From hot, homemade Onam sadya prepared by the family members together, Keralites have turned to instant sadya that are neatly packed and delivered at your doorsteps. However, if you wish to experience that unique feeling of togetherness and love of this festive season, try making an elaborate sadya at home, without fretting too much about the large number of dishes.
Cooking an elaborate sadya at home requires patience, preparation, and proper planning. Food items like pappadam, pickles, sarkkara varatty, and fried chillies could easily be bought from outside. As rice is prepared regularly at homes, it is not a daunting task. So, you could concentrate on preparing the other dishes that go onto the Onam platter.
The vegetable pieces for the dishes can be cut in even sizes by using your fingers as measurement.
Coconut is added in most of the curries that are prepared for the sadya. So, two or three coconuts should be kept grated before beginning to cook the dishes. Coconut shards too could be prepared in advance from half coconut, which could be later fried and added in the curries or payasam.
Divide the grated coconut into six parts, to be ground and added in dishes like 'olan,' 'aviyal,' 'eriserry,' 'sambar' and 'injithayir.' Extract the coconut milk from the first part and add it in the olan. Meanwhile, the remaining kernels could be added in eriserry. The grated coconut can be ground along with other ingredients, for dishes like aviyal, eriserry and injithayir, to the right texture by managing the pulse of the mixer.
For injithayir, grated coconut paste, spiced with green chillies, can be mixed with fresh yogurt. The mixer jar should be washed well before grinding the coconut for sambar. In the Malabar region, coconut is dry roasted and ground with spices to make the masala paste for sambar.
Snake beans and red cow peas are used to prepare dishes like 'mezhukkupuratty,' aviyal and olan, as well. However, green grams aren't usually used in any dishes for the sadya. The snake beans for the mezhukkupuratty could be cut into pieces that are as long as the first knuckle line of your index finger. For avial and sambar, the beans could be cut up to the second knuckle line of the finger.
Bottle gourd can also be added in olan and erissery. Meanwhile, the sweet and spicy pumpkin eriserry would add oodles of flavour to your sadya platter. For olan, the bottle gourd could be thinly sliced into pieces as long as the first knuckle line of your index finger. Meanwhile, for eriserry, the bottle gourd could be cut a little longer. If you are adding it in sambar, make sure that the bottle gourd pieces aren't longer than the first knuckle line.