Updated: August 30, 2020 6:11:26 pm
If you’ve decided to make and serve a sadhya for Onam at home, then you might be interested in knowing how it is the served — this includes the direction in which the banana leaf (assuming you’re using one) is supposed to point to, the position that each element occupies on the leaf and the order in which you’re supposed to serve the main dishes. Of course, not everyone has the patience or inclination to do things exactly in order, so feel free to load up your plate as you like. However, given the number of dishes that the typical sadhya includes, you may want to make some sense of what could otherwise be very confusing, so read on.
* Clean and place the banana leaf in front of each person, with the narrow end pointing towards their left.
* Serve small portions of the following elements, beginning from the left tip of the leaf’s top half, all the way to its right edge:
– A pinch of salt
– Pappadam (ideally, the small Kerala papads which puff up when fried, but the larger and flatter appalam is more widely available)
– A ripe banana (usually one of the small Kerala banana varieties, but the regular Cavendish that you find everywhere is alright, in a pinch)
– Plain banana chips
– Sharkara Varatti (jaggery-coated banana chips)
– Inji thayir
– Puli inji
– Pickle (usually mango or lime, or both)
* Serve the rice in the empty bottom half of the leaf. As you move through the various courses, dab at the curries already served, as you please, and — of course — take more rice, as needed.
* The first course is parippu, served with ghee.
* The next course is sambar.
* The final savoury course is the pulissery.
* Finally, the sweet course is served. Again, typically, there are two varieties of payasam served – one milk-based and one made of jaggery and coconut milk. Just one of them is fine too, like this parippu pradhaman.
* At many sadhyas, you’ll also be serve a small bowl or glass of rasam. It’s not essential, but there’s absolutely no restriction against including it.
Note: How sadhya is served — and even the dishes that it includes — varies across Kerala, even though there are some basic similarities. The above is just one guide; there may be many others.
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