Chef Pillai Recalls When Virat Kohli Relished Leftover Sadya
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It's common knowledge that discarding food is an unhealthy practise. Yet, how many of us truly take measures to curb food waste? While the answer remains unclear for most of the world, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli is currently being lauded for his efforts in preventing food waste. The details of the incident were shared in a viral tweet circulating on social media, where Kohli chose to consume leftovers to avoid food waste. Read on to learn more.

In a recent viral tweet shared by the handle @Johns., Chef Pillai from Kerala took centre stage with a heartwarming personal note. According to the post, the charming anecdote took place back in 2018 when the Indian cricket team visited Trivandrum for an ODI match and was lodged at the hotel where the renowned chef worked. "A beautiful story between Virat Kohli and famous Kerala chef Pillai in 2018. Kohli is not just a great player; he is a great human as well," read the caption of the tweet.

In the tweet, Chef Pillai recalled the experience and wrote, "We had sourced the best fresh seafood from the Arabian Sea and the Ashtamudi Lake and prepared an expansive seafood platter for the Indian team. Kohli, being a vegetarian (and also the only vegan in the squad, if I remember right), could not have any of those. So, I suggested the best vegetarian food that Kerala has to offer—our Sadya." 

Sadya is a traditional Keralan feast that boasts a dazzling array of chutneys, pickles, lentils, curries, and gourd preparations. Along with an assortment of savoury dishes, the spread features a tantalising mix of sweet, tangy, sour, and spicy flavours that come together to create a truly unforgettable culinary experience.

Chef Pillai's personal note provided further insight into the heartwarming encounter. The Sadya, a lavish spread comprising 24 dishes, was the result of tremendous effort and dedication from the staff. Since Sadya is a huge meal, Kohli couldn’t finish it all and asked the chef, "What are you going to do about the leftover food?" In response, Chef Pillai explained that it was a one-time order and the leftovers would have to be discarded, to which Kohli instantly asked, "Can I have the rest for dinner?"

Initially, the chef politely declined his request, citing the hotel's strict food safety regulations and the BCCI's guidelines regarding players' meals. However, when Virat insisted on having the leftovers for dinner, the staff eventually obliged. The heartening anecdote quickly gained traction on social media, with the Twitter post garnering a staggering 270K views and over 5K likes in just one day, along with several comments from impressed fans.

In the post, the chef also revealed the dishes from the Sadya that Kohli particularly liked, including pavakka (bitter gourd), chena (elephant yam), cheera (red spinach), kachil (greater yam), and kumbalanga (ash gourd).