A Banana Leaf Lunch

Our friends Radhika and Bala held a housewarming ceremony and to celebrate it they had a traditional Tamilian Brahmin Banana Leaf lunch in a hall opposite their home.Radhika is a Palakkad Iyer...a sect of Tamilians who moved to Palghat,Kerala and are known for their intelligence

We sat on chairs (some places, one has to sit on the floor) in a line...termed "pangat" in Marathi.
The waiters trooped in with pans and buckets with dishes I had never laid my eyes on.

At first we had to clean the banana leaf which had been splashed with water.Then the waiters put pickles and chutneys on the left along with a gram flour pattice(which I skipped).The selection of vegetables were astounding.....Pachadi made of cucumbers and curds,Pineapple Vegetable (stellar with its sweetness tempered with mustard seeds),Kootu made like a thick Kadi having chickpeas, Olan with pumpkin and coconut ,Pullisery with banana and Aviyal with vegetables and coconut.Papad was served as a veritable accessory.

At the centre was a mound of rice with a simple but delicious tur dal and a touch of ghee.No chapatis or rotis were served.Above that was the Rasam...a light gravy and Sambhar...a thick gravy with vegetables such as drumstick and pumpkin.Dessert consisted of sweet Coconut Payasam and Milk Payasam.Ended the meal with curds and buttermilk.

The meal was simple and relatively oil free.Vegetarian food with a spectacular involvement of lesser eaten vegetables such as gourd,yam and white pumpkin.
No wonder Tamilian Brahmins don't miss nonveg!


The knife said…
the banana leaves remind me of Bengali feasts and community feasts during pujas in the 80s

the meal looks similar to the keralite banana leaf onam saadyas that i used to eat at hotel deluxe at fort
There are few things that can delight the soul as a good Tam Brahm Sambaar! I grew up on it as my buddy and neighbour was a Tam Brahm and her mom was an awesome cook. I would sniff my fingers for hours later just to get that distinctive sambaar smell :)

Lovely post!
picture said…
So comfort food...

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