You can’t imagine a traditional South Indian meal if it’s not served on a banana leaf. But have you ever wondered why? Especially when it comes to Onam Sadhya, you’d surely wonder, what’s the reason behind serving a delicious array of dishes on a banana leaf. Well, read on to satisfy your curiosity.
Why A Banana Leaf?
A custom that dates back thousands of years, the use of the banana leaf is as much practical as it is scientific. Did you know that the upper section of the leaf is used for guests while the lower one is used for the family? Unbe’leaf’able!
The banana leaf may look ordinary but it’s like the Star Lord of the plant kingdom. The leaf itself has a waxy coating that’s packed with polyphenols like epigallocatechin gallate. What that really means is that has a fancy-sounding coating that helps fight cancer and is extremely good for the body. When hot food is placed on the banana leaf, the waxy coating melts into the food adding flavour, aroma and loads of goodness. Pretty cool that our ancestors knew all of this without the Internet han?
Did you know that every part of the banana plant can be used – right from the stem to the roots to the flower to the fruit? The banana leaf is not just healthy, it’s also eco-friendly and sustainable. Talk about clean eating! When it comes to food, have you wondered how and when biryani was invented?
Cooking the Onam Sadhya is no mean feat. An average Sadhya has 26 dishes. Add to it the 50 dishes that have to be washed after. Not a problem with the banana leaf! You just fold it after your meal and throw it away. The leaf also has a place for the vast menu that’s being cooked which makes it ideal. Saves time, it’s cost-efficient and very practical.
There’s no question of soap being used on the leaf. All the leaves are just washed in water and ready to be served on. The banana leaf is 100% natural and just so natural. They’re also hygienic.
5. Nature’s Non-Stick Pan
The banana leaf is nature’s version of a non-stick pan. Ghee and oil does not stick to a banana leaf, which avoids making your meal messy. Plus this one doesn’t come with cancerous Teflon coating. 100% natural and 100% delicious! Hmm, this makes me wonder why we use plates at all? The banana leaf does seem like a better idea all round. But until then, remember all these amazing facts as you enjoy your delicious Onam Sadhya.
(Image Credit – India Pages)
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