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KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER

ISSUE: 218

OCTOBER 2011

Traditional Kerala Feast


The cuisine of Kerala has always been a fascination for people from other countries. Among the variety of dishes that served the taste buds of Keralites the traditional feast, commonly called sadya, displays the best of Kerala's cuisine. Sadya, served during festive occasions, weddings and birthdays, is a vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf. It is served for lunch and people are supposed to seat cross-legged on the floor on a mat.

Parboiled pink rice is the main item in sadya. It is accompanied by a number of side dishes commonly called kootan. Some of the most common dishes are curries like parippu, sambar, rasam, kalan, aviyal, thoran, olan, pachadi and kichadi. Pickles like ginger, mango and lime add taste to the feast. Snacks like chips and sarkara upperi are also part of the feast. But the main attraction of a sadya is the traditional dessert called payasam which is served at the end of the meal. Usually three varieties of payasams are included in a feast.

Different vegetables are used to prepare the dishes and all these dishes have different flavors. There are curries, deep fried dishes, pickles and porridges among them. Coconut oil which is abundant in Kerala is used to prepare most of these dishes. It is used both as an additive and for frying. Special places are assigned on the plantain leaf for each and every dish. Rice is served in the middle, pickles on the top left corner likewise.

The preparation of Sadya needs a teamwork managed by a chief cook, who supervises the preparation of each and every dish. Usually the preparations begin on the night before and the dishes will be prepared before 10 O' clock in the morning on the day of the celebration. The preparation also facilitates a social intercourse among the neigbours who come to help the cooks and volunteer to serve the food to the guests.

  Topics: Culture   Food   Festival  

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