Indian expats in Qatar make up to 25% of the country’s population and they bring along with them their cultures, festivals and celebrations too. One such festival is Onam, which is a harvest festival, celebrated by expatriates from Kerala, India. Onam celebrations last from 4 to 10 days, with elaborate feasts, folk songs, dances and games. Onam in Qatar is also celebrated with much pomp and fervour with people enjoying themselves over a feast called the Onam Sadhya!
Onam is a major annual event for the Malayali people in and outside Kerala. According to legends, the festival is celebrated to commemorate King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala during the time of Onam. Major festivities happen during this time and this is celebrated by the Malayali diaspora all around the world. This year, Onam started on August 22 and will end on September 2. In Qatar, you can experience the grandeur of this colourful festival by enjoying Onam Sadhya.
Onam Sadhya, in Malayalam translates to a 'banquet' or 'feast' and is a wonderful, multi-course vegetarian meal that features over 24 dishes, served on a banana leaf. Onam Sadhya is generally enjoyed without any cutlery and is usually eaten with hands while sitting on the floor. It's a one-of-a-kind meal that you must try at least once in your life!
The usual items in an Onam Sadhya include: Kaaya Varuthatha (raw banana chips), Chena Varuthatha (yam chips), Sarkara Upperi (raw banana chips coated in jaggery), Kichadi (gourd cooked in a spiced yoghurt base), Pachadi (pineapple in yoghurt), Olan (ash gourd cooked with black beans in a coconut milk base), Avial (vegetables cooked in a grated coconut base), Puliserry (yoghurt based curry), stir-fried vegetables with grated coconut, Kootu Curry (black chickpeas curry), Theeyal (mixed vegetable curry), Erissery (mashed beans and pumpkin in a coconut gravy), Sambar (lentil soup with vegetables), Rasam (spicy tamarind soup with coriander), bananas, Papad (fried lentil chips), Puli Inji (tamarind & ginger chutney), lime pickle, mango pickle, spicy buttermilk and boiled rice.
If you'd like to dive into a sensory explosion in your mouth, followed by an unforgettable experience in Qatar, here are a few restaurants that are serving Onam Sadhya. They are also taking pre-bookings so get ready to order away!
Book your Onam Sadhya for 31 August with MRA Bakery and Restaurant who are serving an elaborate meal. You can also order via WhatsApp by dialling +974 31224666.
Indulge in the traditional Onam Sadhya at Ustad Kitchen, who promise to serve over 29 signature dishes on 31 August. They have take away and home delivery available with them.
With an Onam spread consisting of 27 items, along with not 1, not 2, but 3 desserts in total, Oru Adaar Thattukada has started pre-bookings for Onam Sadhya on 31 August and 4 September.
Pre-book or order traditional Onam Sadhya for you and your family at Panoor Restaurant for 31 August and have a great time devouring the varieties.
Serving over 30 dishes, Chaya Kada has opened bookings for their Onam Sadhya.
Zaitoon Restaurant & Grills is serving 30 items as part of their sadhya called the Grand Onam Sadhya on 31 August. They also have a small sadhya called the Mini Sadhya available on 30 August and 1 September.
Have you tried Onam Sadhya before? Would you try it this time? Let us know how you enjoyed it! Do share this article - it keeps us going!
Cover image credit: Shutterstock
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