Sadya means a grand extraordinary banquet in Malayalam (the language spoken in Kerala/God's own country,a southern state of India) comprising of  anywhere from 11 to 20 or more strictly vegetarian dishes served on an organic plate ,the humble and natural banana leaf . They are a colorful combination of  rice, curries, pickles, snacks, fruits and desserts .

 For me Kerala Sadya is the true definition of a balanced meal.

Sadya is an art in itself ; as each and every item has a particular place on the banana leaf . First of all, banana leaf (hand long approx)  is laid narrow end pointing to the left.Pappadum/paapad is served on the extreme left followed by a small banana,Uperii/Banana chips,Sharakara puratti/sweet jackfruit chips,kerala mango pickle(kadu maanga)/ lemon pickle, ,puliingi/ginger pickle,khichadi,olan,pachadi,erriserry,Kalan,thorans,avial and Kerala Matta rice in the center .Every item is prepared in Kerala oil, the coconut oil exclusively.

Traditionally, people clad in ethnic dress (Settum mundu /set saree for ladies,mundu for men and pavada blouse for girls ,boys can wear anything) sit cross-legged on a mat laid on the floor , then the sadya items are specifically arranged on the Banana leaf .

Snacks (banana and jackfruit chips ) are eaten first .Then the parippu curry/lentil curry and ghee is poured over the rice followed by sambar curry and other curries ,one by one as one prefers. The meal usually ends with a mozhu curry/puliserry, which aids in digestion .Finally,dessert a.k.a Payasam is served which is to be enjoyed with the banana smashed into it and if it’s too sweet , little pickle is used to balance it.

No forks or spoons are used,food must be enjoyed by hand.The first full course meal is offered to God,Lord Ganapathy in front of a lighting Lamp (in a strict traditional way,if followed )and then the celebration begins in full swing. 

Sadya is considered to be one of the most detailed and meaningful grand meal prepared and presented by any civilization or culture in the world.

It is prepared especially for special occasions especially Onam,the main festival of God’s own country, Kerala , Vishu, the new year celebration of Kerala and Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries  mostly .

It is God’s own country’s , an extra special meal , a must try and to be enjoyed at least once in life. The meal is a celebration in itself !

The sadya items mainly consist of Kerala red rice,matta rice and curries like Parippu, Sambar, Rasam, Pulissery , ingi curry,Kaalan, Avial, Thoran, Olan, Pachadi, Mango pickle, Naranga curry, Papadum, plantain chips,jackfruit chips and the traditional dessert called Payasam.The items and the way they are served varies from region to region in Kerala.

The items ,part of a great sadya at my home are (more or less) :
  1. Rice (Ofcourse :D usually Kerala matta rice is used but I hardly use it ,I prefer white rice mostly)
  2. Papaddum
  3. Banana chips/Ethakka Upperi
  4. Sharkara puratti/Jackfruit sweet chips
  5. Kadumanga Achar
  6. Pavakka mezhukkupuratti 
  7. Pavakka Thoran
  8. 2 Vazha Pindi thorans/Banana stem recipes 
  9. Mambazha Pulissery with small mangoes 
  10. Carrot-Pavakka Thoran 
  11. Beetroot-Pavakka-Bitter Gourd thoran 
  12. Kovakka mezhukkupurati- 2 ways 
  13. Vendakka mezhukupuratti 
  14. Kerala Ishtu recipe 
  15. Chakkakuru Mezhukupuratti/Jackfruit seeds stir fry Kerala style 
  16. Beet greens/Beetroot leaves stir fry Kerala style 
  17. Sadya Parippu curry
  18. Thuvar parippu curry 
  19. Muringa ila curry 
  20. Kerala Tomato curry  
  21. Special Maanga pachadi/mango pachadi  
  22. Sambar
  23. Rasam
  24. Olan
  25. Kalan
  26. Puliserry
  27. Mathanga cherupayar |Pumpkin mung beans Erissery
  28. Ethakka cherupayar eriserry 
  29. Mambazha Puliserry|Maanga puliserry|Mango Kerala curry 
  30. Chenna Kadla Koottu curry
  31. Zucchini carrot cabbageThoran
  32. Purple/Red cabbage thoran 
  33. Cluster Beans thoran 
  34. Vazha Koomb thoran 
  35. Green Beans thoran Kerala style (2 methods) 
  36. Kerala special mushroom stir fry/Koon thoran 
  37. Aviyal
  38. Puli Inji
  39. Beetroot Pachadi
  40. Beetroot Pachadi WITHOUT coconut 
  41. Mango Pachadi
  42. Capsicum Stir fry
  43. Drumstick leaves and potato stir fry 
  44. Chembu Thal Thoran   
  45. Spicy Peanut potato fry 
  46. Potato Payasam 
  47. Falooda Payasam
  48. Parippu Pradhaman
  49. Mambazha Pradhaman 
  50. Mango semiya Payasam
  51. Banana Payasam
It is said that during ancient times there used to be up to 64 sadya items served on three Banana leaves per person Shocked and hopefully,I would love to make  64 items and update here gradually.

So, more coming up...... sadya with 64 items in progress.....