Have you tried the Sadhya (also spelled as Sadya)? We have just experienced the Traditional Sadhya meal together with other bloggers when we were hosted by The Windflower Resort & Spa, Vythiri for 2 days and 2 nights stay at their beautiful resort in Wayanad, Kerala, India.
Mr. Vinod M M, Resort General Manager of the The Windflower Resort & Spa, Vythiri explaining about Sadhya
Upon entering the dining hall I saw several banana leaves lined on the table while the resort’s waiters were putting some food in it. Instantly, I knew that they were up to let us try something traditional – something that’s very Kerala. When we were all seated, the Resort’s Manager Mr. Vinod M M, started to explain what they have prepared for us.
Yes, they have prepared the Sadhya for us.
Sadhya is a traditional vegetarian feast in Kerala usually served as lunch on a banana leaf. During a traditional Sadhya celebration, people are seated cross-legged on mats. But in our case, our host just opted to serve the meal at the table. Maybe they were thinking that it would be uncomfortable for us to sit on the floor.
I became so excited about Sadhya that even after the meal I continued asking the resort’s Executive Chef Mr. Paneer Selvam and some restaurant staff about its nature and descent. I gathered from my interview that Sadhya means banquet in Malayalam. This spread is usually prepared mainly by men, especially when needed in large quantities, for weddings and other special events.
Sadyah is eaten without cutlery using one’s right hand. A normal Sadhya can have about 24-28 dishes served as a single course. In instances where it is a much larger, it can have over 64 items in a Sadya.
What made Sadhya even more interesting, were the conventions and rituals observed while serving the food.The items must be placed on specific spots of the banana leaf in a certain order. For instance, the pickles must be served on the top left corner and the banana on the bottom left corner. In this manner, the waiters will easily identify and decide on offering additional servings. The most common ingredients in all the dishes are rice and coconut as they are abundant in Kerala.
my good friend and fellow blogger from Indonesia Haryadi Yansyah enjoying the Sadhya
It is said that for bigger occasions like wedding, the people in the neighborhood would spend the night to help in preparing the food. They would also volunteer to serve the food to the guests at the banquet.
The following were the dishes and the sequence of serving our Sadyha meal:
Before we arrived, waiters had already prepared the following on a banana leaf:
Salt, Chakaravarati (jackfruit chips tossed in jaggery syrup), Nendran chips ( nendran banana chips) and Narangai achar ( lemon pickle)
while indulging at the Sadhya Feast……was I concentrating too much? Lol
After we were seated, the waiters started to add the following:
Inji curry (ginger tamarind curry), Ulli theeyal ( shallots in browned coconut gravy), Beetroot pachadi ( beets and yoghurt curry), Olan ( Ash gourd and black eyed beans in coconut milk), Kosuthoran ( cabbage tossed with onion and coconut), Beans milagupiratti ( beans tossed with chilli and cumin), Rice, Katti parippu ( pigeon pea and Bengal gram with shallots with lots of clarified butter), Ghee ( clarified butter), Sambhar ( lentil and vegetable curry with tamarind), Rasam ( a thin tamarind pepper soup), Pineapple kalan ( pineapple cooked in yoghurt and coconut), Moru ( spiced butter milk),Papadum ( crispy papads)
These 2 desserts were served the moment they saw that we were done eating the main dishes: Parippu pradhaman (mung bean cooked with jaggery and coconut milk), Pazham ( banana)
After we have concluded our meal, we were given a bowl of water with a slice of lemon to remove the grease and oil on our hands.
Another interesting ritual or rule when having the Sadya was the folding of Banana leaf once one is done with the meal. Moreover, It is customary that none should leave the dining area until the eldest in the group is done eating.
Generally, I did enjoy our Sadhya meal. For me, one’s trip to Kerala will never be complete without trying this feast.
Thank you very much Windflower Resorts Spa Vythiri for hosting us.
The Windflower Resort & Spa, Vythiri
330/1, Annapoorna Estate, Ammaro Achooranam Village,
Pozhuthana Post, Vythiri Thaluk
Wayanad, Kerala- 673575
Ph: +91 9895226611,9895221166
Mob: +91 8129823660
64 27 1 161 76