Chef Manish Kusumwal, the Corporate Chef at Keys Hotels, shares special Onam recipes with India Beckons readers.
Malayalis around the world are celebrating Onam as it is a harvest festival, one of three major annual Hindu celebrations along with Vishu and Thiruvathira, and it is observed with numerous festivities. The auspicious festival of Onam is here and it brings along a time filled with celebrations where families come together and pray for health and prosperity with a lot of delightful food. The 10-day harvest festival of Kerala also celebrates the popular legend of King Mahabali who sacrificed his life for his subjects.
Keys Hotels has curated the perfect fare with their special Onam Sadhya for this occasion so their guests can celebrate Onam with great food and have the authentic experience and emotions related to the festival.
(1) Avial recipe – steamed veggies in cocunut sauce
For coconut paste
⅓ cup fresh shredded coconut
2 green chillies
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
For steaming veggies
3 cups mixed veggies
(carrots, beans, potatoes, raw mango, drumstick, raw banana, cucumber)
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chillies, slit
2 sprigs curry leaves
1. Grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin with half a cup of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
2. Take a bowl and add in the veggies. Add in the salt and turmeric. Mix well to coat the veggies evenly.
3. Add half a cup of water to the pressure cooker. Place the bowl of veggies inside the cooker. Cook for three whistles on medium flame. Remove from heat and wait for the pressure to release naturally. The veggies cooked for three whistles are firm. If you want a soft veggie, then cook for four whistles.
4. Take a pan and add in coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add in the steamed veggies and saute for a minute so the oil coats evenly.
5. Add in the coconut paste and toss well to coat. Cook for a minute. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice. Avial goes best with rice, especially the Kerala matta rice.
(2) Kappa (tapioca)
Tapioca, cubed- 2
Water- to cook tapioca
Salt – little
Coconut, grated- 1 cup
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Garlic, chopped- 2 cloves
Green chilli- 1 or 2
Turmeric powder- ¼ to ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Water- enough to grind into a coarse paste
Coconut oil or vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Small onions, chopped small – 3
Red dry whole chilli – 3
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Peel off the skin from the tapiocas, cut into cubes, wash under running water. Boil the tapiocas along with water and a little salt until it turns tender and well cooked. Drain the water and keep aside.
In a blender, grind the above mentioned “to grind ingredients” to a coarse paste. In a large saucepan, add the cooked tapiocas and the ground paste. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, until the gravy starts to thicken and is combined well. If you want, you could slightly mash the tapiocas using a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and keep aside covered.
Heat a small pan over medium heat, add oil. When the oil gets hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the chopped small onions and saute for a few minutes. Add dry red chillies and curry leaves, saute till onions have turned brown. Pour this tempering onto the cooked tapioca.
Keep the tapioca covered for some time so that the flavours from the tempering will get into the dish. Serve hot with Malabar parottas.