Foood Post

My journal of foood musings and eating memoirs

For Onam

Onam is around the corner and I am thinking about Sadya and Ente Keralam.Onam is the annual harvest festival of Kerala that has been celebrated for centuries.It features elaborate events but one followed by all Malayalees is the Onam Sadya or ‘Onasadya’. That’s what I am here to talk about.

From Ente Keralam

From Ente Keralam

Onasadya is the scrumptious feast of Onam.This is one of those foods that I eat heartily even in the absence of meat. Onasadya is strictly a vegetarian feast and must be eaten by hand. The meal is served on a banana leaf and consists of rice with a variety (around 11) of curries and dishes made of vegetables. These are some of the regulars..

Erissery & Kalan , stir fry of raw banana and yams.

Olan, Pumpkin and French beans cooked in green chilies and salt and tempered.

Avial , a mixed vegetable curry.

Thoran, a stir fry of green beans, cabbage or beetroot.

What’s common to these is the tempering with mustard seeds in coconut oil. These dishes are made with different vegetables depending on the region or merely what you want.

Then you have the dal, sambar, rasam, moru (spiced butter milk), pachadi, khacidi, Upperi (Jaggery coated or regular banana chips), pappadam (round lentil crisp), pickle and pradhaman (pudding).Phew! Elaborate stuff and there could be more.

The food is laid in a particular order. Served beginning from the left with deep-fried dishes, followed by  pickles, then stir fries, then curries and then comes the rice. There is even an order to eat. First, you eat the rice with parippu (dal) and neyyu (ghee) then rice with sambar then the rice with rasam. After this two kinds of pudding / payasam or pradhaman are served. Finally, the rice is served with moru, spiced buttermilk. Most people stop at the pudding but you need to eat the moru to aid digestion after the heavy meal. Also, manage to fit the various curries and stir fries in between. That’s the basic drill.

My craving for Kerala food is satisfied at Ente Keralam.You will for sure find the Onasadya there, which is worth a try. However, when I think of Ente Keralam I think of their Alleypy meen curry or Alleypy fish curry, to which I am a slave. Go to Ente Keralam and that’s what I order. A curry made with seer fish, raw mangos, chillies and coconut milk. I love it! Eat this with appams (rice pancakes) or idiappam (string hoppers). It is very delicious and I have never been disappointed. Another one of my must eat is the “Malabar Konch porichathu”, prawns marinated with spices and deep fried. Not the famous Kerala dishes but the very good stuff. The payasams are yum too.

Ente Keralam , Ulsoor Rd, Sivanchetti Gardens, Bangalore

Ente Keralam , Ulsoor Rd, Sivanchetti Gardens, Bangalore

Ente Keralam is all about traditional kerala cusine.You will find most of the well-known Kerala dishes like appam and stew, puttu and curry, Thalaserri biryani , Karimeen Pollichathu and Syrian beef , to name a few. The décor at the restaurant is pretty and not over the top. The nettipattam on the wall, tables adorned with small models of Chinese fishing nets, which happens to be the logo of the restaurant, banana chips, the TV with a Malayalam channel running, and the staff dressed in traditional Keralite attire, it is very Kerala.Ente Keralam is the perfect place to visit if you are looking to experience the culinary delights of Kerala. If you are home bound this Onam try making the Onasadya yourself, at least some of it if not the whole feast.

Here’s an Avial recipe found in one of my mom’s food diaries. A simple dish with the flavors of Kerala.

Avial for 4

That's how my Avial turned out.You can make it thicker if you like.

That’s my Avial for you.You can make it thicker if you like.

Ingredients

  • Carrots 2
  • Beans – 3 to 4
  • Chopped Potato – around 1/2 cup
  • Raw banana – 2
  • Drumstick – 2
  • Chopped Yam – a cup
  • Raw mango – a slice
  • Green chillies – 4
  • Water
  • Turmeric powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Grated coconut – 2 cups
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Small onions / shallots – 8
  • Curd – 1/4 of a cup

Method

  • Cut vegetables into around 1/2 inch sized pieces.
  • Cook vegetables in water with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Grind the coconut, cumin seeds, curry leaves, onions, green chilies and the curd. You can add tamarind concentrate if you like it more tangy.
  • After the vegetables are cooked add the ground paste.
  • Bring the broth to a boil till the coconut is cooked.
  • Add heated coconut oil and mix well.

Avial goes well with Rice or Roti.

 

 

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7 comments on “For Onam

  1. Food,Photography & France
    September 16, 2013

    What fantastic food. I’m not a vegetarian, but I eat very little meat….through choice.

  2. Flora
    September 17, 2013

    Oh yes, fantastic indeed 🙂

  3. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    September 18, 2013

    I don’t really cook much with raw banana — this looks interestingly delicious!

    • Flora
      September 19, 2013

      You must try it Kiran. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Raymund
    September 23, 2013

    Yum, that looks nice

    • Flora
      September 25, 2013

      Thank you Raymund 🙂

  5. Pingback: Chicken Stew – Kerala Style | Keli Paan

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This entry was posted on September 15, 2013 by in Foood - Recipes and tagged , , , , .
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