Kerala, a south Indian state situated on the Malabar Coast, is popularly known for its backwaters. The state offers quite a variety of seafood ranging from a grilled crispy shrimp to a broiled spicy lobster owing to its large share of India’s waterways.
But the cosmopolitan culture and composite tradition of Kerala makes it say us ‘God’s own country’. And thus we decided to halt our chase here and experience the traditional feasts of Kerala.
We are talking about Sadya, a traditional vegetarian banquet which contains a sweeping variety of regional dishes from Kerala. Usually served as lunch, it consists of 13-25 dishes spread out on a plantain leaf with the tapering end of the leaf pointing towards the left of the guest.
Although the menu is quite exhaustive, we would like to list some of the best dishes of Sadya.
A moong-dal curry which marks the beginning of the traditional feast. It is flavored with coconut-green-chilli paste and garnished with ghee.
A thick mixture of vegetables, coconut paste and green chillies seasoned with coconut oil and garnished with curry leaves. It is considered an essential part of the feast and will delight your taste buds.
- Kerala Sambar
Sambar is a combination of lentil-based vegetable stew. In this, several vegetables are boiled in a gravy. It is served as a second dish after Parippu according to the tradition.
A side dish which can be minced cabbage, radish or beans fried garnished with shallots and grated coconut. It is sautéed with coconut-cumin-chilli mix.
- Upperi & Pappadams
Upperi is deep fried banana chips served with Pappadam which is a dried crispy wafer of black gram flour. These are the savories one could not afford to miss while enjoying the feast.
A dessert which is served mid-way through the meal. Payasam is a sweet thick fluid made up of brown molasses and coconut milk. It is boiled until the milk turns light pink and seasoned with different dry fruits.
Last but not the least, Kaalan is seasoned buttermilk with turmeric powder and green chillies. It is a dish which is served at the end before we devour the Sadya.