Kerala sadya


One of the favourite for any connoisseur of food would be Kerala's traditional buffet, the sadhya. It is served especially during festive occasion and normally presented upon a plaintain leaf. It generally has up to 24 items and is accompanied by various desserts and savories.

Kerala sadya

A typical sadhya consists of piping hot parboiled rice with popular Kerala vegetarian dishes like

  • olan (a dish of pumpkin)
  • avial (an assorted mix of all vegetables)
  • injipulee (a ginger & tamarind flavouring)
  • kaalan (made of yam and yogurt)
  • thoran (pan-fried vegetables sprinkled with grated coconut)
  • kichiadi (roasted cucumber in yogurt)
  • pachadi (a sweet dish made out pineapple or grapes mixed with sour yogurt)
  • erissery (pumpkin or beans cooked in thick coconut paste)
  • mezhukkupuratty (Stir fries using marinated various vegetables, tossed with chilies )
  • istew ( Stew curry of Potato or mixed vegetables cooked in thick coconut milk )
  • kottukari (a mixture of few vegetables like raw bananas or pumpkin or potatoes, pan fried mixed with a spicy tomato puree curry base) etc.

In some sadhyas, options like masala curryvegetable special curries are served.

The sambar (a watery all-Vegetable curry) and parippu (lentils, either mashed or curry form) along with ghee are served as the main entrée'. Normally 2 to 3 spicy pickles called as achar are served.

Other assortments include pappadam (fried Lentil-flour paper-thin bread), along with banana chips and jaggery sweet, served as main appetisers. Towards the end of sadhya, rasam (similar to mulligatawny soup made out of pepper and tomato water is served, which is good for digestion) as well as mooru or sambharam (spiced buttermilk) are served.

Bananas are also taken as a final note to end the elobrate sadhya's main course. The desserts includes payasam (a sweet porridge-like, made of jaggery or sugar along with rice, cereals, fruits depending on what type of payasam) as well as boli, a sweet flour bread, which looks similar to an omelet, along with a banana and sometimesunniappam (sweet fried rice flour dumpling).

Normally sadyas are served on lunch time and normally will be pure vegetarian. Onasadhya (served on the Onam day) is the most famous, due to having more than 30 curries and an elobrate range of special payasams. Many leading hotels and restaurants now serve smaller versions of sadhya as part of a regular lunch offering. In Malabar, sometimes, fried-fish or chicken curry constitute part of the sadhya, as the Malabar sadhya does not have a vegetarian tradition.


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