Onam – the rice harvest festival , also known as Rain Festival which falls on the Malayalam month “Chingam” is being celebrated today.
People of Kerala celebrates the Asura King Mahabali’s annual visit from the “Underworld” – not the Underworld in Modern times 🙂
This Underworld is called ” Pathalam ” / Patala – which in Sanskrit denotes several lower regions of the Universe which are located under the Earth / or else may call it – from the World of the Dead.
For me it was welcoming an ancient King who wants to visit his region every year during the harvest time.Preparing Flower Carpet ” Atthapookallam”in front of houses for 10 days till Thiru-Onam day is the most interesting part of this festival.
Preparing a Flower Carpet in my Husband’s place.
A feast is being prepared and served on a Banana Leaf on Thiru-Onam Day, which is in honor of the Vising King. Rice is served with about 26 dishes or else the maximum number of Vegetarian Kerala side Dishes as there’s no limit.
There is a belief that “Mahabali” the King visits every home on Thiru-Onam , and so while serving the meal, one Banana Leaf is to be placed for him too while the family sits to enjoy the feast together,
I remember once when I was a kid , we were all set to sit on the floor cross legged, where the Leaf was placed and curries served on its sides , there was a light breeze by which one leaf just got folded – and some elders there told the kids that it was indeed “Mahabali” who visited our home that day and I being a kid got immediately transferred to that imaginary world, which my elders explained to me.
Our Onam Sadhya this year
Here’s the recipe for Kalan, a specialty dish prepared for Sadhya.
Raw Plantain – 2 No’s cubed
Yam /Chaena / Suran – 1 cup cubed
Green Chili’s – 3 no’s slit
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1/4 tsp
Yogurt (Sour) – 3 cups
Salt to taste
Coconut Grated – 1 cup
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Green Chili’s – 1
Coconut Oil – 2 Tb sp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves – 2 Spring
Dry Red Chili’s – 3 no’s crushed
* Wash and peel away the skin of raw plantains, rub little salt and coconut oil to this and keep aside for a few minutes (this helps remove the stickiness of plantains) wash this and cook these with cubed Yam pieces , Green chili’s , Turmeric powder, Black pepper powder & Red chili Powder, May add little water for the vegetable’s to get cooked nicely.
* Grind nicely coconut ,cumin seeds & green chili to make a smooth paste, add little water to make grind easier, once the vegetables are all nicely done , add this ground coconut mixture to it and stir, keep heat to low.
* Add thick curd to this curry , stir well to combine. Heat for another 5 to 7 minutes in very low heat ( do not let it boil)
* In an other pan, heat oil, pop mustard seeds and fennel seeds then add dry red chili’s and curry leaves.Pour this over the curry and its ready to serve.
The following are links to some of the recipe’s of Side dishes posted in this blog , which are usually prepared for Sadhya -though I am yet to post all the side dishes for a Kerala Sadhya.
Thoran with Cabbage or Cauliflower
Mezhukkupurattiathu With Achinga Payar /Long Beans
Paalpayasam – Rice Payasam
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Onam. Hope you all had a wonderful Feast 🙂