Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Avial- Onam Sadhya Recipes

Last Onam I made a grand Sadya Lunch & invited my friends & some of the girls I know here in Austin. It was so much fun to cook for almost 10 people. 

Sadya is a variety of pure vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a banana leaf in KeralaIndia. Sadhya means banquet in Malayalam. It is a feast prepared mainly by men, especially when needed in large quantities, for weddings and other special events. During a traditional Sadhya celebration people are seated cross-legged on mats. Food is eaten with the right hand, without cutlery. The fingers are cupped to form a ladle. A normal Sadhya can have about 24-28 dishes served as a single course. In cases where it is a much larger one it can over 64 items in a in a Sadya like the Sadya for Aranmula Boatrace (Valla Sadhya).

The main dish is plain boiled rice, served along with other dishes collectively called Kootan (കൂട്ടാന്‍) which include curries likeParippuSambarRasamPulisseri and others like KaalanAvialThoranOlanPachadiMango pickleNaranga curry, as well asPapadumBanana, plain Yogurt or Buttermilk, and plantain chips. The traditional dessert called Payasam served at the end of the meal is of many kinds and usually three or more are served. The 'Kootan' are made with different vegetables and have different flavours; some say the reason for including so many dishes in the Sadhya is to ensure that the diners will like at least two or three dishes. (Source Wikipedia) To know more about Sadya click on this link

Most of the Onam Sadya dishes have similar ingredients & same method of cooking. Once you chop & keep all the ingredients ready, making sadya is very easy. You will need lots of grated coconut, curry leaves & coconut oil .

Here is the first Onam dish I am sharing "Aviyal " It is a dish that originated in the kerala cuisine. As the name indicates, aviyal is a 'mixture' of vegetables cooked with coconut. Aviyal has its own variations in different parts of kerala and tamil nadu. It is usually had with rice and is one of the main side-dishes for any traditional special occasions. This is one of my Fav Kerala recipes. I make this dish atleast twice a month. For best results always make Keralal recipes with Coconut Oil. For Aviyal coconut oil is the must. 

Serves: 8 people for Sadya
Making time: 30 - 40  minutes


  • 2 cups carrots chopped like french fries Potatoes
  • 2 cups Potatoes chopped like french fries Potatoes
  • 2 cups Green Bean chopped 4 inches long
  • 2 large drum sticks chopped 4 inches long
  • 1 cup small cubed chopped Yam
  • 1 cup chopped sweet potatoes small cubes
  • 1 cup raw banana chopped into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup Curry leaves 
  • Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - to taste

To grind

  • Coconut - 1 cup (grated)
  • Green chilly - 4- 6
  • Small Onion - 1
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp


  1. Saute hard vegetables together with 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai for few minutes. Yam, potatoes, sweet potatoes,raw banana, Drum sticks. Add 1/4 cup of oil, Cover and cook all the vegetables for 5 minutes with salt until its 90% cooked.
  2. Now remove the cooked vegetables aside & in the same kadai cook the rest of the soft vegetables carrots & beans. These just required sauteing & very little drizzle of water. Dont over cook the vegetables. Once all the vegetables are cooked 90% remove from kadai &  keep them aside.
  3. In the meantime grind coconut, green chilly, small onion & cumin seeds 
  4. Now Add all the pre cooked vegetables to the kadai, add salt turmeric & ground coconut paste, 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water. Close lid & cook this on low flame for about 5 to 10 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked to perfection & are tender.
  5.  Mix everything occasionally to avoid the veggies from sticking to the bottom of the kadai.
  6. The vegetables should be tender but still hold its shape. At this stage turn off the stove.
  7. Drizzle some fresh coconut oil and some curry leaves on top and keep covered till you are ready to serve. (Alternatively, you can make a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves in some coconut oil and add to the aviyal.)

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