On this Onam Occasion…🌸🌼

Last week was Onam in Kerala; to be exact Wednesday 11, Sep was the Thiruvonam day.

Schools close for a week; office goers combine the Muharram holiday on 10 Sep, TuesdaySree Narayana Guru Jayanthi on 13 Sep, Friday and the 2nd Saturday on 14 Sep and make it a week long celebration too !!

There were pictures shared on WhatsApp of relatives having the traditional Onam sadya (meal) on banana leaves. It’s a vegetarian meal comprising of over 20 different items. Kids were dressed in the special Onam outfits and everyone wore happy smiles 🤗

Boat race in Kerala during Onam on the Meenachil river, courtesy WhatsApp
Boat race in Kerala during Onam on the Meenachil river, courtesy WhatsApp

We received a special package via Blue Dart on Onam from parents in Kerala – crispy banana chips and sharkara varatti (banana chips coated with jaggery)😋 And this heralded Onam in Bangalore….🌸🌸

Onam delights from Kerala - banana chips and sharkara varatti (banana chips coated with jaggery)
Onam delights from Kerala – banana chips and sharkara varatti (banana chips coated with jaggery)

I am personally not fond of the Onam sadya; for me, a meal to be complete, I require some non-vegetarian side dish. I am not alone, I know many others who sneak in a fish fry along with the veg sadya.😋

And not to be left behind in celebrations, over the weekend, two families, we bundled  around a table at a restaurant called The Permit Room, opposite Garuda Mall in Bangalore. My cousin wore the traditional Kerala sari, beige and gold; she looked amazing. It’s a place advertising Kodagu food (from the Coorg region of Karnataka); we thought of experimenting.

At The Permit Room, Bangalore
At The Permit Room, Bangalore

The starters were good, we tried the Iyengar Bakery Egg Puffs, the pastry was very light and flaky; the puffs disappeared from the plate in no time. Then came the Anjal Masala Fry (Seer fish fried and coated with masala), was very very good😋 followed by Andhra Chilli Chicken – the chicken was served on an appam (appam is from Kerala) – was tasty too.

Iyengar Bakery Egg Puffs at The Permit Room, Bangalore
Iyengar Bakery Egg Puffs at The Permit Room, Bangalore
Anjal Masala Fry (Seer fish fried and coated with masala) at The Permit Room, Bangalore
Anjal Masala Fry (Seer fish fried and coated with masala) at The Permit Room, Bangalore

The mains were a disappointment – the Chicken Ghee roast was not as spicy as we had hoped for (they said that it’s their take on the popular dish and not the authentic make, we should have heeded the warning😬). The Pandi curry (pork) again was a bit bland. The only main dish that was tasty was the steamed rice and Goan fish curry🐟.

The dessert was only half good. We ordered one dish Filter Kaapi (coffee) Pot de Creme – I was looking forward to the banana fritters. They arrived minuscule in size 😬 (pic below). The coffee flavoured mousse served in the coconut shell was tasty and was the good half.

Filter Kaapi Pot de Creme with banana fritters at The Permit Room, Bangalore
Filter Kaapi Pot de Creme with banana fritters at The Permit Room, Bangalore

I usually take more pictures of the food, but had downed a couple of margaritas and forgot about the pictures. Alcohol is part of the Onam celebrations; in Kerala, Onam is an occasion during which the Beverage Corp. in Kerala register record sales. 🍸

Another Onam special we look forward to are the movies📽. The Onam film releases are eagerly awaited and this time we decided on the Mohanlal starter – Ittymaani – Made in China”; just to clarify, Ittymaani is the name of Mohanlal’s character, the main protagonist of the movie, he was born in China, moved to Kerala, middle aged, still a bachelor, living with his mother. He wants to sent a message across to society…👲The movie had a few laughs, but nothing lost if you decide to skip it, strictly for Mohanlal fans. 

A giant Pookalam (flower carpet) at Vega City Mall, Bangalore, on the occasion of Onam
A giant Pookalam (flower carpet) at Vega City Mall, Bangalore, on the occasion of Onam

So, in all I think we managed the Onam celebrations well – food, drinks and movie😬. 🙄Honestly, the NRI malayalis living in the US or in the Middle East have better celebrations that what we had living just across the border from the state.

True, Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala is about the veg sadya, the Pookalam (flower carpet), the Thiruvathira (a dance form), celebrating together; switch on the TV and that’s what you see. For us in Namma Bengaluru, its was just another weekend get-together reminiscing about the Onam back home😊. Till next year…🌸🌼

Till next post, take care !!

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