Onam Sadya | Kerala Sadya Thali


Onam Sadya Thali – A rich and royal feast, an insanely delicious thali, nobody can say no to. With a wide variety of dishes loaded with veggies and coconut, it is a must to try Thali. The Onam sadya dishes varies region-wise within Kerala. I did not follow any specific region instead prepared the ones that my family loves. Here comes my Onam Sadya Thali. Check out the post for the individual recipes and how I prepared.

I always wanted to prepare an elaborate Onam sadya. I know it is doable but not quite easy though. When Valli announced the March themes and when I saw “Thali” in that, I made up my mind to prepare sadya feast. My in-laws are here and MIL was excited too. So last week, MIL and I decided to cook the feast. She helped me with chopping all the veggies and made her signature Avial and took care of Rhino. I made the rest and clicked all the pictures without hurry. That’s a big thing these days. :-)



We all know that Onam is the annual Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala. The festival commemorates the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu and the homecoming of the emperor Mahabali. Mahabali is the grandson of Kind Prahalada. King Mahabali, who is also a devotee of Lord Vishnu comes to powder by defeating the Devas. When they approached Lord Vishnu for help, Vishnu decides to test Mahabali devotion instead of raising the weapon against him to get the lands back for Devas. 

Vishnu takes the avatar of a dwarf boy, Vamana and comes to King Bali. When the King does yajna (homa), Vamana approaches him and asks for property right over a piece of land that measures “three paces”. Mahabali agrees. Vamana grew big and covers the entire land ruled by King Bali in just two paces leaving him with nothing. Finally, the king offers himself for the third pace. Lord Vishnu reveals himself and grants him a boon that he can visit the land he ruled every year. This revisit of King Mahabali marks the festival of Onam and the last day of his stay is celebrated with this delicious vegetarian feast called onasadya. 


Ona Sadya:

OnamSadyaRecipeOna Sadya is traditionally prepared with seasonal veggies and it mainly includes Yam, Raw Plantain, Ash gourd, Pumpkin, Cucumbers, Nendram banana variety etc. I prepared everything except one item – upperi. Upperi is chips which can either sweet or salty. The popular one is Sarkara Upperi which is nendram chips with jaggery.  I got the nendram only at the last moment so I skipped making upperi with that. Instead, served as is in the thali. :-) 

I have to post quite a few from this list which I will be posting soon. So stay tuned for the updates. And today as part of the thali, I posted the beetroot kichadi recipe. :-) The other recipes that are on my blog are linked below. 


  • Ada Pradhaman – A delicious coconut milk kheer prepared with jaggery and rice noodles called Ada. 
  • Matta Rice with Ghee – An earthy red parboiled rice native to Kerala. 
  • Kerala Style Tomato Rasam – A bit spicy but a comforting rasam with garlic, pepper and tomato flavor.
  • Cabbage Thoran – Kerala style cabbage stir fry with coconut. I prepared it like my Jackfruit seed thoran but without shallots. 


  • Olan – Kerala Sadya special recipe Olan  – the rich, mild and creamy coconut milk stew with the goodness of black-eyed peas/cowpeas, red and white pumpkin. 
  • Eriserry –  A medley of yam and plantain in coconut and pepper gravy.  There are different eriserry varieties. The red pumpkin one is quite popular. But this yam and plantain version is equally popular as well which is more like Kalan but not Kalan. :-)


  • Avial – Yet another medley of vegetables in a simple coconut yogurt gravy. 
  • Beetroot Kichadi – A vibrant, healthy and easy to make Kerala style Kichadi / Mildly sweet yogurt relish with beets.
  • Cucumber Pachadi – A cool cucumber relish with mustard seed flavor. 
  • Theeyal – Usually, Sambar is prepared during the feast. But theeyal is also prepared in some part of Kerala. So I went with this delicious shallots theeyal. 


  • Kalan  – Kalan is prepared with yam or plantain or with both. Delicious gravy simmered in the coconut-yogurt sauce. 
  • Puli Milagai –  This version of puli milagai might not be authentic one that they prepare in Kerala. But it is adapted from the puli inji recipe.  I learned this from my mom and ours usually has more chilies than ginger. 
  • Parippu Curry – Kerala style moong dal tadka with coconut and shallots. 
  • Pacha Manga Oorugai / Instant Mango Pickle – Instant cut mango pickle


  • Sambharam / Spiced Buttermilk  – Seasoned buttermilk with the ginger and curry leaves
  • Pappadam
  • Nendram banana

One more thali to come. Keep guessing until tomorrow. :-)
Sending this to Blogging Marathon #86. Check out the recipes shared by the other bloggers here.

34 thoughts on “Onam Sadya | Kerala Sadya Thali

  1. Onam is one of my favorite festivals and I miss the banana leaf sadyas we have back home, though I do make a sadya every year here. Everything looks delicious. Btw, despite its religious connotations, Onam is the one of the festivals that is celebrated by everyone in Kerala, no matter what their religious faith.

  2. Omg, what a lovely array of delightful dishes, Cant take my eyes from your spread Vidhya. All those foods are seriously tempting and prefect to enjoy them without any fuss. Kudos to you to come up with loads of delicious sadya dishes.

  3. Sadya ! One meal I love ! I can see all the effort going in there . The amount of hard work . Absolutely astonishing and commendable Vidhya .
    I still remember my daughter helping me with the preparation of the Sadya I prepared , it was tough for a North Indian to make these new dishes , but we all loved the meal . Olan was one of the high rankers .

  4. usha

    Wow, drooling over the spread. The writeup about onam sadya refreshed my memory. That plate is so cool and a good one to use when one can’t find the fresh leaf.

  5. manjulabharathkumar2016

    omg am awestruck vidya :) hats off to your efforts, you have made an inviting elaborate thali there .. I make a point to make ona sadya every onam at home but never got a chance to try them with traditional matta rice .. This spread is a virtual treat for a thali lover like me .. Your beetroot kichadi looks so simply delicious .. Kudos the efforts and a droolworthy thali :)

  6. Srivalli Jetti

    I love Sadya dishes and drooling over this spread you got here!..If you plan well ahead, this is quite easy to assemble right..so satisfying in the end!

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