BM # 39 
Day : 14
State : Kerala

Beware…This is a long post!!

For our last mega marathon we had the theme A-Z, where we cooked dishes starting with different alphabets. I have plenty of book marks from that marathon, but one book mark was embedded into my head, which constantly was hammering me.With Valli announcing this mega marathon, where we are cooking traditional meals across India, my book mark got struck off. Yes, It was the Sadya recipes from Rajani’s My Kitchen Trials.

I was amazed by her Sadya recipes, and as soon as this marathon was announced I knew it had to be Sadya from Kerela. This is one of the first posts that I did.The credit goes to Rajani for helping, she sent me the appropriate links, to make my work easy.

My second word of thanks goes to my daughter Barkha, who has spent a good ten years in Chennai and is well versed with South Indian Cuisine.She came in to help me cook this meal.

What is Sadya?
Sadya is a variety of vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a banana leaf in Kerala normally cooked on Onam ,weddings and special occasions.
During a traditional Sadya celebration people are seated cross-legged on mats. Food is eaten with the right hand, without cutlery. A Sadya could have as many as 64 dishes.Some say the reason for including so many dishes in the Sadya is to ensure that the diners will like at least two or three dishes.
The main dish is plain boiled rice, served along with other dishes collectively called Kootan , which include curries like Parippu, Sambar, Rasam, Pulisseri and others like Kaalan, Avial, Thoran, Olan, Pachadi, Mango pickle, Naranga curry, as well as Papadum, Banana, plain Yogurt or Buttermilk, and plantain chips.  Usually three or more varieties of Payasam are served.

I would love to write more on this but I feel Rajani has done a wonderful job on this and you should be reading her 30 posts describing everything beautifully and in detail .I was trying to think of an occasion to cook this meal…and I choose to I cook this on 1 st Jan to celebrate the New Year. I even made a floral rangoli, which is called Pookkalam In Kerala.

The dishes are served in a special order  and has a specific place on the banana leaf.This is my reference chart that I followed and these links  were a great help, although I have put down the recipes that I followed.

Side Dishes
Kichadi (Easy to do, so you needn’t skip it)
Can be made with Ladies Finger, Cucumber, Beetroot, Lemon, Bitter gourd, Raw Mango (There are more choices, but these are the easy usual fare. Basically cook the vegetable and mix it with the coconut-yogurt mix). The first three are the most common.

Can be made with Pineapple , Mathura Pachadi (mixed fruit), Tomato, Papaya, Ripe Nendran Banana, Ripe Mango. Basically its a sweet fruit cooked and then mixed with yogurt-coconut mix. The second one is the most common one.

Pick your choice of vegetables. It can be beans, carrot, Snake gourd, ash gourd, cucumber, drum stick, cluster beans, plantain, potatoes (not traditionally added, but many do for convenience) etc. Choose at least 4-5 vegetables. This curry is a must. Raw mango can be added, but its better to avoid it as it might make the avial too sour at times. You can check out this recipe for step by step pictures. This is a must recipe. 

Mezhukkupiratti is kind of a fry, so you can make that. Raw banana (on its own or a combination) is the most common one. Potato is also a good choice. Else choice of vegetables for thoran can be cabbage, carrot and beans(each on its own or a combination), beetroot. There are many more, but these are common. You can have both thoran and mezhukkupiratti or only one of the two. 

This is a fixed recipe. Choice of vegetables can be ash gourd alone or ash gourd with pumpkin and colocasia. Yard long beans too can be added, but its optional. Its cooked with black eyed peas or red beans. You can check out the recipe and step by step pictures here

You can skip koottu curry, Erisseri , Kalan etc

To mix with rice and have:

Parippu Curry

A thick gravy with lentils, with an addition of veggies.

Your choice of vegetables. Can be ladies finger, pumpkin, drum sticks, cucumber, potato etc. You can use any basic recipe. 

You can skip this if not interested. Try the Lemon rasam, for a different version , though I made the regular Rasam that I make …you see rasam is a weak point with me.

Yogurt based gravy. Can be made with Ripe nendran banana, raw plantain, Ripe mangoes, taro, ash gourd etc. The basic recipe is the same for all. 

Spiced butter milk. You can make your favorite recipe also. 

I had the lemon pickle.

Sharkara varatti (store bought is easy. But this is the recipe if you want to make at home)
Banana chips (Two varieties – this and this. Can be ready made too)

Any one or two kheer of your choice , I made Pal Payasam and Carrot Payasam
Other Items:

Few important things about Sadya which I did not follow…

Rajani had told me that two varieties of banana chips are important…one sweet and one savory, I decided to get these from the Kerala store, but unfortunately did not get the jaggery ones, so put two varieties of savory ones.

The use of coconut oil in dishes…I have mentioned it in the recipes because it is important to get that right flavor, but knowing my family, I skipped it. It is upto you to decide on this.

3-4 cups mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp coconut oil
Few curry leaves

To make paste
1.5 cups coconut, scraped
3-4 green chillies
1-2 tsp cumin seeds
Cut them into 2″ long rectangular pieces.
Pressure cook the vegetables, with little water, turmeric powder, pinch salt.
Cook for 2 whistles, let the pressure drop by itself.
rind the coconut, cumin and chillies into a coarse paste without adding too much of water.
Transfer the vegetables and the water to a pan.
Add more salt and coconut paste.
Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add yogurt, mix well, let boil for a minute.
Remove from heat and add coconut oil, few curry leaves
Cover for a few minutes for the flavors to infuse.

Parriappu Curry
1/2 cup of moong dal (split yellow gram)
A pinch of turmeric powder

Grind Together:
1/3 cup coconut , grated
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 shallots
2-3 green chillies

For Tempering:
2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
2-3 shallots, sliced
1 red chilli, torn into pieces
Few curry leaves
Roast the dal in a dry skillet until it turns a light golden brown.
Grind the coconut with the rest of the ingredients and some water into a smooth paste.
Pressure cook the moong dal with 4 cups water and a generous pinch of turmeric. Once done, mash well to a smooth paste.
Keeping the flame on low, add the ground coconut mixture and some salt to the dal. Cook for about 5-8 mins.
Heat oil for tempering and add the ingredients in the order given.
Mix well.

1 cup, pumpkin , diced
1 cup ash gourd, diced
1 cup red beans
1 cup coconut milk, thick
1-2 cup coconut milk, thin
3-4 green chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tsp coconut oil 
Wash and soak the beans overnight.
Pressure cook with sufficient water for about 3 whistles or until done, without getting mushy. Once done, keep aside.
Peel and dice the ash gourd, pumpkin. Slice the chillies into two pieces vertically .
Cook the pumpkin with minimum water.
The vegetables should not be overcooked, they should retain their shape.
Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add salt and add the thin coconut milk.
Let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the cooked beans and cook for a couple of minutes more.
Check the salt and adjust if its less.
Add the thick coconut milk, mix and simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
Take off the heat and drizzle some coconut oil on top of this curry and add some torn curry leaves.
Cover with a lid .
The recipe calls for ash gourd and pumpkin, I used only pumpkin.

Vazhakka Pullisery

Pineapple Pachadi
Raw Mango Khichdi
1 peice raw mango
¼ cup shallots
1 tsp ginger paste
2-3 green chillies, slit
1 cup curd
A pinch fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
¼ tsp mustard seeds
Curry leaves
1 broken whole red chilly
Coconut oil

Heat oil in a pan.
Add minced shallots,ginger and green chillies and saute for couple of minutes.
 Add finely chopped raw mango,saute and cook by adding 1/4 cup water,salt to taste on the medium flame.When mango turns to soft, remove from fire and let it cool.
Add curd to it and mix it well.
Heat oil and temper with mustard,fenugreek seeds,curry leaves and red chilly.
Add to the above mixture and mix well. 

1 cup pigeon pea , cooked
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 cup drumsticks, pumpkin, ladies fingers.
Pinch turmeric powder
2-3 sambar powder
Pinch asafoetida
Water, as required to get to the right consistency

1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
Curry leaves

Pressure cook the dal till done .
Once the pressure drops, mash with the back of a ladle and keep aside.
Add the diced vegetables, one cup water (or tamarind extract), 1 tsp tamarind pulp, sambar powder, turmeric powder, hing and salt.
Boil till the vegetables are cooked.
Bring this to a boil, adding 2 more cups of water.
Add the mashed dal and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Adjust the spices to taste.
Heat the oil.
Add the mustard seeds and let  crackle.
Add the fenugreek seeds and when it turns golden brown, add curry leaves.
Take off the heat and add it to the prepared sambar.
Mix and cover with a lid.


Lemon Pickle
Inji Puli
350 gms ginger, finely chopped
4 – 5 green chillies, finely chopped
2-3 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
Pinch asafoetida
Tamarind, a small lime sized ball
2 tbsp jaggery
Few curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds2 whole dry red chillies
Oil for frying ginger
Salt to taste
Fry ginger pieces in oil until brown and crispy. When it cools down, coarsely grind in a mixie.
Soak the tamarind in warm water(around 1.5 cups) and extract its juice.
Heat oil in a deep pan (use the left-over oil from frying ginger ) and splutter mustard seeds.
Add dry red chilies , green chilies, curry leaves and saute for a few more minutes.
Pour the strained tamarind extract to it.
Bring it to a boil and add chilly powder, fenugreek powder and hing.
Add the ground ginger and jaggery. Mix well.
Check for salt. Bring down the heat to low.
Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes stirring in between and switch off.
Adjust the gravy according to your consistency.
You can store it in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
Use it like a pickle though people like to use it as a curry.

Neer Moru

1 cup Curd

1 cup water

2-3 green chillies

1″ piece ginger

Few curry leaves

Pinch asafoetida
Salt to taste
Grind the chillies, curry leaves and ginger in a mixie.
Add curd and water and blend until its frothy. Add salt and hing.
 Blend again and taste test.
Adjust seasoning and serve as the last course with rice or as a digestive drink at the end of the meal.

Pal Payasam
1/4 cup rice
1 lt full fat milk
2 tsp ghee
1-2 cup sugar
Cardamom powder
Nuts to garnish

Roast rice in 1/2 tsp ghee till it lends a aroma .
Add milk to the rice and cook till the rice is done.
Add sugar and simmer for 5 mins.
If you wish you can mash up the rice with a laddle.
Add carom powder and garnish with nuts.

Carrot Payasam
250 gms carrots, grated
3 tbsp ghee
5 cups milk
1-2 sugar
1-2 tsp cardamom powder

Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan.
Add the grated carrots and saute for two to three minutes and set aside.
Bring the milk to a boil in a deep non-stick pan and simmer till it is reduced to three-fourth its original quantity.
Add the sauteed carrots and mix well.
Add the sugar, mix well and cook till the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly.
Add the cardamom powder and mix well.

This was a memorable meal which we all enjoyed. The different family members liked different things, my son loved the Olan and Pineapple Pachadi whereas my hubby he    enjoyed the Avial and the Pariappu Curry. The maximum votes went to te pineapple Pachadi and there is a constant demand for it!!

Sadya - Kerala Special

19 thoughts on “Sadya – Kerala Special”

  1. Vaishali that's mindblowing spread! wonderful and you have done it like a pro and not for the first glad your family enjoyed this meal..

  2. this is so good… me being a keralite, i am yet to try my hand on making a full on sadya as the thought of it makes me shiver… hats off, looks so good…

  3. the cost of flight from mumbai to ahmedabad seems negligible now if i had to land and eat something as precious as this are amazing, this is a perfect round up of all the things Rajani did in that one month of sadya recipes..i loved every bit of this post…and read it at least twice by now..

  4. Omg, am stunned to see this mindblowing spread, you have done everything prefect with loads of love, can see ur great efforts and i would like to give a big hug to u for making this incredible sadhya like this.

  5. OMG Vaishali. What a feast to the eyes. Kudos to your efforts for putting together this traditional and authentic Sadya. I scrolled through the dishes, will come back to read the recipe in detail soon.

  6. I am speechless! this spread looks like you have been doing this sort of thing everyday! Amazing! Lovely spread and the flowers looks so good! Great job Vaishali!Hat's off to your efforts!

  7. wow! That is an amazing spread of sadya special. I can't put my finger on one recipe that I can say is the one for me. Everything looks delicious and a great effort on your part to put everything together .

  8. Omg so much of efforts hats off to you first of all di 🙂 I know how difficult it is put a sadya platter and you have presented it very well 🙂 fabulous spread and filled just by looking at it amazing job done 🙂

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