Savya Rasa, the South Indian fine-dining restaurant that opened last month in Kotturpuram, Chennai, is offering a lavish Onam Sadya as part of this year’s Onam celebrations. With two outlets in India, the first being in Pune, Savya Rasa has the privilege of being named one among the Conde Nast Top 50 Restaurants. Titled Onasadya, the traditional spread of over 28 delicacies from God’s own country is an elaborate affair that is specially curated for those looking to indulge in the luxury of authentic, ethnic flavors.
Apart from the Sadya, Onam celebrations at Savya Rasa include cultural activities and traditional décor that takes us back in time. A truly South Indian décor with generous Onam-themed inputs like the pookalam and antique lamps, the interiors add to the Onam experience.
Lending a helping hand
The best part about Onasadya at Savya Rasa? You will be contributing to help flood-ravaged Kerala get back up on its feet. Savya Rasa will send a part of your bill amount to Kerala’s Chief Minister’s Disaster Fund. No celebration is complete without doing our part for our fellow humans who are in need, and Onasadya gives you one such opportunity.
The elaborate spread
While the courteous staff starts filling up our banana leaf-covered plates with the dishes of the Sadya, we sip on a glass of jeera water, excited to begin. We were told the names of every dish that was scooped on to our banana leaves and they went as follows – upperi, nendhram chips, inji puli curry, mango pickle, thoran, aviyal, mezhugu peratti, erissery, kaalan, olan, kootu curry, beetroot kichdi, pachdi, pulissery and a fried chilli. The dishes looked colorful and pretty, and the final scoops of the semi-polished brown rice of Kerala, known as kutthari completed the picture. There was also a plate of vada and pappadam served separately.
While the upperi was the regular banana chips, the nendhram chips were banana slices fried and coated in sugar. The inji puli curry is a classic relish and a star of the Sadya, made of ginger, tamarind, and jaggery. The thoran was a mix of vegetables sautéed in coconut oil and tastes like the poriyal that’s common in Tamil households but with a coconutty flavor. Made with grated coconut and vegetables, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves, the aviyal was a simple yet delicious dish. The mezhugu peratti was a dry, spicy dish made with tiny cubes of yam and the erissery is made with black chickpea and vegetables with a savory taste to it.
While kaalan is a dish made of raw banana, pepper, yogurt, grated coconut, jeera, green chillies and turmeric, olan is a subtly-spiced dish of white gourd and beans in coconut milk. Kootu curry, as the name says it, is a flavorful, spicy gravy made with a mix of vegetables and chickpea in a thick stew-like form. The beetroot kichdi was a rich pink gravy that tasted surprisingly savory and the pachdi was mildly sweet because of the pineapples cooked in a coconut gravy. The pulissery, a curry of buttermilk and cucumber is one of the sweetest dishes on the plate, though it appears spicy to the eye.
The Kerala rice was served with parippu and generous amounts of ghee which was replaced with more rice but with Kerala sambar this time, and of course, even more ghee. Every dish when tried with the rice tasted absolutely delicious and the mélange of flavors blew us away. There is also rasam and curd to pair with the rice and one can opt for plain rice as well.
A dessert unlike any other
Once we polish off our banana leaves, we are served with a smaller plate of dessert, which comprised of a couple of bananas, paalaada pradhaman and pazham pradhaman. While the former is made of handmade rice flakes cooked in jaggery, the latter is a super sweet dessert made of bananas, jaggery, cashews, and raisins. The interesting part is how we eat it. We are instructed to mix portions of both the pradhamans, mash in a chunk of the banana and crumble the pappadams on top of it. The taste, after all of it is in the mouth, is simply delicious. There’s a little saltiness from the pappadam and a little sharpness from the ripe bananas, giving the dessert great flavor and texture.
Our experience, on the whole, was one unforgettable indulgence, transporting us to the land of backwaters, coconut trees, and boat races. ‘A Culinary Journey Through Southern India’ goes their tagline and their delicacies pay homage to Kerala’s vibrant cuisine and tradition.
Onasadya is on from Mon, 13 August to Sunday, 26 August from 04:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Lunch during 15th -24th is priced @799++ and lunch and dinner during 25th – 26th is priced @999++. Take away is also available when you pre-order.