Onam 2023: 7 lesser known dishes to add to your Sandhya feast | Food

As the vibrant and culturally rich festival of Onam approaches, the spotlight is on the elaborate feast known as Onam Sadhya. This traditional harvest festival, deeply intertwined with mythology and heritage, holds a special place in the hearts of Malayalis, both in and beyond Kerala. While the traditional Onam Sadhya boasts an array of well-known dishes, let’s delve into some of the lesser-known culinary treasures that are a part of this festive feast.

2 things you need to know

  • Onam Sadhya showcases diverse Kerala culinary traditions.
  • Celebrate Onam with a mix of beverages and some popular dishes that are prepared in Kerala. 

Inji Thayir: A Digestive Delight

No Onam Sadhya is complete without the inclusion of refreshing beverages that aid digestion and Inji Thayir stands as a prime example. This yoghurt-based drink is infused with the invigorating flavors of ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and salt. Apart from its medicinal benefits, Inji Thayir serves the purpose of cleansing the palate after one has indulged in the sumptuous Onam feast.

(This yoghurt-based drink is infused with invigorating flavours | Image: Pinterest)

Sakkaravalli kizhangu poli: A sweet surprise

Drawing parallels with the Maharashtrian Puran Poli, Sakkaravalli Kizhangu Poli boasts a distinctive twist. This delicacy comprises of refined flour dough enveloping a sweet potato stuffing. The blend of jaggery, cardamom and coconut lends a unique flavour to this sweet dish, making it a delectable addition to the Sadhya spread.

(Sakkaravalli Kizhangu Poli boasts a distinctive twist | Image: Pinterest)

Orappam: A textural triumph

Orappam, a traditional Kerala snack, adds a textural contrast to the Onam Sadhya meal. Its crunchy exterior gives way to a soft and fluffy center. Crafted from rice flour, coconut milk, jaggery, nutmeg, cardamom and cashews, the batter is meticulously baked to perfection. The end result is a satisfying treat that showcases the diversity of flavors within Kerala’s culinary tradition.

(Its crunchy exterior gives way to a soft and fluffy center | Image: Pinterest)

Sarkara varatti: The quintessential banana experience

While banana chips are a known Kerala delicacy, Sarkara Varatti elevates the banana experience to new heights. Thin slices of ripe bananas are fried and coated with caramelised jaggery and ghee, resulting in a delectable sweet snack with hints of bitterness and smokiness. Mastering the art of Sarkara varatti preparation requires a touch of expertise, which makes it a much-loved treat.

(Sarkara Varatti elevates the banana experience to new heights | Image: Pinterest)

Uppumanga Chaaru: A Tangy Twist

A surprising addition to the Onam Sadhya meal, Uppumanga chaaru combines the tanginess of salted raw mangoes with a flavorful coconut-based gravy. Raw mango cuts preserved in brine create the base for this slightly spicy and savory dish that perfectly complements the Sadhya feast.

(Uppumanga Chaaru combines the tanginess of salted raw mangoes | Image: Pinterest)

Unnithandu upperi: Stem-to-table sustainability

Banana stems find purpose in Unnithandu Upperi, a dish that embodies sustainability and resourcefulness. The banana stem is transformed into a dry dish with minimal spices, offering a unique textural experience that pairs exquisitely with rice.

(It’s a dish that embodies sustainability and resourcefulness | Image: Pinterest)

Vazhakoombu payasam: A blossoming dessert

Breaking away from convention, Vazhakoombu payasam has banana blossoms as the star ingredient. Chopped banana blossoms are harmoniously blended with coconut milk, jaggery and aromatic spices to craft a dessert that astonishes with its fusion of flavors and innovative use of ingredients.

(Vazhakoombu Payasam showcases banana blossoms as the star ingredient | Image: Pinterest)

As Onam draws near, these lesser-known Onam Sadhya delights provide a fresh perspective on the rich culinary tapestry that defines this beloved festival. Through these exquisite dishes, one can truly savour the depth of Kerala’s gastronomic heritage and the cultural significance of Onam.

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