Sadhya is a traditional vegetarian feast from the state of Kerala in South India. It is typically served on special occasions, festivals, and during weddings. Sadhya is known for its elaborate spread of dishes, which are served on a banana leaf and enjoyed with hands while sitting on the floor. It showcases the flavors and diversity of Kerala cuisine. Here’s an overview of the components typically found in a Sadhya:
- Rice: A Sadhya begins with a mound of steamed white rice as the main staple.
- Sambar: It is a lentil-based vegetable stew made with a variety of vegetables, lentils, tamarind, and a blend of spices.
- Parippu (Dal): A simple and flavorful lentil curry made with split moong dal, seasoned with spices and tempered with ghee and mustard seeds.
- Rasam: A tangy and spicy soup made with tamarind, tomatoes, and a mix of spices. It acts as a palate cleanser.
- Avial: A mixed vegetable dish cooked with coconut, yogurt, and seasoned with curry leaves and coconut oil.
- Thoran: It is a stir-fried vegetable dish made with grated coconut, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and a variety of vegetables such as beans, carrots, cabbage, or beetroot.
- Olan: A mild coconut milk-based curry made with ash gourd, black-eyed peas, and flavored with green chilies and curry leaves.
- Kalan: A yogurt-based curry made with ripe plantains and yogurt, along with a blend of spices.
- Pachadi: A yogurt-based side dish made with vegetables or fruits like cucumber or pineapple, combined with coconut, mustard seeds, and green chilies.
- Injipuli: Also known as Puli Inji, it is a tangy and sweet ginger pickle made with tamarind, jaggery, ginger, and spices.
- Papadum: Thin and crispy lentil-based crackers that add a crunchy texture to the Sadhya.
- Banana: A whole ripe banana is usually served as part of the Sadhya.
- Payasam: A variety of sweet dishes or desserts made with ingredients like rice, lentils, vermicelli, or fruits cooked in milk or coconut milk. Ada Pradhaman (made with rice flakes and jaggery), Parippu Pradhaman (made with lentils), and Palada Payasam (made with rice flakes) are popular choices.
The Sadhya is traditionally served on a clean banana leaf, with the dishes arranged in a particular order. It is enjoyed by mixing various curries and accompaniments with the rice using one’s hand. The flavors, textures, and combination of dishes make Sadhya a unique culinary experience that represents the rich cultural heritage of Kerala.