Mother’s Veg Plaza serves plain and elaborate Kerala sadyas

I tell my friends to grab a light early breakfast as I have a surprise for them for lunch. We all gather at a friend’s place by noon and head for a sadya? No, it is not a wedding and no, Onam hasn’t come in a second time around this year. We are going to have sadya at a restaurant called Mother’s Veg Plaza, near the Russian Cultural Centre at Bakery Junction.

We arrive at the restaurant at 12.15 p.m. A waiter tells us that lunch is served at 12.30. We decide to wait for our meal at the restaurant, which resembles a large mess hall. It’s 12.45 p.m. and our food hasn’t arrived, and soon it is 1 p.m. and there’s still no sign. “Lunch will be served shortly,” say various waiters who hustle in and out of the kitchen to get two catering orders they had received ready. The animated conversation across our table is drying as our tummies rumble.

Finally, banana leaves are placed at our table by 1.10 p.m. and by 1.15 p.m., food is served. A waiter spreads parippu vada, chakkara varratti, banana chips, pappadam, inji curry, banana, a lime and a mango pickle, pachadi, kichadi, olan, aviyal, a cabbage-parippu thoran, potato curry and steaming hot rice on our leaves. Another waiter arrives bearing equally hot parippu curry. All is forgotten and forgiven as we heartily tuck in to our meals. The easy conversation resumes at the table.

The parippu vada is a prefect starter to our sadya. It is coin sized and crispy. All the accompanying dishes to our lunch are perfectly seasoned and tastes as if grandma had made them.

Our waiter, who is happy that we speak a smattering of his mother tongue, Hindi, is extra attentive to our group and serves us seconds and thirds as soon as we polish the dishes. He pours sambar and after some time pulisherry on our rice. We ask him to serve us rasam in glasses. The rasam, however, lacks punch, hence, falls short of tickling our taste buds with the spicy-tangy flavour it’s associated with.

Hot ada pradaman is followed by boli and semia payasam; a perfect way to end our meal. Priced at Rs. 90 for a sadya, the Kerala sadya is a steal. Says Sanal K.S., the proprietor of the restaurant: “When I started Mother’s Veg Plaza, I wanted the restaurant to be a novelty. Thus, we only serve vegetarian sadyas. No longer do people have to look for a festive occasion to dine on a sadya. Those who do not want such an elaborate meal can order the regular Kerala meals (Rs. 60), while those who enjoy a bit of North Indian flavour to their food can ask for Special meals, which is a fusion of North, and South Indian dishes. A soup, chappathi, paneer masala and either a kuruma or gobi Manchurian is part of the Special meals.”

The restaurant is open daily from 12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. Contact: 3013013