Onam is one of the most popular regional festivals of Kerala. It is celebrated by all Keralites, and people rejoice the return of King Mahabali, the kind demon king who once ruled the land. The festival is celebrated every year for ten days which comes in the Malayalam month of Chingam (end of August and start of September) and is celebrated with pomp and joy. This festival is also a harvest festival. People decorate their homes with fresh flower mats known as ‘Pookalam’ to welcome the King Mahabali. They wear new dresses; go to the temples to worship God and perform traditional dances such as Thiruvathirakali and Thumbi Tullal.
There is a grand lunch called ‘Sadya’ on the Thiruonam, the tenth day of Onam, which is considered very important and absolutely essential. These ten days are meant for feasting, indulging in boat racing, music and dancing to welcome their king. There are processions of decorated elephants, fireworks and Kathakali dancers. Many cultural and sport events and carnivals are also organized during this festival. Delicious homely food served on banana leaves and the sweet Payasam are the most common delicacies of Onam. The festival is a huge favourite among the food fanatics because of the tasty Onam dishes. So, here are two recipes for sumptuous dishes for Onam which you should definitely try out.
You can make your famous onasadhya complete without this
traditional Onam recipe, the famous “Kootu Curry”. Kootu
curry is a spicy vegetable curry prepared in the malabar style.
This curry is served with pappadams and ghee and enjoyed hot
on the grand festive day.
1 cup black chickpeas (cooked)
1 raw banana (chopped and diced)
1 cup yam (diced)
2 cups of carrots, pumpkin, cucumber and potato (boiled)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
Masala: 1 cup fresh coconut (grated), 2-3 dry chillies and 1 tsp cumin seeds
Garnish: 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp urad dal, dry coconut (sliced), 1 sprig curry leaf and coconut oil as needed
Stir fry the masala ingredients in a pan. Grind it into fine powder. Use a pressure cooker to cook all the vegetables with turmeric, chili powder and salt. Add the masala to the cooked mixture and stir for 10-15 minutes. Finally, garnish the kootu curry with fried mustard seeds, urad dal, sliced coconut and curry leaves.
Mixed vegetable Theeyal
Curries have always been a special part of Indian cuisine. Kerala dishes are no exception, so a delicious and mouth-watering vegetarian recipe of mixed vegetable Theeyal is sure to tantalize your taste-buds. The most important ingredient in this recipe is the coconut and spice mixture which
gives this dish an excellent taste.
1 Carrot (medium sized, diced)
2 Drumsticks (medium sized, diced)
2 Brinjal (medium sized, diced)
1 Bitter gourd (medium sized, diced)
½ cup Coconut (grated)
1 tsp Coriander powder
Salt- as per taste
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
½ tsp Red chilli powder
2 tsp Tamarind pulp
1 tsp Mustard seeds
3 dry red chillies
6-7 curry leaves
2 tbsp Oil
Toss all the vegetables in a pressure cook with half a cup of water. Wait for one whistle to go. Switch off the flame and let it cool down completely. Once it cools down, transfer the vegetables into a bowl and keep it aside. Dry roast the grated coconut, fenugreek seeds, coriander powder in a pan for about 2 minutes on a medium heat. Switch off the heat and let it cool.
Now, grind this roasted mixture with about half a cup of water in a mixer to form a thick paste. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan, add onions and fry for about 3-4 minutes. Then add all the boiled vegetables one by one.
Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the ground masala paste and stir fry for about 5-6 minutes on a medium flame. Add the tamarind pulp, salt, half a cup of water and simmer on a low flame for about 5 minutes. Heat one teaspoon of oil in another pan and add mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Fry for a minute and then switch off the flame. Add this tempering to the curry and mix well. Once done, switch off the flame and serve this delicious vegetarian curry withe steamed rice.