Kerala is famous for its incredible natural surroundings as well as the various lip-smacking dishes. Most dishes are prepared from mussels, crab, tiger prawns, king prawns, tiny prawns, tuna, and gorgeous red lobsters. Kerala food is abundant, flavourful, aromatic, spicy, and unique. The style of cooking is different. The more one eats it, the more they will fall for the food. Sadya Meal is the most amazing cuisine in the country.
You really cannot stop the temptations towards food items while walking around the streets of Kerala. Now, if you think that only non-vegetarian food would be delicious in the state surrounded by sea, then probably you haven’t tried the famous cuisine of the country – Sadya Meal.
What is Sadya Meals?
“Sadya” means banquet in the Malayalam language. It is not just the name of one particular dish. This is a grant feast consisting of a variety, and many traditional vegetarian dishes usually served on a Plantain or Banana leaf. It is also one of the popular vegetarian meal of Kerala, India. This is mostly prepared served during festivals, weddings, and other special occasions by both men and women, especially when needed in large quantities.
Sadya Meal is considered as a unique feast in Kerala delicacies. Sadya is prepared when it is ultimately a traditional occasion. Where people usually are seated cross-legged on mats. And the cuisine is eaten with the right hand, without cutlery, which significantly enhances the flavour of the Sadya and helps combining all the dishes.
Sadya Meal will have about 24–28 dishes served as one course. Although not many will have it might be more extensive, it can have more than 64 in the Sadya for Aranmula Boat race or Valla Sadya. It is eaten in a specific style, and the environment preceded and succeeded by vanchippatu (traditional boat race songs). There is also a ritual involved where the guests can ask for some surprise items that the host needs to be prepared with the approval of chefs to be eligible as a “Valla Sadya”, where physical and spiritual purity is compulsory.
Menu of Sadya Meal:
Sadya could also be called as the Organic plate. Some of the standard dishes found in Sadya are:
- Main dishes: Rice, Parippu (Lentil curry) and Sambar (Mixed veggie curry), Rasam (Spicy, Tamarind Sauce)
- Pickles: Inji puli (Ginger/Tamarind pickle) and Achar (Pickles made with mango, lemon or gooseberry)
- Side dishes: Avial which is a vegetarian side dish usually prepared with yogurt, Kalan (plantain dish made with yogurt and coconut), Olan (Black-eyed peas curry in coconut sauce), Pachadi (made with beetroot/lady’s finger in yogurt sauce), Thoran (sautéed mixed veggie with ample amount of grated coconut) and Pulissery (Ripe mango, pineapple or pumpkin cooked in yogurt is a sweet dish)
Ingredients of Sadya:
Grated coconut – must be thoroughly grated, Coconut Oil, Yogurt or Curd, other vegetables like plantain, Okra or lady’s finger, Beetroot, Ash guard which can be mainly found in Indian grocery stores, Green chilli, Black-eyed peas, Mangoes.
Kerala means “land of coconut palms,” hence coconut is the primary ingredient in most of the regional cuisine. And, Coconut oil is used for cooking Sadya Meal, as it entirely has an astounding taste and incredible flavour with overall scrumptiousness.
How to prepare Sadya Meal?
Sadya is usually served as a lunch item, and sometimes the lighter version is served as dinner too. To make it delicious, the preparations for this food item must begin from the night before the day to be served. Sourcing of items or ingredients of Sadhya is an elaborate and careful process to ensure quality. Only after the worshipping, the fire is burning to prepare Sadya Meal, and then the first serving is also offered on a banana leaf in front of a lighted nilavilallku as an offering to God.
You would also like to read, “Kerala Seafood Dishes and it’s Tantalizing Flavours“.