26 items in one serving on a plaintain leaf! Yes, that’s how grand the “Onasadhya”, the feast eaten at Onam festival is served on a Banana leaf. While the festival is celebrated across the Kerala, from youngest to oldest, the millennials may find it difficult to eat the feast with so many items without making a mess out of it. So, if you are worried about how to start and finish off your meal with ease, here is what you will come across and what you need to do to enjoy the moment.
First, you will be served with an elaborate plating that is a visual feast in itself. Be it sweet, spicy, or tangy, the young guns will have every flavor and texture in the Onasadhya. Also, to add to the taste – a small banana at the end – as a dessert – to wrap up the sadhya.
Not to end it there, you will also have the special milk dessert of Kerala – payasam. Mind it! This is not the normal milk you have been drinking all the years. This one is a special beverage cooked in different ways from region to region and community to community.
In some part of Kerala, Onasadhya is incomplete without fish fry and other non-vegetarian items. Several hotels across the state also offer special non-veg special ”Fish Curry” thalis as part of the Onasadhya. Now, while eating, one may find it difficult doing it without a spoon. Also, the food is served on a banana leaf – another task youngsters are not very used to do. You are advised to start off with the rice and ghee-flavoured parippu (dal) first as it occupies the larger part of your banana leaf. You will have a potpourri of different dishes with varying flavors served in a specific order on the banana leaf. Start with these dishes only after you are done with bread.
Once done with the dishes, you may start with finely cooked Sambhar – you may choose according to your own taste buds! If you find it difficult to do it with hands, you may use the entire bowl to do so. However, it is advisable that you eat the Sambhar in the end with the rice. Since you don’t have spoons, you have to the thing with your hands – and guess what it won’t taste awful. In fact, it tastes delicious. Just remember a tip – you have to use your fingers and not the entire palm while eating.
Last, but not the least, the much-anticipated dessert “payasam” is served at the end of the sadhya on the banana leaf itself. The task of savour this traditional milk dessert without messing up the leaf is a bit tricky affair. Some people who find it difficult may opt to taste the dessert in a glass instead.
However, many die-hard foodies say this does not taste as delectable as it does when payasam is served on the banana leaf – so use may well choose to be adventurous this time. You can crunch it with papaddam and maybe add a dash of pulinji and of course, munch a few banana chips too.
We wish you all the best for your Onasadhya!