Onam Sadya is a grand feast prepared on the Thiruvonam day in the Onam season. The traditional Kerala meal is served on the plantain leaf. There is a popular saying in Kerala about Onam sadhya: ‘Kaanam Vittum Onam Unnanam’ – This means that people will go to extend of selling their possession for Onam sadya.
Kerala Rice will be accompanied by a variety of dishes from Upperies (Chips) to Payasam (Kheer) and Pazham (Banana). It is essential to have ‘Pradhaman’ for an Ona Sadya. A traditional Ona Sadhya will contain Upperi, Sarakara varatti, Parippu, Pappadam, Ghee, Aviyal, Thoran, Olan, Pachadi, Kichadi, Pickles (Mainly Ginger, Mango and Lemon), and Payasam (Many types can be served like Prathamans, Palpayasam).
Serving Onam Sadya
The banana leaf has to be kept with the end to the left. A strict order should be followed in serving the feast.The upper left corner of the banana leaf should have the upperies(banana chips, sarkarapuratti), banana, and pappadam. Puli Inji (ginger pickle), Mango pickle and Lemon Pickle should be served next to the pappadam. Kichadis and pachadis should be served next. Aviyal and Thoran should be placed towards the right side of the leaf.
Rice is served in the lower centre place of the leaf. Parippu and ghee are served on the right hand side of the rice. Rice – Parippu should be eaten with Pappadam. Then Sambar is served. There is a difference of serving the next item in many parts of Kerala. In some places, Payasam is served next and Kalan and Moru (butter milk) after the payasam. In some other places, Payasam is served at the end of the feast after Kalan.
So here is a list of dishes served in a traditional Onam Sadya Feast:
Upperi (Banana Chips, Tapioca chips, Sarakara Varatti)
Pickles (Inji Puli, Mango Pickle, Lemon Pickle)
Kichadi (Bittergourd/Ladys Finger/Vellarikka (cucumber), Beet root)
Pachadi (Pineapple and grapes, Nendra Pazham)
Masala Koottu Curry
Mezhukkupuratti (Ladys Finger/ Raw Banana/ Chena)
Payasam (Ada Prathaman/Parippu Pradhaman/Pazham Pradhaman)
Sambharam (Butter Milk)