Have you ever tasted your meal on a banana leaf?
No…. then you should try it! Yes… then share your experience with us, we will be delighted to read it.
Rich green leaf topped with white rice & colourful dishes like sambar, chutney, chana masala with sweet- sour pickle & papad with a big fish in one corner & a sweet in another, brings out the taste buds alive! Making you feel so hungry, even a person on a diet will be tempted to forget the routine and ”bas toot paddo” (in Hindi) means will just go for it!!!
Incredible India, is really Incredible in many ways! It has left, specially foreigners awe struck and deeply impressed in so many ways and eating on banana leaf is one of them! Of course in some other Asian countries too, its practiced!
India has a long standing tradition to serve meal on banana leaf for festivities, religious pooja (prayer ceremony), weddings and even death. We have always walked hand in hand with nature whether its our eating habits, medicines, beauty secrets, etc . Eating in plastic or artificially made wares was never a life style for us before….in fact for royal functions, they even used brass & silver utensils! For most Hindu religious ceremonies, they use a cut banana tree itself and also its leaves are used to package the giveaway prasad (eatables offered to god first and then to public).
This practice of eating on banana leaf one finds more in south Indian states currently like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and rarely in Goa & Maharashtra. On special occasions like wedding & other religious ceremonies, where huge crowd gathers including street urchins, which requires large amount of food & utensils, there banana leaf acts as a price saver and is bio degradable too .
It has thick coating so it can handle good amount of food easily. It also helps prevent many lifestyle diseases besides adding more nutrition & aroma to the food served on it. It is inexpensive, easy to make into a plate, doesn’t need any washing and decomposes in nature adding manure to soil.
Eating on banana leaf in Kerala has been my long pending wish, still unfulfilled. Even though in Goa luckily I got an opportunity to taste once when I attended Ganesh Chaturthi celebration at my friend’s house with traditional food (Veg). I though believe, there is something very unique and special about Kerala food that beckons me!
I had a golden opportunity when I visited Kerala in 2017 for ‘Splash’ in Wayanad along with another colleague. All arrangements of meal were made at a hotel in Calicut, but time was not in our favour as our bus got delayed and we had to rush to railway station for our train. So missed it….
I take it as a reason to go back to Kerala and eat to my heart’s content! Of course there are many other wishes which “Gods own Country” has to fulfil like watching snake boat race, taking special Ayurvedic oil massage, eating all kinds of unique dishes / sweets prepared out of banana, wear traditional saree with long hair plait (with artificial hair, as my actual hair is very short), etc……
When in India next, do make it a point to savour your hot food served on banana leaf, using your hands and just don’t care what others would think about how you are managing! Enjoy your meal!!