Onam Sadhya at the Cubbon Pavilion
I’ve been brought up in a family where food is the focus of almost all religious and cultural celebrations. While we don’t celebrate Onam, the festival has always been about the traditional Onam Sadhya lunch. Sadhya, which translates to ‘banquet’ in Malayalam, is a lavish vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf. With boiled rice at the centre, the meal consists of a variety of curries. I’ve read of a place that serves 64 different dishes on a single leaf.
The team at the Cubbon Pavilion at the ITC Gardenia aren’t looking to send you into a food coma with that many dishes, but instead have put together a perfect sumptuous meal for one to truly experience the joy of the Onam Sadhya. I was given a preview of the meal a few days ago, and my good run with delightful vegetarian food continues.
The Onam Sadhya features some of the staple favourites in any such meal including Olan (ash gourd and red beans in coconut milk), Erissery (pumpkin and red beans in a coconut gravy), Kerela sambar and more. My favourites were the Beetroot Thoran (a traditional dish from Kerela that uses coconut) and the Moru Curry (a tangy dish that has tempered yogurt based thin gravy with red chillies, curry leaf and mustard). I truly relish Avial ( a south Indian dish with mixed vegetables), but couldn’t eat what they had offered owing to the presence of yam, which I am a bit allergic to.
The meal also comes with chips, both banana and tapioca, which one can dip into the wonderful spicy and sweet dips. ( yes, finger lickin good dips). The meal concluded with the Elaneer Payasam (a light delicious tender coconut dessert with little chunks of tender coconut), and the Adai Pradaman (a dish made from rice, coconut milk and jaggery)
The Onam special thaali is available for lunch on Onam day, 4th September, and is priced at INR1550++. If you do happen to be at the brunch tomorrow, some of the dishes mentioned above would be featured. Here’s wishing everyone a happy onam… and if you don’t celebrate it, you can always have a great meal to satisfy yourself.