I may have mentioned before that I’m crazy about festivals and tradition. 14th was Vishu, the Malayali New Year. Although relatively new to me, I was most excited when AK’s cousin invited us for the “sadya” (literally “banquet” in Malayalam) at their home!
Traditionally, the leading lady of the home sets up the Vishukanni – some specific auspicious items like food items, metal mirror, lamp, holy text placed in an urli/ vessel – the night before. And this is supposed to be the first thing one sees in the morning. It is believed to be an auspicious beginning to the year. This is followed by a visit to the temple and the sadya/ banquet/ lunch.
Oh, and I almost forgot about firecrackers! Not that I have lit a firecracker in over 10 years… But it’s part of the whole scene!
Since AK & I don’t live with his parents, we didn’t manage the Kanni, but we did take it in at the cousin’s home. Obviously silly me didn’t take a photo. But I did get a few captures of the sadya itself. And here it is…
Did I not mention that the sadya is served on a banana leaf? And that technically you’re supposed to eat on the floor and eat with your hands? Well we did eat with our hands, but not on the floor since “certain people” in my household cannot eat sitting on the floor! It’s too uncool for him, ahem, them.
Anyhow, just to give you a brief description of what’s on the plate, erm leaf (clock-wise from bottom centre):
Banana Chips, Savoury and Sweet (coated with jaggery)
Manga Pullisheri – mango curry
Olan – pumpkin, coconut milk & ginger
Aviyal – mixed vegetables with coconut
Thoran – sauteed beans with coconut
Pachdi – okra/ ladies fingers with yoghurt
Sambhar – lentil and vegetable stew
Parippu – thick lentil dish (not pictured above)
Payasam – rice & milk pudding (not pictured above)
I think I got it all right, but apologies if I didn’t. I’m open to correction/ amendment!
The point being, it was extremely delicious and enjoyed the experience of having all this yummy food on a banana leaf, with my hands. Although the next pic isn’t really of MY leaf, but I promise mine looked exactly like this! I licked it clean, VERY quickly
Overflowing with good food and love, my MIL and I posed for photos (in our traditional Kerala sarees)…
And the rest of the gang, including our lovely hosts…
All in all, an extremely satisfying lunch. I’m hoping I can learn how to make all (or at least some of) the dishes by Onam this year and serve my very own sadya!