Sunday, August 22, 2010
Onam Sadya at Spice Village
Onam is the biggest South Indian festival commemorating Harvest (late August to early September), and the legendary return of King Mahabali. It is usually celebrated with fantastic vegetarian banquet (Sadya), gorgeous vibrant flower arrangements (called pookkalam) in various mandala like shapes, snake boat races, music, elephant parades, dance and more. This Hindu festival that revisits the legend of King Mahabali receiving Lord Vishnu's blessings is celebrated by almost every Keralite regardless of religion. Growing up, in North America I was fortunate to belong to a local Indian community that is now known as HMS, where we would celebrate Onam every year. Every family would bring vegetarian food, the elder men would do a reenactment of the boat race with an energizing song, the ladies would do a few typical dances, and the kids would also do some typical dances. The food is always a highlight for me, because the all vegetarian spread was delicious. Here in NYC, I have celebrated Onam Sadya at Spice Village in Tuckahoe. Don't let the name fool you, it is not overly spicy, it is full of flavor and freshness! Every person I have suggested this place to has gone back for more. Today, in honor of Onam, they had a lovely spread of typical South Indian Vegetarian items, Papadum (like an Indian chip), and the Lamp in the front of the restaurant was lit. If you are interested in delicious, flavorful Indian food, visit Spice Village in Tuckahoe, super Yummy! ~ Namaste and Happy Onam!