Dubai : Emirates is celebrating the beginning of the Malayalam calendar with a burst of flavours, making it even more special for Keralites. From September 1 to 13, the airline will serve authentic Onam dishes across all cabin classes on all its flights to and from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Emirates’ chefs and catering teams have curated delicious festive menus with the distinctive flavours of the season that remain true to the taste buds even at 40,000ft.
There will be Enjoy traditional appetisers such as kaya varuthathu or crisp banana chips, sharkara upperi, banana roasted in jaggery, and kondatta mulaku —fried sundried chillies steeped in yoghurt. Dips include kaalan made of coconut, fresh yoghurt and yam, cucumber pachadi, a garnished salad, and puli inji, a sweet and tangy ginger-based chutney. First and Business Class passengers will also be served Kerala-style pappadam and piquant mango pickle.
Those travelling from Dubai to Kerala in Economy class can relish one of two main courses: Alleppey chicken curry or sambar and kootu, both paired with thoran and rice. Tickle your taste buds with the palada payasam – a much-loved milky sweet pudding with roasted nuts. First Class customers have one more main course option: mutton pepper fry.
Staying true to the festive season, all meals will be served on banana leaves placed in trays and dish liners across all cabins to make Keralites feel more at home and the sadhya more authentic.
That’s not all. For entertainment, there will be a selection of popular Malayalam movies and music on ice – the airline’s award-winning inflight entertainment system.
Emirates flies twice daily to Kochi and 11 times weekly to Thiruvananthapuram.
Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala, and is its national festival since 1961. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
For the uninitiated, Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This usually falls between August and September as per the Gregorian Calendar. Onam usually lasts from four to ten days. First day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruvonam are most important of all.