Yoga Ambassadors experience ‘Yoga Sadya’ in Kerala houseboats

The third day of the Yoga Ambassadors Tour, organised by ATTOI, has also been special with the yoga sadya or satvic lunch offered for the yoga ambassadors at the houseboats in Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala. The lunch was served after the team boarded the Spice Routes’ houseboats. The delegates got a warm welcome by the crew of the houseboat lead by its Managing Partner, Jobin J Akkarakkalam. “We are having the time of our life. We are enjoying the magnificent beauty of the backwaters. Everyone is so friendly and kind. The Kerala backwaters are just unique and wonderful,” says an excited Sandra Barnes from Worcestershire. “If you have never been on a houseboat like this in Kerala, it’s time. Come and enjoy the backwaters of Kerala,” says Nicole Renee Matthews, who celebrated her birthday alongwith other team at one of the houseboats. Helen Stephani has been planning to come to Kerala since 2012, is all excited and says, “this is an amazing  experience”.

The feast started with tulsi tea sweetened with honey and Pachakkari Thaalicha soup (vegetable soup tempered with baby shallots and curry leaf in ghee). The main course included Chakka Puzhukku (Home-grown jack fruit stewed and reduced with grated coconut), Kappa Masala Curry (Tapioca cooked in mild Kerala spices), Moru Kachiyathu (Buttermilk cooked with turmeric and ginger), Ilumbanpuli Manga Paal Curry (Bilimbi and raw mangoes cooked in delicately spiced coconut milk), Idiappam and veg masala (rice hoppers served with thick, mixed vegetable curry cooked in coconut milk), Rice, Samar, Mathanga Erussery (Thick mash of pumpkin cooked with red beans), Kaaya Mezhukkupuratti (Kerala plantain cooked with small onions and select spices), Tomato rasam (Sour tomatoes broth with ginger, garlic, turmeric and black pepper), Inchi Puli (Ginger reduced with sweetened tamarind and pappadam pickle. The lunch concluded with Pazham Pani, a traditional Syrian-Christian after dinner digester with ripe bananas soaked in perfumed molasses syrup.

Meghan Verbeek from Australia, who’s travelling to India for the first time, is all enthusiastic about the houseboat ride and the satvic lunch offered by Spice Routes. “I love the food and the ride. It was really wonderful. Since I am a pure vegetarian, I loved the food they served on the boat.” Of all the items on the menu, it was the buttermilk variety that she said she liked the most. “I am more than happy that we could serve a special lunch to them, compared to the usual houseboat lunch which includes pearl-spot and other non-veg dishes,” said Jobin, who was more than happy explaining each dish to the delegates.

Spice Routes has arranged three of its three-bedroom luxury houseboats to welcome the delegates. The yoga Ambassadors boarded the houseboats from the Akkarakkalam jetty of Spice Routes. The team took a short one hour ride and got down at Nedumudi to board their bus to Kumarakom.

Recipe of Pazham Pani:


Ripe Small bananas – 6 numbers
Palm Sap –1 litre
Rose water – 5 drops
Cardamom – 5 pods
Water – 100ml

Method of preparation

Take a thick bottom vessel and pour the palm sap (un-fermented sap of toddy palm) and heat gently. Stir constantly to avoid burning of sap.
Add water while stirring
Take the vessel off heat once reduced into half litre and add crushed cardamom pods and allow to cool.
Once cold, add rose water

Take a clean glass bowl and place chopped bananas in the bottom.
Pour the above made syrup over and serve cold.