The 10-day long Onam festival is celebrated with much joy and happiness by Malyalis all across the globe. Onam Sadhya is an indominable part of this harvest festival and is always served on banana leaf, but have you ever wondered why? Scroll down to know!
Onam is a 10-day festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour by the Malayali community residing in India as well as abroad. The festival marks the beginning of harvest and return of King Mahabali to his beloved state Kerala. The festival calls for celebration, togetherness, traditional sports, decoration and of course, feasting. Talking about feast, we can’t forget about Onam Sadhya, an indominable part of the festival. Onam Sadhya is more than just a delicious dining experience as it carries mythology, fosters togetherness and reminds us of our roots and tradition.
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Onam Sadhya is a multi-course vegetarian feast, also non-vegetarian in some regions, consists of over 25 dishes and is served on a banana leaf. But why banana leaf? Well, not just Onam Sadhya, many South Indian meals are often served on banana leaf. Have you ever wondered why it is so? Let us tell you that serving food on banana leaf is a custom followed for thousands of years and has a more practical and logical significance than you can ever think about. Did you know that the guests are served food on the top part of the leaf while family members are served on the lower part of the leaf? Interesting, isn’t it?
It is just not about the traditions and customs but there are some scientific reasons too. Let us take you through six reasons why food is served on banana leaf. Have a look and thank us later!
We always try to contribute our bit towards environment conservation. Serving food on a banana leaf could be one of the easiest steps you can take. Banana leaves are biodegradable as well as eco-friendly. Using them as plates reduces the need for disposable plastic or paper plates, contributing to a more sustainable environment. Also, every part of the banana plant I.e., right from its stem to its flower to its root could be used.
Adds An Aromatic Flavor
Banana leaves impart a subtle, pleasant aroma to the food served on it. This aroma can enhance the overall dining experience by adding a unique and pleasing fragrance to the meal. Banana leaves have a wax coating and when hot food is served, the wax melts while giving a aromatic-rich flavour and pleasant experience.
Has Antimicrobial Properties
Banana leaves are rich in antimicrobial properties. These properties can help inhibit the growth of bacteria on the leaf's surface and thus, potentially add a layer of food safety to the meal. As per some studies, the leaf helps fight infections and food served on the leaves can reduce several illnesses.
Banana leaves are heat-resistant and sturdy, and this property makes them suitable for serving warm and hot foods. They can withstand higher temperatures without becoming soggy or losing their structural integrity. Besides, banana leaves are thick and have no hole and this prevents that food from littering.
Increases The Nutritional Value Of The Meal
Banana leaves, when used for serving food, have a subtle impact on the nutritional quality of the meal. They are rich in polyphenols and when the food is hot, these polyphenols get mixed with the food and enhance the nutritional value of the meal.
Easy To Handle And Chemical Free
Since Onam Sadhya comprises of around 26 dishes, it gets perfectly placed on the giant banana leaf. Also, there is no trouble washing the utensils. Just fold the banana leaf after your meal is over and throw it away. Banana leaves are not just cost-efficient and practical but are also chemical-free. There is no requirement of cleaning the banana leaves with soap as the leaves, when washed in water, become ready to be served. Banana leaves are natural and hygienic.