Hostel life is something each one of us should experience,since the memories you make with friends are the ones that would remain with you for a lifetime.My first experience of this festival of Onam was during my hostel days as a student.There would be a hustle & bustle around the corridoors the previous day,it would either be my friends rushing to the train station to catch the Malabar Express( those days I believed every road leads to Kerala:) since there seemed to be endless trains running to & from Mangalore to any spot in Kerala,or it would be the excited voices of the girls walking around with flowers to do the “Pookolam” on the corridoors of the hostel.The visitors room would be crowded with near & dear ones visiting to wish on the special occasion.Needless to say,onthe festive day of Onam we would have wonderful flower patterns/pookolam with beautiful diyas decking our hostel.Pretty maidens with long hair dripping wet,kajal decked eyes,tradionally dressed in mundu set/kasavu sarees,flowers on the hair,”chandana kuri”/sandalwood paste on the forehead is a sight you would behold in your memory for years to come.Some of us are blessed with lovely friends,I was one of them who had a lot of friends from Kerala,and needless to say very soon I was wearing a “kasavu saree” myself( a dear friend’s gift to me & my first Kerala saree) decked with chandana kuri and wet dripping hair(though it lacked the orginality,of being curly & oily too:)………those are some hostel memoriesof onam.Then came the real deal , very soon I boarded the train to “God’s own land” with dear friends & that is where I had my first taste of “Onam Sadya”…….I must add it was difficult to maintain that grace & bashfulness which my friends possesed in the face of the beautiful spread on the plaintain leaf……..the menu was endless,after you finished olan,kalan & its brother, then comes the King of all….the” Palada Pradhamam”,it certainly has a royal ring to it…….once I tasted it,honestly, I did not want to leave Kerala after that……the elders pamper you with “molae,koracha vekkatae” & you blissfully shake your head since those days one never worried about the weighing scale.Thus started my love affair with this Palada Pradhamam……packed with memories in each sip……..trusting you have beautiful ones too this Onam.Wishing you all a very Happy Onam!

Ada/Rice flakes- a small packet( store bought)
Jaggery- 4-6 pieces.
Coconut Milk- a tin
Condensed milk- 1/2 cup
Ghee-4 tbsp
Cardamom-3-4 (finely powdered)
Water- 2 cups

Palada Pradhamam
Palada Pradhamam

1.Boil water in a vessel & then add the ada to the water & let it cook,stir ocassionally along the same direction thus not letting it stick.Switch off the heat & keep covered for 20minutes,then pour the hot water away & rinse with cold water, so they don’t become sticky & set aside.
2.In a thick bottomed vessel add the jaggery with a few tablespoons of water, till it melts completely,now add the coconut milk & condensed milk & the cooled ada to it & gently bring to a boil after stirring occasionally.Switch the heat off & add the powdered cardamom to it.
3.Now fry the almonds & the cashewnuts with ghee & pour them into the Pradhamam.It will thicken gradually, serve hot or cold.

1.After adding the coconut milk do not let it boil for too long.
2.It tastes good after a good meal, for those of us who like “pradhamam” as a meal itself I’d advice to go easy on the “sadya/big feast” & do complete justice to the pradhamam, afterall its the King of the feast:)

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