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Kerala Onam sadya (feast)

The Onam sadya (feast) is very indispensable part of Thiruvonam, and almost every Keralite attempts to either make or attend one.

Kerala is known as the “Land of Spices” because it traded spices with Europe as well as with many ancient civilizations with the oldest historical records of the Sumerians from 3000 BCE. Food is traditionally serving on a banana leaf and almost every dish has coconut and spices added for flavor, giving its cuisine a sharp pungency that is heightened with the use of tamarind. Seafood is the main diet in coastal Kerala, whereas vegetables are the main diet on the plains. Meat is served as the main course in tribal and northern Kerala. Dishes range from simple ‘kanji’ (rice gruel) to extravagant feasts or ‘sadyas’.

Traditional Kerala food is vegetarian and includes Kerala Sadhya, which is an elaborate banquet preparing at the time for festivals and ceremonies but contemporary Kerala food also includes Non-vegetarian dishes. A full-course Sadya, which consists of rice with about twenty different accompaniments and desserts is the ceremonial meal of Kerala eaten usually on celebratory occasions including marriages, Onam and Vishu. It is served on a plantain leaf. Because of its rich trading heritage, over time various cuisines have blended with indigenous Kerala dishes with foreign dishes adapted to local tastes.

Onam sadya Items

Serving on plantain leaves and consists of about 26 dishes, including :

Chips (especially Banana chips)
Sharkaraveratti (Fried pieces of banana coated with jaggery)
Pappadam
Various vegetable curries such as:
Thoran
Mezhukkupuratti
Kaalan
Olan
Avial
Sambhar
Dal served along with a small quantity of ghee
Erisheri
Rasam
Puliseri
Moru (Curd with water)
Pickles, both sweet and sour
Two different types of buttermilk
A chutney powder prepared from grated coconut
Series of a dessert called Payasam (a sweet dish made of milk, sugar, jaggery and other traditional Indian savories) eaten either straight or mixed with a ripe small plantain.

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