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Festive flavours

Traditional recipes for a true taste of Onam

Salty, tangy or sweet

IT'S ONAM and time to try your hand at festive fare. These are the traditional, homemade recipes but without which Onam is not complete.


4 big raw bananas
250 gm jaggery
2 nos. of cardamom
3 tsp cumin seed, powdered
3 tsp dry ginger powder
1 tsp sugar (to powder cardamom easily)
2 tsp rice flour
Oil to fry


Remove the skin of bananas. Cut lengthwise into two and make one-inch thick pieces. Fry these in hot oil till they become crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to remove the extra oil. Heat a karahi and add grated jaggery in it. When it melts and reaches one thread consistency turn off the heat and sieve through into another vessel to remove the dirt. Add the fried banana pieces and stir. Simultaneously sprinkle rice flour, cumin seed powder and dry ginger powder in it. Further add powdered cardamom with sugar to this. Stir immediately in such a way that all ingredients should coat the banana pieces well. After a while, transfer them to an airtight container to keep them crisp.

Banana chips

1 kg raw banana
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Skin and slice bananas into thin, round pieces. Alternatively cut lengthwise and slice finely into two pieces. You can also cut the banana into four and slice it. Fry the pieces in hot oil. To a little water add salt and sprinkle on the chips when they become crisp. Spread the chips on a paper for a few minutes and then transfer to a dry, clean airtight container.



1-1/2 cups green gram dal
1-1/2 cups rice
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 kg jaggery
1-cup water
1 cup finely grated coconut
2 cups flour
Turmeric powder
2-3 pinches of turmeric powder
Water as required
Oil to fry

Separately fry green gram dal and rice till the raw taste disappears. Fry and powder this coarsely. Melt jaggery in a cup of water and strain. Boil and when thick add grated coconut and when it is of a sticky consistency remove from fire. Add the coarsely powdered dal and rice to the sugary mixture while it is still warm. Next add the cardamom powder. Mix well and press it all together to keep it warm. Make small balls out of it. Keep it aside. Take rice flour in a vessel and add water to make a thick batter adding two to three pinches of turmeric powder in it. Dip each ball in this batter and fry in hot oil. When cool store in airtight bottles.



2 cups rice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
400 gm jaggery
2 ripe bananas
1/2 coconut, cut into thin pieces
Ghee for frying


Soak the rice for 2 hours and powder it fine in a blender. Mash the bananas and add to the rice powder. Melt the jaggery in a little water, strain, cool and add to the rice along with the coconut pieces. Keep this batter aside for at least three hours. Heat ghee in the special neyyappam karahi. Pour spoonfuls of the batter into the depressions. When one side is cooked, turn the neyyappams quickly and fry for a minute. Make all appams this way.

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