Onasadhya 

Onasadhya is the most delicious part of the grand festival called Onam. It is considered to be the most elaborate and grand meal prepared by any civilisation or cultures in the world. It’s a feast which if enjoyed once is relished for years.

Rice is the essential ingredient of this Nine Course Strictly Vegetarian Meals. All together there are 11 essential dishes which have to prepared for Onasadya. Number of dishes may at times also go upto 13. Onasadya is so elaborate a meal that it is called meals, even though it is consumed in one sitting. Onasadya is consumed with hands, there is no concept of spoon or forks here.

Traditional Onam Sadya meal comprises of different varieties of curries, upperies - thigs fried in oil, pappadams which are round crisp flour paste cakes of peculiar make, uppilittathu - pickles of various kinds, chammanthi - the chutney, payasams and prathamans or puddings of various descriptions. Fruits and digestives are also part of the meal.

The food has to be served on a tender Banana leaf, laid with the end to the left. The meal is traditionally served on a mat laid on the floor. A strict order of serving the dishes one after the another is obeyed. Besides, there are clear directions as to what will be served in which part of the banana leaf.

Indian Red Snail (Indrella ampulla) by Jayasankar Madhavadas
Via Flickr:
Indian Red Snail (Indrella ampulla) … one of the largest snails in India. These snails are common throughout the western ghats and can be seen in large numbers during the monsoons feasting on the fungi/mushroom that grows on the dead/living tree. It is native species and found only in the western ghats of India.