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Unveiling Nutrition in Onam Sadhya

Unveiling Nutrition in Onam Sadhya

Onam is the annual 10-day harvest festival celebrated in the regions of Kerala. The festival ends up with Thiruvonam which is the final day of Onam. The day celebrates the homecoming of king Mahabali to Kerala with great splendor and sumptuous sadhya that can feature more than 100 traditional items in a single sitting.

Even the most basic of Sadhya constitutes 11 items, to begin with, which can go up to 64, and even beyond.

Besides, the curiosity to try different cuisines and cultural amalgamations in India has now made Onasadhya a part of the mainstream food domain. Its popularity is expanding all over India and even non- Malayalis restaurants have started serving Onamsadhayas during the feasting days. So, there’s no better occasion to end this national nutrition week with a well-balanced Onam sadhya.

Dishes that go into an Onam sadhya?

Primarily, this feat offers a vegetarian meal, that typically consists of around 26 dishes, covering different flavors. Here are the customary dishes in sadhya with calories they offer:

Primarily, this feat offers a vegetarian meal, that typically consists of around 26 dishes, covering different flavors. Here are the customary dishes in sadhya with calories they offer: 

 

S.no.

Dishes in Onam Sadhya

Description

Calories per serving

1

Chor

Red rice

216

2

Sambar

Stew made with lentils, vegetables and aromatic herbs

50

3

Kalan

Raw banana curry made with yogurt and ground coconut

140

4

Olan

Stewed ash gourd, pumpkin, cucumber with long string beans and dried red beans in coconut milk

43

5

Avial

Cumin-scented seasonal country vegetables in coconut, shallots and turmeric-based stew

71

6

Puli inji Curry

Ginger with palm sugar and tamarind with asafoetida

72

7

Errissery

 Pumpkin, red beans, and a generous amount of grated coconut

107

8

Pulisheri

Curd and a vegetable of your choice ranging from pumpkin to cucumber and topped with a gracious amount of grated coconut

90

9

Ulli theeyal

Onion shallots curry

101

10

Thenga choru

Coconut rice

259

11

Kadala curry

Black chickpeas curry made with , onions, herbs and coconut 

177

12

Mango curry

mango pickle 

15.5

13

Naranga curry

lemon pickle

2.5

14

Chenna Mezhkkupuratti

Yam or Jimikand boiled with spices and fried in coconut oil

89

15

Morru Kachiyatha

Yogurt heated with black sesame seeds, shallots, ginger, and garlic.

30

16

Kootu Curry

Raw bananas, black chana and grated coconut made into a dry curry.

100

17

Parippu Curry

Moong dal topped with ghee, red chillies, and black sesame seeds.

60

18

Khichdi

Spicy yogurt with vegetable of your choice that can be okra, cucumber, or even bitter gourd.

160

19

pachadi

 Yogurt-based dish for the feast, this is a curry made with either pineapple or bitter gourd, and grated coconut.

82

20

Thoran

Dry vegetable mix containing cabbage and carrots or just beans with grated coconut.

26

21

Rasam

Spicy tamarind soup, sprinkled with a generous amount of curry leaves, mustard and tomatoes.

70

22

Sarkara varatti

Banana chips is made out of jaggery

50

23

Papadam

Papad

31

24

Palada pradhaman

Sweet dish made with milk, dry fruits, and rice ada 

158

25

Poovan pahzam

Rice ada, cashew nuts, thinly sliced coconut pieces and jaggery

90

26

Nendran payasam

Sweet dish made by banana ,coconut, jaggery and cashews.

586

 

The total calories in a typical Onam Sadhya are 2000-2500 approximately, depending on the quantity you consume. In any case, these calories are too much for a single meal. Therefore, the best method to restrict calories while enjoying this meal is to have this nutritious meal in moderation and concentrate more on low-calorie items in the meal.

Nutrition in Onamsadhya

The Onam sadhya is a well-balanced combination of carbs, proteins, fats, fiber, minerals, and vitamins served on banana leaf which itself is rich in antioxidants, and exhibits antibacterial properties. This aids proper digestion of the full fledge meal.

Initiating with red rice to errisseri, pullisery, a variety of curries and ending with sweet delicious pazham pradhaman and payasam , the feast is dense in authentic flavors and nutrients. It is, undoubtedly, the main attraction of the 10 days festival.

Besides, most of the dishes in the meal are gluten-free,so this feast can also be relished by those with gluten allergies.

The key ingredients of Onam sadhya with extraordinary health benefits are:

1. Red rice: The red rice used in sadhya are rich in antioxidants and magnesium. Their consumption also regulates insulin levels, manages diabetes, recovers from asthma, and aid digestion.

2. Jaggery: The antioxidants and minerals in jaggery are known to detox your body. Besides consumption of jaggery also boosts immunity, prevents anemia, and aids digestion.

3. Ginger: Ginger used in puli inji curry helps to manage nausea, manage arthritis, lower blood sugar levels, control cholesterol and keep your mouth germ free.

4. Buttermilk: Besides regulating your body temperature, the good bacteria in buttermilk act as probiotics to help you digest meals. Vitamin A in buttermilk boosts your immune system and keeps your lungs, heart, and kidneys in a healthy state.

5. Yam: Yam or jimikand improves our gastric health and promotes good gut bacteria. It is rich in minerals, such as magnesium, and potassium, which are beneficial for bone health, decrease cholesterol levels and improve heart conditions. Diosgenin present in yam is also known to sharpen memory and brain functioning.

6. Coconut milk: It’s the high-calorie ingredient used in most dishes of Onamsadhya. However, it offers numerous health benefits such as boosting immunity, increasing stamina, treating muscle dysfunction and promoting heart health.

The sweet side of Onam Sadhya

The glycemic index of sweet dishes; Palada pradhaman, Poovan pahzam and Nendran payasam in Onam sadhya can elevate your blood sugars, resulting in increased insulin spikes. So diabetics are recommended to eat sweet dishes in moderation. Also, replace refined sugar or jaggery with natural sugars.

Tips to make your Onam sadhya healthier

1. Use beetroot to cook pachadi and kichadi. This will make your dish colorful and add nutritional benefits.

2. Coconut milk is used in almost every dish in Onamsadhya. Simultaneously, it is high in calories. Therefore you can replace it with plant-based milk that will also retain the flavors of the meal.

3. Use healthy cooking oil such as olive oil or canola oil instead of coconut oil to manage your cholesterol levels.

4. Use natural sweeteners in the sweet dishes that will add zero calories.

Have a Happy Onam.

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