Festivals are incomplete without food. Sadhya is basically the Kerala style feast, served for any occasion like wedding, house warming etc and also a the feast served on 10th day of the annual harvest festival Onam, which is also called ‘Onam Sadhya’. While the feast is known for its flavours and varieties of dishes, there are benefits of some traditional eating practices and health benefits too.
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Food Served in Banana Leaf
Banana leaf enhance the taste of rice and side dishes.
The food absorbs the polyphenols from leaf and get the benifit of the nutrition. Also leaf have antibacterial properties and kills all the germs in food.
Dishes Served for Sadhya
Boiled rice, is served along with other dishes collectively called Kootan which include curries like Parippu, sambar, pulisseri ,kaalan, avial, thoran, olan, pachadi, kichadi, koottukari, erissery, mango pickle, pulinji, naranga achaar (lime pickle), as well as papadam, plantain chips, sharkara upperi, banana, rasam, plain curd and buttermilk. The traditional dessert called payasam served at the end of the meal, usually for occasions like wedding 2 or more variety of payasam is served. Some of the payasam are Paal Ada, Ada Pradhaman, Paripu pradhaman, chakkapradhaman, etc.
There is seasonal variation in the sides served for sadhya. Like during Onam season August – oct the sadhya will have stir fry made of yam and raw banana, emissary also with yam and banana . While during Dec- April many sadhya will include raw jackfruit in various dishes as it is the season.
There are variations in the menu depending on the place and religion. Tradition has it that Onion and garlic are not typically used in the sadhya. Conventionally, the meal is followed by vettila murukkan, (chewing of betel leaf with lime and arecanut) which helps in digestion.
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