Onam Sadya at ITC Gardenia

Onam, Kerala’s harvest festival is a ten day long celebration and also marks the start of the new year for Hindu Malayalis, and is usually celebrated by all the people from the state. The grand feast, that is prepared on the final day of Onam, called Thiruonam, is Onasadya. The Onasadya is an integral part of the celebrations, an elaborate meal served on a banana leaf, with certain specific dishes and sides, from salt to sweet, and numbering at least nine to even fifteen or more dishes. From banana chips and a banana (pazham), to puli inji (sweet and sour pickle side), pacchadi (a version of raita) and paripu (dal), with a host of delicious vegetarian dishes, some gravy, some dry, an Onam Sadya meal is a real treat.


Over the last couple years I have been lucky enough to be part of a close friend’s annual Onam potluck celebrations. This year, I was also invited to an exclusive preview of ITC Hotel’s Onasadya, which is being served in Bangalore at ITC Gardenia’s Cubbon Pavilion restaurant. This special #GrandOnamCelebrations Onasadya will be available across India, at ITC properties, for lunch, on Monday September 4th, which is the day Onam falls on this year. The feast will be served as a Thali, priced at INR 1550 plus taxes. On Sunday the 3rd, some of these Sadya dishes will be a part of the ITC Pavilion restaurants’ daytime Sunday buffet spread.


Expect the decorations and festivities to be on from Sunday, providing diners with a chance to try some traditional Kerala vegetarian fare, including Olan (ash gourd and red beans in coconut milk); Thoran (a dry prep with coconut, this version is with beetroot); Avial (thick gravy of Kerala veggies); and my personal favorite, Erissery (pumpkin and red beans in a coconut gravy). Kerala red rice, Kerala Sambar, and Moru curry, (a tempered yogurt based thin gravy that has mustard and curry leaf and is quite tangy), are other dishes you’ll be served as part of the feast. The meal will end with traditional desserts that are part of a Sadya – a variety of payasams. In this case, enjoy Elaneer Payasam (tender coconut dessert that is light and delicious), and Adai Pradaman (a thick prep of rice, jaggery and coconut milk.


Karavalli Turns 26!

If you ask for some of the best seafood in town, you’re more than likely to be directed to Karavalli, The Gateway Hotel’s (Residency Road, Bangalore) southern coastal food restaurant. Food from Kerala, Mangalore, and the Konkan coast have been delighting palates for many a year now. And Chef Naren, who began his career with the restaurant’s start, remains at the helm even today – synonymous with Karavalli for many of us. Celebrating their 26th anniversary recently, Chef decided that instead of the “usual” lunch/dinner special in honor of the occasion, he would open Karavalli for breakfast for one weekend, and serve specialty Syro Malabar Christian dishes. Thus it was that this past weekend saw many happy folks enjoying the beautiful space while indulging in a full on feast for breakfast.

Slide2 Continue reading

Monkey’s Coastal Adventures

There was Monkey, swinging on the branches of his favored tree that leaned into the river, thinking of what mischief to make next (for it had been awhile and the time for a food festival was anon). As he looked down at the water flowing along, inspiration struck. Why not take a stab at making some Coastal delicacies from the two southern states of Kerala and Karnataka, with his own very monkey twist? And so he went to his kitchen to muse, muddle, meddle – finally presenting to the world (well, Bangalore and Delhi): Coastal Adventures, a two-week long promotion featuring 15 fiery, tangy and rather delicious dishes.

Continue reading