The holiday season is often associated with a streak of unhealthy eating patterns. No matter how many resolutions you make of getting back into shape, the damage is often irreversible. This, especially because holiday feasts are loaded with sugar, carbs and saturated fat!
Onasadya or the Onam feast, however, is meant to be soothing on the stomach with each item served in a particular order, for most effective digestion.
Well, what if there is a way to make healthy sadya, even healthier?
Onmanorama Food teamed up with Dr Gangadharan on the quest to give sadya a makeover. Dr Gangadharan is a man on a mission to make everyone switch to a raw food diet. He has been on a raw-food crusade for the past 22 years.
He started a small organic and raw food restaurant in Kozhikode and later, with support of friends, moved to Thiruvananthapuram. His restaurant 'Pathayam' has been running successfully for 12 years in the capital city.
Dr Gangadharan tells us why a raw-food sadya is a must-have on at least one of the four Onam days. It is rather necessary for a stomach detox after all the hogging. He also explains the ease and benefits of a raw-food diet where you don't have to worry about eating too much or burning extra calories.
This raw sadya has some of the regular sadya items but with a healthy twist. It does not even miss out on payasam and has three kinds of salads – vegetables, sprouts, and sweet. Chammanthi is without coconut and moru without curd! There is raw pachadi made of crunchy banana stem and achar with ground beetroot.
The plain rice has been replaced by aval (rice flakes) mixed with peanuts, veggies and some sprouts.
It may all sound very bland but condiments like kosher salt, pepper, fenugreek, lime, mint etc and balancing flavours like coconut, curd, and sweet fruits, make this feast just as tasty as a regular sadya but a lot more interesting.
There is one factor, though, that does not differ in the cooked and uncooked sadya – payasam is the showstopper either way. There are different kinds of cooked payasam like palada, pradhaman and what not but even the raw payasam leaves enough scope to experiment with a variety of fruits like guavas, bananas, pineapple and more.
Since all these items are served uncooked, you don't even need a kitchen to make this Sadya.
The bonus to this sadya is that it is a vegan one!
These are the items that go on a raw food sadya and the ingredients used in them (Preparation method is shown in the video):
Raw mango, tomatoes, chillies, and kosher salt, all blended
Beetroot ground with chillies mixed with chopped tomato, fenugreek powder and rice powder
Beetroot, pineapple, tomato, dates, jaggery, coconut, peanuts and honey
Sprouts of choice, chopped onions, cabbage, coconut, and lime juice
Grated carrots, cabbage, ladyfinger and other vegetables of choice with lime juice and kosher salt
Soaked aval with peanuts, sprouts, ladyfinger, pepper and lime
Curd, chopped banana stems, tomato, jeera, and coconut
Just blend raw mango, coconut, green chillies, mint leaves and kosher salt in a mixer and your moru is ready.
Mash your fruit of choice and add shaved jaggery and coconut milk and mix well.
You can also serve other fruits and cucumber slices with this sadya.