Onam is a festival celebrated by Keralites around the globe. With the massive expat community comprising of Keralites in Dubai – the festivities have crossed borders to the UAE. What adds the cherry on top to the grandeur of the celebrations is the scrumptious “sadhya” which is a hearty meal of over 20 dishes served on a banana leaf. Most of the popular Kerala restaurants in the region serve Sadhya on Onam day as well as the following weekend in Dubai.
What Is Onam?
Onam, also known as Thiruvonam, is celebrated to commemorate the spirit of the King Mahabali visits Kerala. It is a reminiscence of his incredible reign in his kingdom and his visit is said to have a blessing of continued prosperity in the lands.
The Onam Sadhya
Kerala Sadhya is the staple meal of traditional Kerala Hindu weddings and during festival times.
Traditionally, the sadhya comprises of 26 dishes but in contemporary times – you can find the following served on most meals such as: Rice, Dal, Sambar, Rasam, Avial: A dense mixture of various vegetables and coconut, Erissery: A thick curry made from pumpkin, black-eyed peas and coconut, Pachadi: Sour curry made of yoghurt and usually cucumber., Pulisseri: A sour, yellow-coloured thin curry made with yoghurt and cucumber, Injipuli: A sweet pickle made of ginger, tamarind, green chilies, and jaggery, Thoran: A dish of sautéed vegetables Achaar: Pickles of raw mango (Mango pickle), lemon, lime etc, Pappad, Sharkara upperi: banana chips with jaggery, Kaaya Varuthathu: banana chips, Banana and Payasam – semi solid dessert
Find out where you can relish some incredible sadhya in and around Dubai –
1. Adaminte Chaya Kada
This food destination has garnered quite the love for innovative twists to classic Kerala favourites. Quite a crowd puller on weekends, they have introduced a grand Kerala feast with their Onam Sadhya. With over 35 items on the menu with 10 types of Payasam (sweet dish). The sadhya would be available on Onam day (September 11th) and the day after (September 12th) from 12PM to 3PM and would be priced at AED 32 only. Additionally, there is also a takeaway option for those who wish to savour the meal at their homes.
2. Mami’s Illam
Popular vegetarian eatery Mami’s Illam is a cult favourite serving South Indian Favourites. This petite eatery is located in Discovery Gardens. True to the name, the restaurant screams all things traditional and they have been serving some delish sadhyas for 3 years. The meal comes with 30 dishes including payasams and is available from September 10th to September 13th. For just AED 33, you can either dine-in or takeaway (the banana leaf tags along as well).
3. Dhe Puttu
Combined with a plethora of flavours – Dhe Puttu serves more than 20 varieties of Puttu, the lesser-known staple food of Kerala. The unique concept has earned them a lot of popularity since its opening. On the festival of Onam, they have launched their Onam Sadhya in addition to the wide range of Puttu in different flavours from the 11th to 13th of September with over 20 different dishes served on the leaf. As a matter of fact, we guarantee you would have your fingers licking in no time. Priced at AED 33 for Dine-in and AED 35 for Takeaway and its available on the 11th and 12th of September.
4. Manchatti Restaurant
Feel-good food, just like home. That’s how a true Keralite would review what it feels like to dine in at Manchatti Restaurant in Karama that serves authentic Kerala cuisine. Some of the celebrities too, cannot stop gushing about his restaurant. Most of the dishes are served in claypots and the ambience is very homely. And there is no place like home to feast on some gratifying Sadhya. Priced at just AED 27 for dine-in, and AED 29 for takeaway and comes with almost 20 dishes to relish.
5. Thakkaram Restaurant
Thakkaram has been a restaurant that is THE place you are looking for true blue Kerala food. Serving up some of the most incredible dishes, this eatery in Garhoud is not only easy on the pocket, but also the taste keeps you wanting for more. On the occassion of Onam, for just AED 33 treat yourself to a full-fledged meal with about 25 different curries and sides to go with your rice and payasam.
6. Calicut Paragon
There’s a likely chance you would have seen the crowd pile up at this place every Friday. Calicut Paragon has won accolades over the years for being the best in churning the most authentic, delicious Kerala food over the years. And they cannot go wrong in recreating some delicious sadhyas on the festival of Onam. Dine-in option available for the meal with Olan, Kaalan, Sambhar and other delicacies for just AED 35 on the 11th of September. In fact, you can choose between the Karama and Al Nahda outlets – whichever is closer is proximity. Besides, their sister concern Salkara Restaurants also serves Sadhya this Onam.
7. Tamarind Terrace
Tamarind Terrace in Karama is said to go an extra mile in serving kerala cuisine at extremely affordable prices. Be it the fluffy appams or the piping hot curries, they excel at it all. Their extravagant sadhya has over 29 dishes served for just AED 33 for dine-in and AED 35 for Takeaway. The meal is available only on 11th of September i.e Onam Day.
Also read – 5 Reasons Why Sadhya is served on a Banana Leaf