The Malayali identity is celebrated through the medium of cakes, showcasing the much loved Kerala Onam sadya.
Kerala Onam festival 2020: All set to enjoy Kerala’s Onam sadya? While muted Onam celebrations are being reported across the state, nothing stops a young Keralite settled in South Africa from cooking up a unique and innovative ‘Onam sadya’ in the form of a cake!
Head over to see this delicious cake image – you may think that this is the delectable Onam sadya – in fact, it is a delectable cake and a very unique one by Sharon Nettikadan, whose innovations in baking include all things that are close to the hearts of Keralites. Interestingly, she is baking these unique creations from South Africa, where the Kerala community has always enjoyed a vibrant presence in its festive celebrations.
For Sharon Nettikadan, baking cakes with her own unique signature style is something that is done purely for the sheer pleasure of putting together beautiful and fun creations. Onam is a festival that instantly brings an element of nostalgia for Keralites who live outside their state. The scents of home add to the nostalgia of sepia-tinted memories. Notably, there is an unmistakable touch of nostalgia to some of these unique elements that Sharon Nettikadan has brought together through the ‘Onam sadya’ cake.
Speaking to The Financial Express Online, Sharon Nettikadan says, “Every Onam, we have this small gathering of some wonderful people. The first Onam sadya cake was a spur-of-the-moment decision and from then on, it’s been a regular thing.”
Interestingly, Sharon Nettikadan functions like a one-man army in a continent far away from her home in Kerala. From baking to designing cakes and marketing, she manages it all.
Sharon adds, “I do get oodles of help from my three kids when I am pressed for time. They also give clever advice when I hit a creative roadblock. This also gives them great exposure to the different aspects of an entrepreneurial venture.”
The Malayali identity is celebrated through the medium of cakes, showcasing the much loved Kerala Onam sadya or the traditional Kerala ‘onam kodi’ attire that remains an evergreen favourite with women on festive occasions or something as essential as the longing for owning a home, as witnessed during 2018 floods.
In 2019, Sharon designed a cake depicting a traditional African pot with Kerala’s famed banana chips as a tribute to Malayalis born and raised in South Africa and carry both Africa and Kerala close to their hearts.
“Sometimes you want to make something for the joy of it. And when there is a crowd to enjoy and appreciate them, it’s a win-win,” Sharon Nettikadan sums up.