The Kerala sadhya is so special. It is an elaborate five-course meal with nearly 28 items to be on the “vazhayila” or the banana leaf. Crispy papadam, lip-smacking pickles, an array of vegetable curries, and rice to begin with nei and parippu, to move on to sambhar, rasam, buttermilk and of course the yummiest payasam. This parade of items is savoured by hand, sitting on the floor on a mat.
Among the vegetable curries, there is one special one on the right-hand corner of the leaf. Yes as you guessed each item has a meticulous placement.
I learned this the hard way from my dad who taught me -while serving you don’t sit, you bend down and place the dish gently neither splattering nor touching the leaf. This delicate art of balancing is my mother’s trademark.
Back to the right-hand side corner of the leaf- there perched is a small blob of unassuming white slightly thickened curry -“the kichadi.” The kichadi is a raw preparation with a fresh coconut yoghurt sauce and incorporated salad veggies.
The favourite among the kichadi for my father and my mother in law alike is the inji kichadi or ginger kichadi. As a matter of fact, this is a digestive aid more than a curry.
The ginger grated or blend into the coconut yoghurt sauce is not with the pungent spice of ginger. Yet this fluffy white curry is so tasty, you don’t want to stop till you lick it clean.
Being from the tropical cuisine there are plenty of uses for ginger in the cuisine as a dietary condiment. This useful warmth providing underground stem is quite easy to grow in your garden too.
Here are some highlights of why ginger is good for us-
- ginger has been used as a digestive aid in Asian cuisines
- it is used to alleviate nausea especially during early trimester of pregnancy
- ginger is a well-known anti-inflammatory and recommended in small doses for menstrual pain relief.
- the antifungal properties of ginger have always been a reason for its inclusion in the tropical diet.
- a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol levels has been found in the use of ginger in the diet by a few studies.
- However, overuse of ginger can cause heartburn.
Incorporate the ginger in this mild kichadi into your menu the upcoming Vishu sadhya season and see the magic on the banana leaf.
Here are some items you may want to look at if you are making a sadhya.
and if you have any specific recipes on the sadhya you would like to try, leave a note so I can put it up for you.
Try out this adaptation of the inji kichadi on a wedge salad by Ali
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