BM #116 : Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Regional Thali

Happy Onam to all those who celebrate :-). The plate above shows how we celebrated ours! Sadya is a vegetarian feast and I felt that’s the best way to start this month’s mega marathon. The theme for this entire month is Thalis and Platters. So you will see a different platter every day for the month of September. You can read in detail about this in Valli’s post here.

For the first week, I have chosen regional thalis and Onasadya is a perfect thali to begin this. I do some prep work the day before, but cooking a feast for three people is getting easier with each passing year. The entire Sadya took about 2.5 hours for me to prepare, but I had cut the vegetables for avial and cabbage thoran the day before. The main time saver was that I had prepared two payasams yesterday for Onnam Onam (first day of Onam, it’s celebrated for four days, the second day being the most important). Usually, you never serve leftover food for Sadya, but since it’s just the three of us here and my son loves payasam, I decided to prepare it a little ahead to enjoy it leisurely.

One of the reasons I find cooking to be easy now is that I have a four burner stove, an instant pot and the microwave at my disposal. So this morning, I was cooking the vendakka/ okra for the kichadi in microwave while the avial was cooking in the instant pot. Sambar, rasam, thoran and payasam were all getting done in the stovetop. I have tried this recipe for Instant Pot Avial from here before and its come out delicious. So today, that’s what I chose to do today.

I couldn’t get a banana leaf from the Indian store for serving the Sadya. It was out of stock, I guess everyone bought it a couple of days ahead at least. We served our Sadya in regular plates. At the time of taking pictures, I remembered the paper banana leaf I got from my friend and used it to take pictures. The paper leaf is flimsy, so not exactly great to eat from. I also couldn’t find ash gourd for Olan. I was a little upset at that, but finally zero was down on bottle gourd as a substitute. I made only a small batch since I didn’t know how it would turn out. It turned out quite okay, so I was happy.

Read on for the recipe for avial in Instant Pot.

The Sadya has the following dishes.

  1. Rice
  2. Parippu/dal
  3. Mixed vegetable Sambar
  4. Lemon Rasam
  5. Green plantain and chana Kootu curry
  6. Okra Kichadi
  7. Beetroot thair pachadi
  8. Cabbage thoran
  9. Achinga payar mezhukku piratti
  10. Olan
  11. Pumpkin erissery
  12. Avial
  13. Puli Inji
  14. Ada pradhaman
  15. Pazham pradhaman
  16. Semiya payasam
  17. Jackfruit chips
  18. Sharkara varatti
  19. Banana chips
  20. Banana
  21. Mango pickle
  22. Lemon pickle
  23. Moru (buttermilk)
  24. Ghee (not in the picture)
  25. Pappadam (not in the picture)

All of these recipes can be found at Kerala Sadya Recipes page.


  • 4 cups mixed vegetables for avial*
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2-3 green chilies or per taste
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • salt as needed
  • 1/2 cups yogurt or more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons Coconut oil


  • Wash, clean and cut vegetables into thin finger potato like pieces. I choose a combination of at least three vegetables. Green plantains, carrots, beans, snake gourd, eggplant, cluster beans etc are usually used in avial.
  • Measure out four cups of cut vegetables and put it into the inner pot of instant pot. Slice the chilies lengthwise and add it. Add everything else except the yogurt and coconut oil.
  • Cook in Manual mode for four minutes. Once it’s done cooking, wait for 5 minutes and do a quick release of pressure.
  • Stir the yogurt in, taste test and adjust seasonings. Add the coconut oil, mix everything well. Keep covered with a lid until it’s time to serve with rice and sambar.

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9 thoughts on “OnaSadya

  1. I hope you had an amazing onam and what a great feast to start the Mega BM. Simply love it. And yes prep work and four-burner, and IP all help on festive days like this. I too love making avial in IP. I opt for a low-pressure mode though.


  2. Happy Onam.
    I thought of making Sadhya for my regional cuisine but skipped it. It has so many dishes and I thought I might not do justice to it.
    I am just looking at your pic, again and again, so many dishes and such an amazing platter. Just drooling.


  3. Happy Onam to you and your family. Kudos to you for making all these dishes. I know how much planning and execution is required for making such elaborate sadya. I wish to make sadya sometime. Looking forward to your thalis.


  4. Happy Onam to you and your family Rajani..this spread is simply stunning and I am still drooling over it!..what a spread..I made a small version with just 4 dishes and we were so full. It’s wonderful that you have managed to cook so many dishes in such a smart way. Kudos on this treat and so nice to see the spread done so well..:) what a wonderful start!


  5. Happy Onam !
    Rajani comes with a Bang !
    Totally bowled over by this spread which has 25 items !
    Speechless !
    But even after I am speechless I am writing ! Loved the complete set up , very colourful , and divine .
    Since I have cooked a Sadya , I know how much effort it is , but totally worth it .

    The green paper plate is a great substitute to the banana leaf , i could never dream of it … ha ha!

    Kudos on the stupendous Sadya !


  6. I saw someone mentioning in the email chain that they are taking it easy this time.:) I am just speechless seeing that scrumptious and colorful spread. Happy Onam to you and your family.


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