13 Easy Recipes for Onam Sadhya – Onam Sadya Recipes

Written by Puja

Here is a collection of 13 recipes for Onam sadhya you can make with ease. Sadya is a popular Kerala meal consisting of a variety of traditional vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf. In Malayalam, the word “sadhya” refers to a feast. Sadhya is a traditional dish for Onam, Kerala’s state festival.

Recipes for Onam Sadhya

About Onam Festival:

Onam, also known as Thiru-Onam or Thiruvonam, occurs in the Malayalam calendar’s first month, Chingam. It is one of the most well-known celebrations in Kerala. The preparations and celebrations for Onam last for ten days.

Onam is a celebration of the homecoming of King Mahabali, who was granted rule over all lands by Lord Vishnu. This is a day when people give thanks for their harvest and for a good life with family and friends.

Onam is celebrated by organizing a large feast called Onam Sadhya. For this grand feast, over two dozen vegetarian dishes are traditionally made and served on banana leaves. The fresh banana leaf enhances the flavor of the many dishes and curries that are served hot on it.

The planning for this important occasion normally begins a few days ahead of time.

Sadya is a vegetarian feast that’s eaten on this day in Kerala. It includes many different dishes and it can be considered as one of the biggest festivals in Kerala. Sadya has various recipes that include dishes like vegetarian curries, side dishes, different kinds of pickles, desserts. etc

Onam Sadhya is traditionally served without cutlery and eaten while seated on the floor.

For Malayalees all over the world, Onam brings back nostalgic memories of their native land.

Apart from the traditional rituals that are performed during Onam, there are certain dishes that are prepared during this time and they make some of the best food for this special occasion.

This article will explore some of the traditional recipes that can be served as an offering during Onam festivities.

And the best part of all these dishes is that they are really simple to make if some of the prep work is done a day before, like peeling, chopping, grating coconut, etc.

So now let us jump straight onto the Recipes for Onam sadhya!

1) Parippu Curry

Parippu curry is one of the delicacies prepared at the Onam sadya. It’s a combination of moong dal and coconut. To make the recipe, you can use either moong dal or tuvar dal. Parippu is an essential part of every Sadya (feast) in Kerala. The inclusion of coconut oil gives Kerala Parippu a very rich flavor, while the roasted gram gives it an earthy-sweet flavour.

Kerala Parippu Curry

2) Moru Curry Recipe – Seasoned Buttermilk Without Coconut

Moru Curry Recipe is one of the simplest recipes which can be prepared in a very less time. The main ingredient of this recipe is curd which is easily available most of the time. Moru Curry is not only tasty but it has all the goodness of healthy ingredients.

moru curry

3) Instant South Indian Sambar Recipe

Sambar is a combination of lentils, vegetables, tamarind juice, and some mild spices. The recipe for a sambhar dish varies from region to region. This recipe of Sambhar is very easy and is the best recipe for Onam sadya, when you have so many things to prepare.


4) Mathanga Erissery Recipe (Pumpkin Coconut Curry)

Mathanga Erissery Recipe is a traditional South India Recipe with a lot of health benefits. You will often see this recipe as an essential part of the Onam Sadya in Kerala. In some parts of Kerala, this dish is known as elisseri. This curry is made with pumpkin, coconut and is mild and balanced with light sweet taste.

Mathanga Erissery Recipe

5) Kerala Beetroot Thoran Recipe – Kerala Style Beetroot Stir Fry

Beetroot Thoran Recipe is a Kerala side dish made with finely chopped beetroot and with lots of grated coconuts. The addition of coconut oil in this recipe gives this dish an amazing taste. This recipe has the goodness of beetroot and coconut both.

beetroot thoran

6) Chena Thoran Recipe – Yam Coconut Stir Fry Recipe

Chena Thoran Recipe is a tasty side dish from Kerala stirred fry with coconut. This is also a great option as a side dish for Onam sadya.

Chena Thoran

7) Carrot Beans Thoran Recipe – Carrot Beans Stir Fry Recipe

Carrot Beans Thoran Recipe is a delicious and healthy side dish recipe. made of chopped carrot and beans and is very easy to make.

carrot beans thoran

8) Mathanga Thoran – Pumpkin Stir Fry

Matanga is a South Indian name for Pumpkin. And any vegetable that is stir-fried along with grated coconut is called “Thoran” in Kerala. So that makes “Matanga Thoran” more or, less a Keralite dish.

mathanga thoran

9) Beetroot Pachadi Recipe

Beetroot pachadi is a combination of beetroot and plain curd, tempered with some Indian spices.

10) Kerala Inji Theeyal Recipe – Tangy Ginger Curry Recipe

Inji Theeyal Recipe is a tangy and salty side dish recipe that is usually served in Onam Sadya. Inji Theeyal Recipe goes really well along with boiled rice, moong dal parippu, beetroot thoran, papadam, and ghee.

Inji Theeyal

11) Instant Lemon Pickle Recipe – Kerala Style Naranga Achar Recipe

Instant Lemon Pickle Recipe is a spicy and tangy Kerala-style pickled recipe made with lemons. This lemon pickle gives a unique flavor and is good for digestion. It’s quick and easy to make, but you’ll have to wait a few days to eat it. The recipe is simple to follow. This lemon pickle can be made without the use of sunlight.

lemon pickle

12) Kadumanga Achar – How to make Instant Mango Pickle

Kadumanga Achar Recipe is an Instant Mango Pickle Recipe from South India that is quick to make and tastes really great with white rice.

kadumanga achar

13) Ada Prathaman Recipe

Last but not the least, Ada Prathaman plays a very important role. Onam is incomplete without payasam. If you do a little preparation a day before, you will be easily able to make this Ada payasam with homemade ada and freshly grated coconut milk.

How to Serve the Recipes for Onam Sadhya:

After all, people are attracted to well-presented food. So now that you know how to make all the recipes for Onam sadhya, you might be curious about how it is served. Right?

So let me take you through the quick guide on how to serve Onam Sadhya.

This covers the direction in which the banana leaf (if you’re using one) should point, the position of each item on the leaf, and the order in which the primary courses should be served.

Clean the banana leaf and place it in front of each person, narrow end facing towards their left.

Serve small portions of the following items, beginning from the left tip of the leaf’s top half, all the way to its right edge. The below is the order in which it is to be served:

  • A pinch of Salt
  • Pappadam (preferably , the small Kerala papads which puff up when fried)
  • A ripe small Kerala Banana (but yo can use any small banana available to you)
  • Plain Banana Chips
  • Sharkara Varatti (jaggery-coated banana chips)
  • Inji Theeyal
  • Pickles
  • Pachadi
  • Kalan (recipe coming soon)
  • Erissery
  • Avial (recipe coming soon)
  • Thoran
  • Rice (serve the rice in the empty bottom half of the leaf)
  • Parippu (the first course which is served with ghee/Neyy)
  • Sambar (the next course)
  • Pulissery (the final savoury course) 
  • Ada Pradhaman (and finally, the sweet course is served. Again, typically, there are two varieties of payasam served – one milk-based and one made of homemade rice flakes/ ada, jaggery and fresh coconut milk)

And yes, eat as much as you like of the dishes that have already been served, and, of course, take as much rice as you need.

You Might want to read my post on A Trip to Kerala (God’s own Country)

Plan a Day Ahead:

It takes a long time to prepare all of the Recipes for Onam Sadhya. So a little bit of planning can be beneficial for you.

  • Clean and grate coconut, keep it in box and then store in refrigrator.
  • A ground coconut, cumin, and green chile paste is used in some dishes. As a result, you can grind everything together and then use it in sections for the dish.
  • Clean wash and chop all the vegetables needed for the various recipes and store them in the fridge.
  • To make ada payasam, grate the coconut and store it in a box so that you can easily extract the coconut milk the next morning, make ada and store it in a box. Melt the jaggery, straining it to remove the impurities. You may simply cook ada payasam if these three items are done the day before.
  • You can make some of the dishes like kalan, inji theeyal, kadumanga achar, lemon pickle a day ahead. And store them well in a clean surface, since you would be using all of these items while doing the pooja.
  • Start as early as possible in the morning, so that you can finish of everything by 10′ o clock. And then you can get ready for pooja and for feast of course.
  • And most importantly, I would suggest you do some segragation of the common items used in multiple of these recipes like grated coconut, vegetables, ground paste etc., before hand if possible. This would help avoid confusion about measurements, the next day morning when you start cooking.

Following these few things can save you a lot of time. Most importantly, you will get time for yourself and your family rather than just standing in the kitchen and preparing food.

If you are able to finish off the pooja and lunch in time, you will also get time to enjoy some snack items prepared during Onam along with your hot cup of chai in the evening.

My Recommended Products for this Onam:

Earlier people used to make everything at home, from chips to main courses.

But nowadays, when life is too busy, making everything at home, is not possible for us.

So here I have listed some of the items you can buy online to make your work easier for you.

The first item is Kerala Papadam, the second is banana chips and sharkara varatti and the third is palada mix for payasam.

Here I have listed one more item and that is (Banana Leaf Shape South Indian Dinner Lunch Serving Melamine Platter Plate) to serve Onam sadya, in case you don’t get a banana leaf.

And, of course, to prepare the tastiest recipes for Onam sadhya, use coconut oil. This will give your dishes an authentic flavor.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. I am an independent blogger and the reviews are done based on my own opinions. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Frequently Asked Questions about Recipes for Onam Sadhya:

Is Onam sadya healthy?

Sadya is a nutrient-dense supper that has a good mix of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory foods, calcium, and gut-friendly meals.

What is the importance of Onam sadya?

Onam Sadya is the heart of the Onam festival, both at home and abroad, and wherever the Malayali population is found. Onam Sadya is much more than just a joyful dinner for Keralites because it symbolizes the start of a new year, celebrates the new crop, and recalls the visit of their most revered King Mahabali.

What is Onam dress?

For women, the traditional festival dress code is a white, off-white, or cream saree with a golden border known as Kerala Saree, and for males, a white-colored mundu or dhoti with kasavu border combined with a shirt or kurta is the favorite of all men.

What is a Pookalam?

Pookalam is a flower arrangement on the floor that is beautiful and colourful. ‘Pookhalam’ is made up of two words: ‘poov’ means flower and ‘kalam’ implies ground colour sketching. During the Onam festival, it is considered auspicious to create Pookalam, also known as ‘Aththa-Poo.’

What is sadhya in Kerala?

Sadhya is a typical Kerala meal consisting of a variety of traditional vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf. Sadhya is a traditional dish for Onam, Kerala’s state festival.

Hope you enjoyed the collection of Recipes for Onam Sadya!!!

A lot of time, effort, and passion goes into each post. My greatest satisfaction comes from your feedback. If you really liked this post and found helpful to you, please take a minute of your time to leave a comment and share it so that others have access to it as well. Thank you all for your support. 

A self-proclaimed Champion Cook, who gets the confidence from the love and praises showered upon me by my family consisting of a Cute little Daughter and a husband who loves the Internet more than me (LoL..) and who incidentally happens to be the man behind the technical aspects of this blog.
I love working from home and the benefits that come from it and that is why I started this blog where I document all my adventures with cooking.
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