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A traditional fare

Hotels in the city are gearing up to spread a traditional fare for the Onasadya this season

Photo: S. Mahinsha


ONAM, THE harvest festival, is no more confined to one's homes. Preparation of delicacies, which was once done days in advance, has been replaced with a quick visit to the nearest confectioner or baker.

The Onasadya, an elaborate affair at most homes, has also taken on a modern twist with increasing number of people opting to eat out.

Hotels in the city are gearing up to spread a traditional fare for the Onasadya this year too. Some hotels will host the sadya on August 28 alone, while others will hold the sadya on August 29 and 30 as well. The décor, say hotel authorities, will wear a festive look with athapookalam (floral carpets) arranged on the floors of the lobby.

Dishes

The sadya will have different varieties of pickles, dishes such as pachhadi, kitchadi, aviyal, thoran, thiyal, olan, kalan, erisseri, parippu and ghee, sambar, pulisseri, rasam and sambharam. Boli and payasams will be served for lunch in most of the hotels.

Since the clientele will include tourists as well, some of the hotels will also serve non-vegetarian dishes in the buffet. Desserts such as fruit salads and ice-creams will also be a part of the menu.

Says Tulasidharan Pillai, Executive Chef, South Park: "We will have an instrumental music programme and the restaurant will be decorated with flowers. The food will be served by staff dressed in ethnic clothes."

The fare served at South Park from August 27 to 29 will comprise the usual delicacies. The dishes will be vegetarian.

Non-vegetarians do not lose heart. The buffet will have chicken, mutton and fish prepared in the traditional way. On offer are some yummy mutton ularthu, chicken pepper fry and country chicken curry. Salim Shajahan, Executive Chef, Hotel Pankaj, and his team will be busy preparing for the Onasadya from August 23. The décor too will be spruced up for the festival.

Hotel Regency will hold the sadya on August 27 and 28 and will also undertake catering services. So, for those of you who wish to let your hair down and catch up with friends and relatives, the best bet would be to get the food delivered at your doorstep. Lunch on Thiruonam (August 28) at The Residency Tower will include vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, but these will be prepared in the traditional Kerala style. The Mascot Hotel is busy with preparations of their forthcoming food festival and the Muthoot Plaza will serve traditional Kerala cuisine with their lunch buffet.

Babu, Executive Chef, Hotel Regency, shares his recipe for pulinji with us:

Pulinji

Ingredients

Tamarind pulp: 1 cup (black tamarind)

Ginger: 50 gm (cut finely)
Green chilli: 50 gm (cut finely)
Curry leaves: as required
Jaggery: 20 gm
Asafoetida: a pinch
Fenugreek: 1 tsp (roasted and powered)
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp

Method

Boil the tamarind pulp with turmeric and salt till it becomes thick. Add the finely chopped ginger and chilli to the mix. Now, add the roasted fenugreek. Remove the tamarind paste from the flame. Fry the mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chilli. Add this to the curry. Mash the jaggery and add it to the curry. Now add a pinch of asafoetida and serve.

SMITHA SADANANDAN

Photo: S. Mahinsha

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