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How to serve South Indian Lunch in Banana Leaf ?

Lunch meal in South India for guests is served in Banana Leaf. It is believed that eating in banana leaf will helps in easy digestion. The bigger side of the leaf should be on your right hand side.  The leaf is washed with water before serving food to remove the dirt. 
        Dishes are served in an specific order and a specific spot is allotted on leaf for each dish. Top half of the leaf is reserved from left to right for salt, pickle, 2 vegetable dry curries(poriyal) , Kootu, Varuval, Vadai and  sweet .The order for vegetable curries, vadai and varuval can be interchanged. Bottom half of the leaf is served with  banana, appalam and rice.

Tamil Lunch in Banana Leaf

What to expect in Vegetarian Lunch Menu?

Traditional Tamil Vegetarian Lunch Menu consists of

White Rice :         Rice is the staple food of South India. Cooked Rice is the main dish. 
Sweet :               Start your meal with sweet.
Dal and Ghee :  A simple less spicy lentil and ghee is served to be mixed and eaten with Rice
Sambar :            Aromatic mixed vegetable lentil served next to dal. Mix and eat it with Rice
Kootu :               Lentil and vegetables are cooked together.
Poriyal :             Two to three dry vegetable curries are served as side dish.
Kuzhambu :       Spicy hot south Indian gravy served next to Sambar
Rasam :              Indian version of soup which helps in digestion. It is served next to Kuzhambu
Appalam :            Also called as papadum is prepared with urad dal and deep fried in oil.
Vadai :                Fritter type snacks.
Varuval :            Vegetable shallow fried fritters.
Payasam :          Also called as kheer or pudding.
Curd Rice :        The meal ends by eating rice with curd or butter milk. Alternatively curd rice is served.
Pickle :                 Spicy side dish to be taken with curd rice.
Banana :               It is eaten at the end of the meal. 

South Indian meal is a perfect balanced diet which accommodates cereals, pulses, vegetables, roots and tubers, fruits, oil /fat, sugar/jaggery in right proportion. You may be interested in my balanced diet.

Nowadays, we can find variety rices served in executive meals in many restaurants. It usually consists of a Biryani, 2 variety rices, sweet, papad and poriyal. 

Kalyana Sappadu menu / Virunthu Sappadu recipes  / kalyana samayal saadham / Traditional tamil Lunch Menu / Traditional South Indian Lunch / Banana Leaf Lunch Menu / vazhayila sappadu
Disclaimer : The above information is purely based on my knowledge.


  1. Just reading this makes my mouth water.

  2. Nice write up dear, its been years after I ate in vazhai ilai, as soon as go back to India I prefer to eat in it.

    Lovely picture... very clearly explained

  3. kudos for you taking time for that lovely picture.i too miss vazhai ilai.

  4. Thanks for sharing. At least I know I would fumble the next time.

  5. this is very useful n d post makes me tempting..

  6. I loved that way you have made the drawing!! Looks sooo good!!
    At my maasi's place also we used to eat on banana leaf. It was fun!!!

  7. Lovely post dear for a nut like me, I never knew how to serve in banana leaf or eat in one either... I mean i love to eat in banana leaf but I would not know how to close the leaf the right way... this is seriously a useful post for me ;) kudos to your efforts on this

  8. Really very useful information .. keep the good work going on :)

  9. Very Good Picture and Very clear Explain. thank You Very Much.


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