An authentic Kerala wedding feast otherwise known as Kerala Sadhya will be ready after the Kerala Nair wedding. This grand feast has around 28 dishes, along with sweet porridge or the traditional sadhya. These 28 dishes have a fair mix of all tastes - sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty varieties. It is specifically prepared this way to denote that married life is a combination of all and the couple must accept that.
Significance of The Grand Feast in Kerala Nair Weddings
The Post-wedding Feast in Nair Weddings is served on the plantain leaf as per the norm in South Indian wedding meals. The items include a variety of pickles, pappad, banana chips desserts, rice, sambar, avvial, curries, the iconic 'Paladaaprathaman' which is a sweet dish made of rice and milk cooked for hours which tastes best at weddings. All the items served are vegetarian varieties and are specific to the native of the bride and groom. The main food sources such as rice, coconut, vegetables used to be homegrown and purely organic during the yesteryears.
The Sadhya is a contrast to Malayalam Nair wedding. The wedding is short and the rituals are minimal but the feast is grand. It has a huge variety of dishes where all these 28 varieties need to be part of the wedding platter. The dishes are multi-coloured and served on a green banana leaf.
- Kaaya Varuthatha (Banana chips - ‘Nendram’ variety)
- Sharkara Varatti (Banana chips coated in jaggery - ‘Nendram’ variety)
- Chakka Varuthatha (Jackfruit Chips)
- Puli Inji (Ginger, green chillies and tamarind chutney)
- Manga Uppilittathu (Mango Pickle)
- Narangya Uppilittathu (Lime Pickle)
- Inji Thayir (Ginger and yoghurt curry)
- Olan (Ash gourd and coconut milk curry)
- Pachadi (Pineapple Curry)
- Ellisheri (Pumpkin Curry)
- Pulissery (Pumpkin or cucumber and curd)
- Kootu Karri (Pumpkin and Yam curry)
- Kichidi (Okra or Cucumber)
- Thoran or Upperi (Shredded Veg & Coconut dish - Mostly made out of Cabbage)
- Avvial (Mixed Vegetable curry)
- Kurukku Kaalan (Yam and raw banana curry)
- Chor (Rice)
- Neyy (Ghee)
- Parripu (Boiled lentils)
- Sambhar (Lentil Stew)
- Rasam (Spicy Tamarind Soup)
- Thayir (Curd)
- Paal Ada Pradhaman (Milk-based Dessert)
- Ada Pradhaman (Jaggery based Dessert)
- Paruppu Pradhaman (Lentil and Coconut Milk Dessert)
- Chakka Pradhaman (Jackfruit Dessert)
- Pazham (Banana - Consumed at the end, so that the grand feast gets digested easily)
Serving Order of the Sadhya
The top half of the leaf is dedicated for accompaniments and the bottom half for the mains. The dishes are served from left to right making it easy for us to eat. The serving order is as follows:
Top Portion of the Leaf - Starting from the left tip of the banana leaf Salt, Papadam, Chips, Puli Inji, Uppilittathu, Olan, Kalan, Erissery, Pulissery, Avial, Kootu curry, Thoran, Pachadi, Kichadi.
Centre Portion of the Leaf - Rice, Parrippu, Ghee, Sambhar, Rasam
Top Right Corner - All Pradhamans (Desserts)
The Kerala Nair Wedding Sadhya brings the wedding celebrations to a close as all near and dear are treated with this sumptuous banquet. These days in addition to the above mentioned being served during the feast, betel nut leaves and nuts are offered to the guests at the end.