Preparations are on in Kerala to celebrate its most awaited cultural-religious-harvest festival — Onam. While most Malayalis who live in other states are heading to Kerala to ring in the occasion with their loved ones and friends, a lot of them are staying back, relishing the memories of bygone Onams.
Onam sadhya is an essential component of the celebrations during this festival. An elaborate meal, the sadhya comprises of at least 11-12 dishes, served on plantain leaves. The main dish is boiled rice and is served along with sambar, avial, thoran, pachadi, rasam, pulisseri, papadum, banana, buttermilk and banana chips, among others. For dessert, the traditional dish is payasam, which is served at the end of the meal and of which there are many varieties.
While nothing can beat the Onam sadhya that is prepared at home with so much of excitement and happiness, restaurants across the country are offering the traditional festive meal on the auspicious day, because Malayalis are everywhere and not all of them have good bosses. Here are prominent restaurants across the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai serving sadhya this year.
Zambar in Gurgaon is the place to head to if you are looking to celebrate Onam in style. The interiors of the restaurant resembles a Kerala houseboat, that only adds to the festive spirit. The sadhya is served in the traditional way, on a banana leaf and includes delicacies such as Kaalan and Olan, another Sadhya favourite made using white gourd, coconut milk, ginger and coconut oil.
Where: Zambar, 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
When: September 13-14, 11:30am to 10pm
Phone: 0124 4948554/0124 4665639
Cost: Rs 795 plus tax
Mahabelly in Delhi’s hip and happening Saket is playing home for Malayalis this Onam. The restaurant which specialises in Malabari and South Indian cuisine will be serving the traditional sadhya, just the way you like it.
Where: Mahabelly, MA-A 05, Restaurant Block, DLF Place Mall, Saket
When: September 13-15, lunch and dinner
Cost: Rs 699 plus tax
The Toddy Shop which is known for its authentic Kerala cuisine is a small and cozy place serving the traditional sadhya this year. Located in the city’s popular hang out place — Hauz Khas Village in the south, the restaurant is known for cooking up a delicious storm.
Where: The Toddy Shop, 1A, Second Floor, Hauz Khas Village
When: September 14, 1 pm – 3:30 pm
Cost: Rs 700 all inclusive
Kerala Cafe is a small restaurant known for its lip-smacking non-vegetarian dishes. But on Onam, it also hosts people for a grand onam sadhya.
Where: Acharya Niketan market, Mayur Vihar Phase – 1
When: September 14, 12:30 pm onwards
Cost: Rs 300 per person
Just Kerala‘s sadhya is a grand affair and the dishes are available both as a buffet and à la carte, served at the table. For Onam this year, the sadhya includes a special dessert — the ada payasam prepared with jaggery, rice ada and coconut milk, as well as the semolina payasam to conclude your meal.
Where: Just Kerala, Hotel Samraj, Chakala Road, Chakala, Mumbai
When: September 14, 12pm to 3pm (in hourly slots)
Phone: 022 28363919
Cost: Rs 600 for buffet and Rs 650 for à la carte
Benzy’s in Mumbai has earned quite a fan following who know the good stuff during Onam that is served here. Apart from regular sadhya accompaniments such as banana chips and spicy achaar, the meals served here also includes the koottukari — a spicy, thick gravy-based preparation of eggplant, chana dal (split Bengal gram) cooked in ground coconut and yam, with a hint of jaggery tempered with mustard seeds and urad dal (split, de-husked black gram lentils) in coconut oil. While they do offer home delivery, eating at the restaurant means unlimited servings of some of the finest Kerala food.
Where: Hotel Benzy Palace, Vijay Nagar, Marol Maroshi Road, Andheri East, Marol
When: September 14, 11am – 3:30pm
Phone: 022 30151976
Cost: Rs 800 for two
Ente Keralam is located near Ulsoor and is a major crowd puller during Onam. For those forlorn about missing out on the wide Onam spread, this restaurant brings to you authentic Onam sadhya, complete with payasam. But make sure that you’ve an early reservation in place.
Where: Ente Keralam: Old No 12/1 Ulsoor Road , Near Sultan Jewellers, Ulsoor, Bengaluru
When: September 5 – 12, ( serving only for Lunch)
Phone: 080 3242 1002
Cost: Rs 495, plus taxes
Vembanad at The Paul serves over 14 dishes and payasam as part of the traditional Onam sadhya. However, the sadhya is served only on Thiru Onam, which falls on Septemebr 14 this year.
Where: Vembanad at The Paul, Near Domlur flyover, 39/28, Amar Jyoti Layout, Domlur
When: September 14, from 12 pm to 3:30 pm( serving only for Lunch)
Phone: 080 4047 7777
Cost: Rs 1,350 and added taxes
Karavali at The Gateway Hotel, located at a scenic place is known for the kind of delicious South India cuisine it serves. Although popular for its sea-food delicacies, the restaurant is serving the traditional vegetarian Onam sadhya this year.
Where: Karavali at The Gateway Hotel, Residency Road, Bengaluru
When: September 14, serving only for lunch
Cost: Rs 1,500 and added taxes
Sanjeevanam is a vegetarian restaurant and is popular for its Kerala cuisine. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that this reputed restaurant is serving peoples’ hearts this Onam. Located in the heart of Chennai, Sanjeevanam is known for its absolutely lip smacking thalis.
Where:97, Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai
When: September 13-18, serving lunch till 4 pm
Phone: 044 30853817
Cost: Rs 550 and added taxes
Head to Radisson Blu, Temple Bay for a great Onam meal. The special lunch buffet on offer at the hotel will have specialities of Kerala food and signature dishes from the “Land of God’s Own Country”. They are celebrating Onam on the 10th, 11th and 14th of September. Head to Mamallapuram for a great Onam meal. The exquisite Onam Sadhya will be held on10th , 11th and 14th September 2016. The To name a few – Kaalan, Olan, Avial, Erussery, Injipuli, Paladapradhaman, Chakapradhaman and much more including non-vegetarian dishes.
Priced at Rs. plus taxes
Where:Radisson BLU Temple Bay, 57, Covelong Road, Mahabalipuram, Chennai Mahabalipuram
When: September 10,11 and 14 (Serving lunch)
Phone: 044 30853745
Cost: Rs 950 and added taxes
The Raintree, Annasalai is hosting a week-long food festival to experience the authentic Kerala flavors with a delicious spread of special ‘Onam Sadhya’. The exclusive week-long festival will be hosted at Madras– The Raintree restaurant.
Where:The Raintree, 636, Anna Salai,Teynampet, Chennai
When: September 11-19
Phone: 044 30925966
Cost: Rs 1000
Head to one of these restaurants if you are feeling the festive blues and missing home.