I can’t call it a traditional Onam sadya; we had 10 dishes with 8 veg and 2 non-veg, plus 3 payasams. It was a potluck sadya too, our guests were gracious enough to bring 2 dishes and 2 payasams.
Hubs was skeptical, “Have you ever seen a Onam sadya spread with non-veg dishes !?” He tried to reason. No, never in the traditional sadya, I reply; but when families gather together, they have a non-veg dish, just to enjoy the celebratory moment, I tried to reason.
Here’s the menu for our Onam sadya 2021 👇
Our guests contributed the Thoran, Mezhukku, the Payaru (Dal) payasam and the Pazham (Banana) payasam.
The preparation of the dishes for the sadya is memorable experience too. For the Onam lunch on Saturday afternoon, the prep and cooking started on Friday. It starts with a long list of all the ingredients and shopping. Having a small number of dishes and spreading the cooking over two days helps you to manage with the vessels you already have and the cooking is less taxing. But that doesn’t mean things went all well, there was a minor hiccup, but it turned out okay.
We bought the banana leaves of Friday to serve the food; at least in this aspect we can claim tradition 😀.
It is always a good idea to have the plan on paper and on Friday, the sadya To Do list ran as follows:
- Grate coconuts
- Prepare the Inji (ginger) curry
- Prepare the Special chicken fry
- Prepare the Sambar
- Prep a few vegetables for the Avial the next day – yam, drumsticks, peel the shallots
- Soak brown kadala in water for the Kootu curry
- Make the ground cardamom for the payasam
Three dishes are done on Friday and will re-heat on Saturday for lunch. The coconut based dishes – Avial and Kootu curry will be made on Saturday; together with Rice, Prawns ularthu, Pappadam and Payasam.
The first task on Friday morning was to grate the coconuts (4 nos. ie 8 halves 🙃) and store in the freezer – you need the grated coconut for extracting coconut milk for the payasam and the two dishes – Kootu curry and Avial need ample amount of grated coconut.
Inji (ginger) curry is a must have dish for the Onam sadya. It is more like a condiment, the heat of the chilli and ginger laced with a hint of sweetness from the jaggery 😘. It is an amazing dish and loved by everyone. I guess it serves two purposes – balances all the sweetness of the payasams and also helps in digestion.
Sambar is a sadya staple and we love it; it’s immensely satisfying 😊
So far, so good 😊 .
Till next post, take care !!