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Making the Perfect Onam Sadya

Team BetterButter | September 12, 2016

By Team BetterButter

Celebrated in Kerala as the beginning of the new year, Onam is a 10-day festival with lots of eating and cooking. Which makes it a perfect festival for us here at BetterButter.

A vegetarian multi-course meal that is traditionally served on a banana leaf, the meal normally has atleast 19 different dishes that makes it way to your leaf. Ofcourse the accompanying items vary from region to region, making your own sadya at home isn’t as hard as it looks.

You start with a some pickles, snacks and crisps, move on the vegetables and side dishes such as olan, kalan, erriserry, aviyals and thorans and finally to the mains which include rasam, sambar, moru curry and then to dessert which just must include two kinds of payasam including the ada pradaman.  Mounds of rice, ghee and pappadam later, you know you’ve just had a meal of a lifetime.

So whilst we know you’ve probably run out of time to make that perfect elaborate sadya, we’re listing out a few of our favourite sadya items that you just have to eat and make yourself a mini meal.


banana chips

Banana Chips: Traditionally fried in coconut oil, the banana chips are a perfect start to every sadya. Plus they can be eaten at every course.

inji puli

Inji Puli: This ginger and tamarind chutney is just a fantastic digestive as well as an appetizer. Use it as a dip for the banana chips or just mash some into your rice and eat.


jackfruit sweet paniyaram

Chakka Nei Appam: Truth be told, you can make any kind of appe, but the sweet appes are just perfect for Onam. These are made with Jackfruit but you can put any soft fruit of your choice



Olan: You just have to have this on the sadya menu. A lightly spiced stew of ash gourd and cow peas are cooked in coconut milk which is just perfect.



Erissery: A coconut and vegetable curry, erissery has beautiful earthy flavours of cumin which completely elevate the meal. While it takes a little longer to cook, this dish is totally worth the effort.



Rasam: With a gentle tempering of curry leaves and mustard seeds, rasam brings together the entire sadya. You eat it with a pat of rice and pair it with the different vegetables.

paal payasam

Paal Payasam: While the ada pradaman is the traditional sweet to eat, we recommend making the paal payasam which is quicker, easier and so delicious.


Team BetterButter




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