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Royal Sadya in Thrippunithura


Thrippunithura, home to the descendants of the erstwhile royals of the kingdom of Kochi, is an eminent historical landmark in Ernakulam. Long reputed as the ‘city of temples’ it was also an important exemplar of architecture and arts, for which the Kochi rulers were avid patrons. The Sree Poornathrayesa temple is a popular religious spot in this district. Thrippunithura, is also renowned as a lively centre of learning for  classical Carnatic music, Kathakali and Mohiniattam as well as percussion instruments like the mridangam, chenda and maddalam.

When the royal family settled in Thrippunithura in the 18th century and cemented its connection with the town, a wave of migration of culinary masters from across South India followed.

Here’s an excellent opportunity to delve deep into Thrippunithura culinary expressions, while feasting on the legendary Madapilli cuisine prepared by a descendant of the royal chefs of Cochin.

Why you will love it

  • The town is still home to some of the most renowned masters of the famed Kerala vegetarian culinary tradition and masters at preparing Kerala’s iconic traditional feast - the Sadya. 
  • These culinary masters trace their lineage to the royal chefs of the famed kitchens of the Cochin Royal Family - the Madapillis.
  • You'll get to experience a traditional Sadya on a banana leaf with a full spread complete with dishes like - thoran, olan, pachadi, kaalan! This would be a Sadya like no other where you'll also get to try specialities of the royal kitchen like Ellu Curry, Varikasseri and Adamanga.

What you will experience

Cochin's culinary history is as fascinating as the colourful history of this quaint port town which was once the global hub of Spice Trade. Within this rich culinary tradition, some of the simplest and tastiest dishes come from the Royal Kitchens of Cochin - the famed 'Madapillis'.

Discover stories secret recipes from descendants of the royal chefs of Cochin over a lavish lunch with the Cochin royal family. Did you know there’s a whole ritual attached to tucking in to the traditional  Kerala sadya, a fest truly meant for a king, though largely composed of 26 vegetarian dishes, though there was time when  the  thali would comprise a whopping 60 dishes? Served on a banana leaf and eaten with one’s fingers of the right hand, there was a ritual even attached to the placement of the leaf, the serving, the sequence of the dishes – and wrapping up of the meal.

While seated for the feast you find that the tapered end of the banana leaf should is facing your left side; the dishes are served from left to right, but you will consume them beginning from the right to the left. There’s a delicate etiquette involved in ending the meal as well. If you are satisfied with the meal, at the end of it you will wrap the upper half of the banana leaf towards the lower half. If the visitor is not pleased with it the leaf is wrapped in reverse. Remember, side dishes such as avial and thoran are as important as the main ones. The journey of this delicious culinary repast is sure to linger in your memory for years to come.

What further enhances this wonderful experience is your meeting with a heritage and travel enthusiast, whose work on heritage conservation and travel are focused on the erstwhile Cochin State, which is slowly disappearing from collective memory along with its built heritage. 

He draws his extensive knowledge through his deep connections with the Cochin royal family as his grandfather is the titular Elaya Raja of Cochin. Time permitting, your host will take you to the residential quarters and The Hill Palace Museum before you head for the culinary immersion.

On Request | 5 Hours | Culinary Tours


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