Our Onam Sadhya Feast

You can take a man out of India but you can't take India out of a man.We are working folks and don't always find the time to cook ourselves,much as we would love to.At the end of the day,we yearn for home food,doesn't matter whose home.No matter how many types of international cuisine are available,the interest in regional food will always remain.In fact,I feel it's grown stronger.
Today all the papers carried stories on Onam and Sadhya so it's well known that Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala and has a special feast (Sadhya) to celebrate the coming of King Mahabali.We were five friends (Pradeep,Pramod,Sandeep,Chethana and I) and there were five others,one of whom was the bubbly Benaifar who I met at the Parsi Food Walk.

This meal was a pop-up organized by  Insia Lacewala of the Small Fry Co. whose other events I have attended.Sneha Nair made the meal for us.She is actually from the finance world but loves to cook.I have friends who are Mallu and are now inspired to cook for us after hearing about this :) Pradeep very kindly found this link before we went so that we'd get an idea what was in store for us...click here

We were given a menu stating the dishes that would come on our banana leaf.We were greeted with coconut water.No alcohol.Yes,there's going to be prohibition in the state.Sneha recalled how there was a special steel cupboard just for alcohol at their wedding :) My concern is for the toddy shops that will disappear cos I have heard they serve some delectable fish items which I may never get to taste.

Sadhya for Onam is ideally vegetarian but the pop-up had a non vegetarian option which we happily took.I was wary when I saw a newspaper article mention that a restaurant had 33 items.Fortunately there weren't that many here.This was a meal where one had to sit on the floor and eat off a banana leaf.

There was of course the Poppaddum (Sneha's company is named after it),Banana,Mango pickle,Banana Chips,Sharkaraperi (yam chips coated in jaggery) and Inghzipulli which I loved a lot.The latter is a lip smacking tamarind and ginger chutney

There was Avial which was a mix of vegetables and ground coconut,Pineapple Pachadi (like a raita with the punch of mustard) and Cabbage Thoran (stir fried cabbage) which the others loved.The Manghza Perka had pumpkin and beans.

We've had sambhar at so many places but this was different.For one,it wasn't sweet.We loved it

The pineapple rasam was the only thing I didn't like cos I found it bitter.

The Chicken (with pepper,green chillies and onion) and Malabar Mutton Curry were outstanding

We ended the meal with the delicious Ada Payasam made of rice and coconut milk which was sugar free.

We all agreed it's a great concept....we are keen to try out food from other states made by home chefs.In the pipeline are Assamese,Sindhi and Bohri food.Bring it on,we say...food from all the states of India :)


R.karmakar said…
sitting on floor n eating in banana leaf plates must be fun. when young, we used to eat like that in wedding feasts.
The knife said…
Compared to Bengaluru Mumbai is weak in regional options. Possibly a rent issue. Pop ups show a way out. Keralite is quite well represented in Mumbai though
Anjali Koli said…
Very well organized! The food looks delicious. You are really on a treasure hunt exploring the regional cuisine.
Sassy Fork said…
Eating on banana leaf is.Sitting in floor isn't.Most of us weren't used to it.Made us wish we had learnt yoga.Our legs went numb
Sassy Fork said…
Yes rent is definitely an issue. Would people pay as much for regional food as they would for some other cuisine?
Sassy Fork said…
I am excited at the possibilities! Our generation is making an effort to sustain regional food
Sassy Fork said…
The organizers arranged for chairs for two of my friends
Anagha said…
I have a big crush on regional cuisines. Sadly missed this one.Thank you Sassy fork for dishing out this vivid description.
k10 said…
The food looks immensely tasty! There is a rationale behind eating on banana plates! Sigh only if we all knew what it does for us an the ecosystem.
Sassy Fork said…
Sneha Nair has this on a regular basis....check her Facebook page Poppaddum.The Secret Ingredient (Small Fry Co) plans to have different cuisines soon
Shipra said…
Loving this enthusiasm for regional food! It's pretty much what we're all about at eatopia.in :)
Also, wish I'd known about this before I cooked my own mini sadhya with no banana leaves. This would have been soooo much fun!
Marie Wright said…
I so love the dishes in Onam sadya! They are all looking so yummy and tempting! I'd love to dig in to a one whole feast like that. So mouthwatering!

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