To mark the onset of spring and the beginning of the Malayalee New Year, Zambar is celebrating the Vishu festival by serving an authentic ‘Sadhya’ festive meal on 4th April,17.
The New Year is celebrated in other parts of India as well. It is referred to as different names in different states of India –Poila Baisakh in Bengal, Baisakhi in Punjab, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, etc.
As is typical of Indian festivities and celebrations, food plays a very important role on New Year too. In Kerala, Vishu is the time to prepare a traditional meal and enjoy it with family and friends. The vegetarian feasts organized during Vishu are called ‘Sadhya’. There are necessarily 23 dishes that are prepared and are served traditionally on a banana leaf. I also learnt that Kerala cuisine uses more of curd as a souring agent as compared to Tamil Nadu which uses tamarind.
I started my meal with a tomato rasam which was not too sour or spicy. A big banana leaf is laid out in front of me on the table – this I’m told is what we will eat the meal on. Steamed Kerala Matta Rice (or red parboiled rice) served with Sarkara Varatti (banana chips coated with jaggery), Banana Upperi (Kerala style banana chips), pickles, Unniappam (small round sweet snack made from rice, jaggery, coconut and banana), Thoran (a dry coconut milk preparation using jackfruit bitter gourd and beans), Olan (white gourd, ginger and coconut), Beetroot Pachadi (can be compared to a raita made with beetroot), Kaalan (thick coconut milk tempered with curry leaves and mustard), Inji curry (tangy ginger curry), papadum, banana, sambhar, avial to name a few. I ended the meal with Pal Payasam which was not too sweet and addapayasam made with jaggery served on the same banana leaf. After I end my meal, I am guided to fold the top half of the banana leaf over the lower part and fold it.
I felt as if I have sneaked quietly into a Malayalee family’s private celebration and was feeling so blessed. This is an awesome way for all the homesick Malayalees to reconnect with their roots and a lovely opportunity for the others to experience the Sadhya meal.
Rating (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 | Ambience: 3.5 | Overall: 3.5
Meal for One: Rs.750++ | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes| Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes | Timings: 12noon to 11.30pm |Date: Till 14th April 2017
Address: Zambar, Ambience mall, 3rd Floor, DLF Phase 3, Sector 24, Gurugram, Haryana.
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.