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TRY OUT! Six easy and quick traditional Onam recipes

Last updated on: September 12, 2013 16:30 IST

TRY OUT! Six easy and quick traditional Onam recipes

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Manjula Nair

The traditional Onasadhya is incomplete without these recipes. They are simple and easy to prepare. Do try them at home!

Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala, is a celebration of the homecoming of the legendary King Mahabali and is marked by traditional festivities that include Onasadhya or the traditional Onam feast.

Since the festival celebrates a good harvest, the feast is a strictly vegetarian affair and involves elaborate preparations in rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables.

Onam celebrations begin on Attham day (September 7 this year)  in the Malayalam month of Chingam and the sadhya is served on Thiruvonam, the tenth and main day, September 16, 2013.

In some places Onasadhya is also served on the eleventh day Avittam (September 17, 2013), only it is less elaborate. 

The Onam feast is served on a banana leaf with its tapering end placed to the left.

Traditionally, you have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed while having the sadhya.

The elderly women or men of the house serve the items of the sadhya in a particular order of significance starting with salt, papadam (papad), banana, sharkara upperi (a sweet made from yam), banana chips and different types of pickles. The rice and curries are served at the end.

A typical Onasadhya comprises not less than 20 different preparations -- a sign of luxury, prosperity and happiness.

In fact some of the popular proverbs in Malayalam are: Onnam unnan bhagyam venam (You have to be lucky to enjoy an onam feast)  and Kanam vittum onam unnanam (You have to have the onam feast even if it means having to sell your property/riches).

Now that you know the significance of the feast, let me share with you some traditional delicacies without which the Onasadhya is considered incomplete.

I hope you'll try them and share it with your loved ones.

Also see: Saambaar, Avial, Oalan and more Onam recipes.

Click here for more recipes and food features!

Please click NEXT to continue reading...


Image: A traditional Onasadhya
Photographs: Rameshng/Wikimedia Commons

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1. Kaalan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 25 gms pepper
  • 10 gms jeera
  • 1 kg yam cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 100 gm plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4-5 red chillies
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves

Method

  • Grind the coconut, pepper and jeera into a fine paste.
  • In an aluminium vessel, heat two glasses of water.
  • Add the yam cubes and turmeric and cook it on slow fire for about 10 minutes or more till the cubes become tender.
  • Add the finely ground coconut paste and stir well. Cook it on slow fire for about a minute.
  • Beat the yoghurt well to avoid lumps and add it to the above mixture.
  • Continue cooking on slow fire for about two to three minutes.
  • For garnishing, in a separate pan, heat one tablespoon coconut oil.
  • Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies and saute.
  • Add this to the main preparation and serve hot with rice/roti.

Image: Kaalan
Photographs: Rameshng/Wikimedia Commons
Tags: Kaalan

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2. Pulissery

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe mangoes (optional)
  • 250 gms red pumpkin (diced)
  • 250 gms white pumpkin (diced)
  • 1 tabespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp jeera
  • 1 cup sweetened yoghurt
  • 50 gms jaggery
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 4-5 red chillies

Method

  • Grind the coconut, mustard seeds and jeera into a fine paste.
  • In an aluminium vessel, heat two glasses of water.
  • Add red pumpkin, white pumpkin, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Cook for about five minutes.
  • Add sweetened yoghurt and jaggery and stir for about a minute.
  • Take it off the fire.
  • For garnishing, give a tadka of mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves in coconut oil.
  • Serve hot with rice or roti.

Image: Pulissery
Photographs: Ks.mini/Wikimedia Commons
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3. Erissery

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • 250 gms tuar dal
  • 250 gms red pumpkin (diced)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp chilli powder
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Steam cook tuar dal by adding 1 ½ glass of water.
  • After it is cooked, add red pumpkin, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Cook on low flame for about five minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grind coconut and jeera into a fine paste.
  • Add this to the main mixture and cook for about five minutes.
  • Garnish it with a tadka of mustard seeds, bay leaves and red chillies.
  • Serve hot with rice or roti.

Image: Erissery

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4. Inji Puli

Ingredients

  • 100 gm ginger finely sliced
  • 25gm green chillies
  • 100 gm tamarind
  • 50 gm jaggery
  • 4 tbs oil
  • Mustard seeds
  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Saute for about one minute on slow fire.
  • Add finely sliced ginger, chillies and saute on slow fire for about five minutes.
  • Soak tamarind in a glass of water. Strain the juice and add this to the above mixture.
  • Add red chilli powder, jaggery and salt to taste. Cook on slow fire for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Cool and store in a glass container.
  • Serve with rice, dosa, idli or roti.

Important Tip: Never store this pickle in a steel, copper or silverware as it can cause a chemical reaction that will spoil both the pickle and the container .


Image: Inji Puli
Photographs: Rediff Archives
Tags: Inji Puli

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5. Narangya Curry (Lime pickle)

Ingredients

  • ½ kg big sized lemon ½ inch diced
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs chilli powder
  • ½ tbs turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp asafoetida

Method

  • In a pan, heat asafoetida and fenugreek seeds on a low flame for about two minutes.
  • Grind it well in a grinder and keep it aside.
  • In a glass bowl, take the lemon and season it with salt and keep aside for about five to ten minutes.
  • Add turmeric and chilly powder and mix them well.
  • Add the ground mixture of asafoetida and fenugreek seeds and mix well.
  • Garnish it with a tadka of mustard seeds and red chillies.
  • Serve with rice, dosa, idli or roti.

Important tip: Never store the pickle in a silver, copper or steel container.


Image: Narangya Curry


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6. Godhambu Payasam (Kheer made of wheat)

Ingredients

  • 250 gms broken wheat (lapsi)
  • 1 kg jaggery
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 20 gms cardamom powder
  • 50 gm cashews
  • 50 gms raisins
  • 50 gms kopra finely sliced

Method

  • In a pressure cooker, steam cook broken wheat in 1 litre water for up to two whistles.
  • In a pan, boil half a glass of water and add the jaggery. Keep stirring till the jaggery melts.
  • Strain the mixture to get rid of impurities if any.
  • Heat a deep aluminium vessel and empty the cooked lapsi and jaggery into it.
  • Mix them well and keep stirring continuously to avoid any formation of lumps.
  • After five minutes, add coconut milk and stir continuously. Cook on slow fire for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add finely ground cardamom powder and stir well.
  • For garnishing, heat two tablespoons of ghee in a pan.
  • Add cashews, raisins and kopra.
  • When the cashews turn golden brown, empty it into the main preparation.
  • Serve hot or chilled.

Image: Godhambu Payasam
Photographs: stu spivack/Wikimedia Commons

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