Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala.The festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam. The most impressive part of Onam celebration is the grand feast called Onasadya-Vegetarian banquet which is considered to be the most important part of the onam.It is a nine course meal which strictly consists of vegetarian dishes.There can be anywhere between 13-25 dishes for Onam and this number can be higher.
The traditional dishes which are served during Kerala's rice harvest festivalonam are as follows:
MAIN COURSE AND CURRIES
1. Rice-Semi: polished rice is the rice which has not undergone rigorous polishing has the whole germ, contains most of the grain's original vitamins B1, B2, and E. In this manner, its storage capacity is increased while retaining the nutrients like thiamin,riboflavin and niacin
2. Kichadi: The prime ingredient of the recipe is Okra which is considered to be low in calories has high levels of Vitamin C,VitaminK,VitaminA,Folate and fiber.
3. Parippu curry: A simple and easy to cook dish which is also known as lentil curry in kerala is high in Fibre,leanprotein,folate and iron.
4. Erissery: A green papaya recipe which is rich in dietary fiber,antioxidants,thiamin,folicacid,vitaminA,Vitamin C and folate.
5. Kaalan: The prime ingredient of this recipe is raw banana which is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and contains a starch that may help control blood sugar, manage weight and lower blood cholesterol levels.
6. Olan: Contains ash gourd and yellow pumpkin which are rich in phosphorus, calcium, riboflavin, iron, thiamine, niacin and Vitamin C.
7. Kootu curry: This healthy and tasty recipe should be added to the menu atleast once in a week It is an excellent source of protein and fibre.It contains beta carotene.Also, it plays an important role in diabetes control, by suppressing the activity of certain enzymes involved in glucose production.
8. Mixed vegetable theeyal: A recipe which is similar to Sambar and is rich in Fibre,Vitamins and Minerals.
9. Pulissery: It is a simple side dish eaten by the people of kerala and is primarily made with curd.Itis highly recommended as it is a low calorie vegetable,Its is also an excellent source of potassium, calcium, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and anti-oxidants.
10. Aviyal: It is a delicious preparation made with mixed vegetables and is considered to be high in protein,fibre and Vitamins.
11. Green papaya Thoran: Raw Papaya is a great source of vitamins and nutrition. It is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Folate.
STEW AND SOUP
1. Rasam: An all time favorite down the south primarily contains tamarind which is rich in Dietary fiber,Antioxidants, thiamin, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin.The Black pepper in the recipe is also known to keep the weight in check.
2. Sambar: Sambar is a lentil-based vegetable stew which is a very popular dish in the state of kerala.It is a recipe which is high in proteins,fibre and is known to have a low glycemic index.
1. Mezhkkupuratt: Also known as south indian stir-fry is high in Fibre,Vitamins and minerals.
1. Puliyinji: A hot and sour dish which contains tamarind which is rich in Dietary fiber,Antioxidants, thiamin, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin
2. Mulakapachadi: A unique flavored pachadi (chutney) is a important part of the feast and is relished by one and all.Pachadi is low in calories and High in fiber.
3. Achaaru: The feast consists of 2 different types of pickles namely mango pickle and lemon pickle which are specially made for the occasion and are known to have high amounts of Vitamin C.
4. Pappadam: It is considered to be an integral part of the sadya fest and is primarily made of lentils or black gram dal and are high in fibre and protein rich
1. Payasam: The south indian version of the very popular kheer is considered to be an integral part of sadya is high in calcium,fiber,iron and selenium.
2. Pradhaman: Pradhaman means foremost in position in Malayalam.It is known as the king of all the payasams and is a signature dish of kerala.And yet again is rich in fiber,protein and Iron.
The most important feature of the dishes served in this festival are that they make use of semi polished brown rice,lentils,vegetables like okra,ash gourd which are not only low on calories but are also high in protein,fibre,vitamins and minerals.
Another important part of Onasadya is that the meals are strictly served on a banana leaf.The banana leaves are not only a traditional way of serving the dishes but are considered equally healthy,flavourful,hygienic and practical.The banana leaves are considered healthy because they contain a polyphenol named epigallocatechin gallate(EGCG)which is absorbed by the food that is placed on the leaves.The wax coating on the leaves imparts a distinct flavor to the food hence making it tasty.
So ideally there is nothing to worry as the onam dishes can be cooked in a healthy way and here are some of the recipes which you can cook and consume without any fear.So let's take a quick look at the recipes given below.