Onam celebrations: 3 easy recipes to make the festival even more special

From sweet payasam to spicy rasam, prepare these 3 recipes for Onam celebrations at home to make it more special.
recipes for Onam
Add more fun to your celebration with these recipes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 7 Sep 2022, 17:42 pm IST
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Onam is the most well-known celebration in southern India, especially in Kerala. People celebrate Onam, a festival which commemorates King Mahabali, with great passion and enthusiasm every year. As the 10-day long festival comes to an end on September 8 this year, and food forms a major part of the fervour, here are some special Onam recipes to try.

Onam is a big festival for Keralites. They offer prayers, create rangoli known as pookalam, decorate their home, compete in boat races, dance, and prepare a traditional meal known as Sadhya. On a banana leaf, it is served with a variety of traditional vegetarian foods, pickles, and sweets. And one such dish that is a must-have in every Sadhya feast is the traditional payasam, a beloved south Indian dessert and a version of kheer. In order to help you make this festival even more memorable, now let’s get to know some delectable recipes for Onam celebrations for you to check out.

Avni Kaul, who is a nutritionist and a wellness coach, has shared 3 homemade recipes with Health Shots.

Kaul says, “This festival signifies prosperity and happiness. It is celebrated through dance, music and of course delicious food. Onam includes several types of food preparations. So, here we’re suggesting 3 top recipes that you can prepare at home for your Onam Sadhya.”

Here are 3 Onam recipes:

1. Moong dal payasam

This is made by sweetening the moong dal mash with jaggery. Then it is thinned with coconut milk and flavored using cardamom and other spices.

recipes for onam
Satiate your sweet cravings with this payasam recipe. Image courtesy: Shutterstock


Half a cup of yellow moong dal (split), one and a half cup of crushed jaggery, two cups of coconut milk, ½ teaspoon of cardamom powder, ¼ teaspoon of dried ginger, 2 tablespoon ghee, 1 tablespoon chopped coconut, 2 tablespoons of cashew nuts, 1 tablespoon of raisins.


  • Add one cup of coconut milk, with one cup of water to make thin coconut milk in a deep bowl, mix it well and keep it aside.
  • Heat on a non-stick pan, add moong dal, and dry roast using a medium flame, for about 3 minutes, or wait till it turns light brown.
  • Shift the dal into a strainer and wash it.
  • Mix dal and two cups of water in a cooker and cook it till 5 whistles.
  • Let the steam release before opening the lid, mix it well using a whisk, and place aside.
  • Heat the non-stick pan, put the cooked dal and jaggery, blend it well using a medium flame for 5 minutes and stir constantly, keep it aside.
  • For the purpose of tempering, heat ghee using a non-stick pan, add coconut and saute it on medium flame.
  • Then add cashew and saute using a medium flame for about a minute.
  • Add raisins and let them saute for a few seconds.
  • Now pour the tempering over the prepared payasam and blend it well.

Serve now!

2. Rasam

This soup is based on toor dal and is a good way to start your meal by having some tangy and spicy flavors. It includes tomatoes and peppers besides toor dal.

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  • 100 grams each of toor dal and tomatoes, 500 ml of water, and 25 grams of tamarind.
  • For rasam powder: 10 grams each of peppercorns, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds and 3 grams of red chilies.
  • For tempering: 30 ml oil, 3 grams mustard seeds, 2 grams curry leaves, 3 to 4 Garlic cloves, 10 sprigs of coriander leaves, and salt.


  • Crush garlic and chop the tomatoes.
  • Soak the tamarind and obtain the pulp.
  • Roast the ingredients for the powder and grind until it becomes fine.
  • Boil dal along with tomatoes till the lentils are mashed and set aside.
  • Heat oil and put mustard seeds, leave until it crackles.
  • Put the crushed garlic, curry leaves, and coriander leaves.
  • Blend the dal and water to get the needed rasam consistency.

3. Ada pradhaman

This dessert is made using ada rice, coconut, and jaggery along with dry fruits and is cooked in coconut milk.

recipes for onam
Ada pradhaman. Image courtesy: Shutterstock


100 grams of ada rice, 250 grams of palm jaggery (dark) 300 ml fresh coconut milk 3 cardamoms, 50 grams of dry coconut, 10 grams of cashew nuts, 10 grams of raisins, and 50 ml ghee.


  • Soak the ada rice in boiling hot water for around 15 minutes, or until it becomes soft.
  • Drain the water fully and rinse in cold water (sprinkle coconut oil lightly if sticking with each other).
  • Boil and dissolve jaggery in around 100 ml of water and strain it to remove impurities if there are any.
  • Heat ghee and fry the nuts, cashew, raisins, and coconut pieces distinctly.
  • Remove from the pan.
  • Using the same pan, heat ghee and fry the Ada rice using low flame for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Now mix jaggery water and cardamom with the Ada rice and cook using low flame until it thickens. Remove the scum that gets gathered in the sides.
  • Now add the thick fresh coconut milk, bring it to a single boil and take it off the flame stirring repeatedly.
  • Now top it using the fried cashew nuts, raisins, and coconut bits.

Serve it and enjoy!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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