Onam is a very special festival for the folks of Kerala and holds significant traditional values to every element that is associated with it. Pookalam, Onam Sadya, boat race along with dance and music ensure that the festival is celebrated with much fanfare. M Cafe, Marriott Whitefield decided to treat its loyalists from across the continent with Onam Sadya, a feast comprising of over 26 dishes which is served on plantain leaf. Chef Mahesh along with Chef Thirumal curated a wonderful multi course meal which was offered from 12th to 17th September. Since this was my first attempt at trying Onam Sadya I was looking forward to a great experience.
Onam Sadya is a vegetarian affair and it has some very unique elements of Kerala cuisine which makes the meal even more desirable. M Cafe offered some special non vegetarian dishes originated from the lands of Kerala to cater to a wider audience and these could be picked up from the buffet counter.
The folks here put in some extraordinary efforts to give you an exact feeling of festivities by setting up stalls showcasing traditional preparations in a setup which is usually seen in Kerala.
The guests are welcomed with tunes of festivities and this made us and every guest present there feel extra special.
Our meal started with the unwrapping of plantain leaf. First thing that is placed on the leaf is salt which is then followed by Inju puli (Ginger and jaggery pickle), raw mango pickle and Beetroot pickle to compliment your main course. Pachadi is similar to Raita and we got to try two variants here – Onion and cucumber Pachadi. We were then served with Vazha Koombu vada which is Banana flower and Bengal gram dumplings. Thoran is another coconut based Kerala specialty, it is usually paired with rice and I was so influenced by its taste that I finished it as it is 😛
Avial is thick mixture of assorted vegetables cooked with coconut and yogurt and I for some reason enjoyed it with Puri (might sound awkward but both went well)! Curries included Thakkali vattichathu (tomato based curry), Varutha eriserry (raw banana, yam and coconut) and Mampazha pulissery which is a mango curry cooked with coconut, cumin paste and yogurt.
Rasam and Sambhar were the usual add on which are part of every Sadya. All of this can be had with Choru – parboiled brown rice and Kerala Parotta.
We then came to the end of this rich meal with Banana chips, Banana and Ada Payasam.
I liked the Payasam which was not overly sweet and the mixture of rice and sugar was in line with milk and overall outcome was just amazing. I also tried the Rawa and Coconut Ladoos that made its way on to our table when we were having a casual chat with Chef Thirumal, and I must say they were so fine in texture and taste and had that richness you would expect from a Marriott product.
I would like to end the post on a happy note and let the picture do the talking. Can it get any better? 🙂
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