Hotels and caterers in Thiruvananthapuram are upbeat about the Onam season

They have opened bookings for Onasadya kits which have the complete unfold of the grand feast

Onam celebrations could have modified a fantastic deal, however the grand Onasadya, with its mixture of flavours, continues to reign supreme on the day of Thiruvonam when the festivities attain a crescendo. The 26-dish (or much more) unfold with finger-licking payasams served on banana leaf is maybe the pièce de résistance of the competition for a lot of. Despite the pandemic, a number of accommodations and caterers are in excessive spirits and have opened bookings for Onasadya kits.

“The Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September) is considered auspicious for many events and hence is a peak season for caterers as sadhya orders for engagements, housewarmings and weddings come. Then there are bulk bookings for Onasadya from offices, businesses, residents’ associations and the like. As everything has been on a standstill mode for over four months, Onam has come as a breather,” says Anilkumar SK a.okay.a Kannan of Akshaya Caterers.

Considered a pioneer in introducing Onasadya kits in the metropolis 10 years in the past, Kannan admits that he had apprehensions about opening bookings for sadya due to the pandemic. “However, Akshaya decided to go ahead after enquiries from our regular clients,” he provides.

Typically, a sadya equipment is supposed for 5 adults, and about 200 to 600 kits (that’s 1,000 to three,000 sadyas) are bought by the caterers yearly. “I am not sure whether we will get more business this time. Customers keep asking us about safety precautions we have taken while cooking and packing. We have assured them that there is no compromise on the State Government’s guidelines. It’s about keeping the business afloat as a number of daily wage labourers are dependent on our enterprise. They are left with little work because if a wedding had a headcount of 1,000 during the pre-COVID phase, now, as per the protocol, it has been restricted to 50,” says Rajalakshmy of Anandam Home Caterers.

Priya Jayachandran of Mangalya Catering and Events additionally factors out that there is no such thing as a different possibility for the caterers however to go forward in conformation with the pointers. With accommodations and eating places getting into the fray, there’s intense competitors.

Priya provides that whereas catering items like hers often serve takeaway sadya kits on Uthradam and Thiruvonam days, there are accommodations that present sadya for 5 to 10 days. Although most of the catering companies and accommodations insist on a minimal order of 5, small enterprises have kits for 2 and three, providing a various variety of payasams.

Sweetening the deal

Sanal KS, proprietor of Mother’s Veg Plaza, which has a sadya unfold 365 days of the yr, says that since solely takeaways are doable this Onam, they’ve elevated the variety of payasams in every equipment. “Last year, we served 10 payasams for the sadya served in the hotel, while takeaway kits had two. But there will be five payasams this year. It’s a question of survival for us,” says Sanal.

With few takers for dine in, high-end accommodations and boutique eating places have additionally introduced sadya packages, with takeaway and residence supply choices out there.

What’s on the menu

  • A sadya equipment for 5 folks is often served in reusable, food-grade plastic containers and has 20-28 gadgets, together with banana leaves. This yr, the charge for a equipment falls in the vary of ₹1,000 and ₹2,300.

“We have never given sadyas as takeaways. So all arrangements are in place to make it a grand culinary experience. In addition, payasams will be available in bulk, including varieties of pradhaman (ada, kadala, unniyappam, banana and dates), Ambalappuzha paal payasam and tender coconut payasam,” says Sashi Jacob, vice-president (meals & drinks), The Muthoot Skychef & Villa Maya. Hilton Garden Inn will serve sadya on all the 10 days of the competition, beginning August 22. “We are giving discount for family packs. There will also be attractions such as beetroot payasam and jackfruit payasam,” says Sougata Ghosh, supervisor (meals & drinks).

Meanwhile, challenges are many in the new state of affairs. Constant temperature checks, sanitising of arms, use of masks and gloves and social distancing are obligatory in the kitchen and packing space. “A lot is at stake for all caterers as we invest a lot during the season. The total expense for containers to pack the sadya alone come to around ₹3.5 lakh. Then there is the rent for the auditorium or hall we book to pack the dishes,” says Kannan.

Safe supply

Social distancing must be ensured at assortment factors, says Kannan, including that his workers members will ship the equipment to the buyer’s car. While Anandam has three supply factors this yr, Mangalya has given a timeslot for every buyer to gather the kits.

Rise in costs of greens and bananas are additionally a reason for fear. “Plantain leaves are generally expensive during this time,” provides Priya with charges going as much as ₹10 per leaf.

However, all of them hope that the sadya continues to draw households. Nirmal Kumar, managing companion of BIG Kitchen, says they’ve gone all out selling their sadya this time. “We have introduced digital code for contactless delivery,” he says. “Last year, it was a low-key affair and we sold just under 200 kits. But this time, our target is 500-750 kits, with three payasams and more curries.”

Some takeaway factors

Mother’s Veg Plaza, Bakery Junction (kits for 2 or 5, August 31): 0471-4012255

Mangalya Catering and Events, , Poojappura (August 31): 9387812150, 7907792271

Anandam Home Caterers, Karamana (August 30 and 31): 9846011907

Akshaya Caterers, Sasthamangalam (August 31): 0471-2722501, 9847063783

BIG Kitchen, Kowdiar (August 31): 9895145450, 9946697920

Villa Maya, Eenchakkal (August 29 to 31): 9746746450, 8129543444

The Muthoot Skychef, Airport Road (August 29 to 31): 9746746441, 9746746410

Hilton Garden Inn, Statue (August 22 to 31): 8111886843/44/46

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