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Onam 2022: Know your Sadhya, the vibrant festive feast

Sadhya forms an integral part of Onam, the festival of joy and happiness.

September 08, 2022 / 10:57 AM IST
The Onam Sadhya.

The Onam Sadhya.

The 10-day festival of Onam will conclude today, with people indulging in Sadhya--  an elaborate feast consisting of dishes prepared using seasonal vegetables.

Onam Sadhya is central to festive celebrations as it a reflection of the season's spirit. There is a popular saying in Malayalam that one must have the Onam meal even if it requires selling their property.

Served on a banana leaf, the Onam Sadhya consists of as many as 26 dishes. These include the yogurt-based pachadi, olan, a dish made with white ash gourd and black-eyed peas, thoran, a Malayali staple of stir- fried vegetables and grated coconut and sambhar and papads, among other delicacies.

For dessert, there is semiya payasam, which is prepared using semolina, ghee and milk.

The Onam Sadhya packs in spicy, sweet, salty and sour flavours. In Ayurveda, these flavour or rasas are Madhur, Amla, Lavana, Tikta, Katu and Kashaya. 


The meal brings communities together and fosters a spirit of harmony.

Onam, the festival of joy and happiness, commemorates the reign of the mythical King Mahabali.

The festival is celebrated with cultural performances, decked-up temples, processions and boat races.

People purchase and wear new clothes, called Onakkodi, for the grand festival. At their homes, they install photos of Onatthappan (Vishnu in the Vamana's form) and light lamps.

There is also a custom of installing swings on Onam. Ox-races and eating competitions competitions are also held to mark Onam.

The festival of Onam also celebrates creativity. Handloom fairs are held and  weavers and potters produce more than the usual amount of works to meet the increased demand during Onam.

Onam is also celebrated enthusiastically by the Malayali community living in the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, France and New Zealand.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 8, 2022 10:05 am
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