Ayurvedic Perspective of Sadya (Onam Platter) Ayurvedic reference from the Ashtavaidya Nambis say- ‘Kaale hithamit bhoji Kruth, Chamkraman kramen vamasaya’ meaning ‘He who eats a balanced food and on time is healthy, The sadhya, therefore, is mostly prepared early morning. 1/n
The adage is: ‘Kaanam Vittu Onam Unnanam’ which means ‘one must have the Onam lunch even if they have to sell everything’. The principles of Ayurveda are applied in choosing the ingredients,the cooking utensils, the eating patterns,and has all elements involved in the sadhya.2/n
Eating the sadhya facing East is based on cosmic energy points, and that is why a sadhya can only be eaten with the right hand. The banana leaf is laid out with its tip pointed to the left and the items are served starting from the top left corner of the leaf signifying 3/n
North East which is most auspicious. The tips of our fingers are considered to invoke the five cosmic energy elements (Pancha bhootas) and that helps in warding off any negativity to befall from the food, hence no cutlery is used to eat a sadhya.4/n
Sitting cross legged on the floor to eat a sadhya is a derivative from Yoga, Ardha Padmasana or Sukhasana is the posture ideally suited to help channel the blood flow to the stomach and ease digestion primarily working the hand eye co-ordination like a dream. 5/n
Onion and garlic were traditionally never used in the sadhya as they were considered Rajasic foods (increases aggression). The sadhya would involve only Sattvic food using fresh and local ingredients which conceptually aligns with farm to table as we understand today 6/n
Puliinji or Injicurry is a mix of jaggery and ginger. The ginger counters food poisoning. Sambhaaram or Moru (buttermilk) is served at the end of the meal to regulate body temperature. Dry ginger (Chukku Vellam) or Cumin (Jeeraka vellam) water for blood purification and 7/n
controlling acid reflux. As opposed to the West where the primary tastes are sweet, sour, salty and bitter, Ayurveda identifies two additional tastes of pungent and astringent. The first taste that should prepare your taste buds for a meal is often sweet, 8/n
hence jaggery plays an important part in preparing the accompaniments (Kootu curries). We begin the sadhya with the Sharkara Upperi (jaggery coated chips) and end the meal with a pickle (usually the sour lemon pickle) after a Payasam to prevent sluggishness. 9/n
Satiety from the grandeur of a sadhya is expressed after folding the empty banana leaf respectfully towards our side with salutations to the chef in Malayalam “Balebesh”!
@Itishree001 @DeepaShreeAB @mamatarsingh @1420kunal
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22 Aug
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