“Sadya” means banquet in the Malayalam language. It is not just the name of one particular dish. It is a grant feast consisting of a variety and many traditional vegetarian dishes usually served on a Plantain or Banana leaf. It is the popular vegetarian meal of Kerala, India. It is mostly prepared served during festivals, weddings and other special occasions by both, men and women, especially when needed in large quantities.
Sadya is considered as a unique feast in Kerala delicacies. Kerala food is rich, flavourful, aromatic, spicy and unique, the style of cooking, is really different. The more one eats it the more they will fall for the food. Sadya is prepared when it is completely a traditional occasion. Where people usually are seated cross-legged on mats. And the cuisine is eaten with the right hand, without cutlery which greatly enhances the taste of the Sadya and helps to combine all the dishes. Basically, Sadya can have about 24–28 dishes served as a single course. Although not many will have it might be larger then it can have more than 64 in the Sadya for Aranmula Boatrace or Valla Sadya. It is eaten in a certain style and environment preceded and succeeded by vanchippatu (traditional boat race songs). There is also a ritual involved where the guests can also ask for some kind of 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.
Sadya could be also called as the Organic plate. Some of the common dishes found in Sadya are:
Main dishes: Rice, Parippu (Lentil curry), Sambar (Mixed veggie curry), Rasam (Spicy, Tamarind Sauce)
Pickles: Inji puli (Ginger/Tamarind pickle), 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 grated coconut), Pulissery (Ripe mango, pineapple or pumpkin cooked in yogurt, a sweet dish)
Ingredients: Thoroughly Grated Coconut, Coconut Oil, Yogurt or Curd, Vegetables like plantain, Okra or lady’s finger, Beetroot, Ash guard 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 dishes, as it entirely has an astounding taste and incredible flavour with overall scrumptiousness.