Onam 2023: As the vibrant and culturally rich celebration of Onam approaches, the elaborate feast known as Onam Sadhya is in the spotlight. This traditional harvest festival, which is profoundly entwined with mythology and heritage, holds a special place in the hearts of Malayalis throughout Kerala and beyond. While the traditional Onam Sadhya features a variety of well-known dishes, let’s explore some of the lesser-known delicacies included in this festive meal.
Onam 2023: Inji Thayir: A Delight for the Stomach
Inji Thayir is a prime example of an Onam Sadhya that is incomplete without the incorporation of refreshing beverages that aid digestion. This yogurt-based beverage is flavoured with ginger, green chilies, curry leaves, and salt. In addition to its medicinal properties, Inji Thayir serves the purpose of cleansing the palette after the lavish Onam feast.
Sakkaravalli kizhangu poli: A sweet surprise
Comparable to the Maharashtrian Puran Poli, the Sakkaravalli Kizhangu Poli features a unique variation. This delicacy consists of refined flour pastry wrapped around a sweet potato filling. The combination of jaggery, cardamom, and coconut gives this sweet dish its distinctive flavour, making it a delectable addition to the Sadhya buffet.
Orappam: A triumph of texture
Orappam, a traditional snack from Kerala, provides a contrast in texture to the Onam Sadhya supper. Its crisp exterior yields to a gentle and airy interior. The batter is made with rice flour, coconut milk, jaggery, nutmeg, cardamom, and cashews, and it is baked to perfection. The final product is a delectable delight that highlights the variety of flavours in Kerala’s culinary tradition.
Sarkara varatti: The banana experience par excellence
Banana crisps are a well-known delicacy in Kerala, but Sarkara Varatti takes the banana experience to new heights. Thin slices of ripe bananas are fried and coated with caramelised jaggery and ghee to create a sweet snack with notes of bitterness and smokiness. Mastering the art of preparing Sarkara varatti requires a measure of skill, which makes it a popular delicacy.
Uppumanga Chaaru: A Spicy Turnabout
Uppumanga chaaru, an unexpected addition to the Onam Sadhya meal, combines the tartness of salted fresh mangoes with a flavorful coconut-based gravy. The basis of this slightly spicy and savoury dish, which perfectly complements the Sadhya feast, is raw mango preserved in brine.
Unnithandu upperi: sustainability from farm to table
Unnithandu Upperi, a dish that exemplifies sustainability and resourcefulness, incorporates banana stems. The banana stem is transformed into a dry dish with minimal spices, resulting in a distinctive textural experience that combines exquisitely with rice.
Vazhakoombu payasam: A blossoming dessert
Vazhakoombu payasam defies convention by featuring banana blossoms as its main ingredient. Banana blossoms are blended with coconut milk, jaggery, and aromatic seasonings to create a dessert that astounds with its innovative flavour combination and use of ingredients.
As Onam approaches, these lesser-known Onam Sadhya treats offer a new perspective on the rich culinary tapestry that characterises this beloved festival. Through these exquisite dishes, one can truly appreciate the culinary profundity of Kerala and the cultural significance of Onam.