 

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Check out these awesome posts by my friends and get spoilt trying to get your pick. You know I will handpick only the best for you. So go on, check out these delicious posts from my fellow super talented blogger friends and treat yourself to a rather fabulous Onam Sadya. 

Here’s wishing everyone the best of everything. 

Xo,

S. 

PS: After mentally gorging on these delicious Onam sadya dishes and finishing about 6 cookies in under 2 hours, dinner tonight is going to be this super healthy vegan Thai noodle soup. Its so so good and perfect for the coming fall. Not to mention extremely healthy. Have you tried it yet? 

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ONAM SADYA recipe round up!

Of course my grandma’s kheer/payasam would pretty much be perfect for any auspicious occasion. This simple slow cooked rice kheer is dressed up with dry fruits, saffron and rose and simple perfect to end any great sadya or feast with. Try it here. 


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Hope you enjoy looking through and making a few of these dishes to celebrate this auspicious occasion with your friends and family. 

Note to the bloggers: Thank you so much for being a part of this round up! Loved everyone's dishes and cant wait to educate my Northie husband into the delicious and healthy ways of the South. It was so much fun revisiting the blessed memories of my trip to Kerala with your posts. Happy cooking!

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