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Banana leaf as a plate in south India?

I've heard they use a banana leaf as a plate in south India.

What is the merit of using a banana leaf ?

Do they have any religious reason ? Or any other practical reason ?

I'm Japanese.

19 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Well, some people use stryfoam containers, some people use banana leaves. Same concept, no washing up after eating.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Banana Leaf Plates

  • 1 decade ago

    Hi,

    It's not only in India that they use banana leaves as plates. I'm from Malaysia, and with Indians being one of the major race of this country, eating from banana leaves is somewhat part of the Malaysian culture too.

    It's a wonderful experience eating on banana leaves, I truly recommend that you try it. Don't worry about cleanliness because the leaves have been washed properly, of course. Here in Malaysia, the demand for 'banana leaf rice' is high; the presentation of one's food on the leaf is already such an enticement (in my opinion, everything looks extra delicious!), and it does taste as good as it looks!

    I've quoted from my sources listed below to give you a better understanding on the usages of banana leaves as plates:

    "1) What are the benefits of serving food on banana leaves?

    a) In past no plates / banana leaves were easily available and was big enough to contain the food. Also, there is no particular smell in the leave that can put you off.

    b) Easily disposable and environment friendly (clean). Burn them and the ozone layers are not affected.

    2) What is the reason for food to taste better when served or cooked on banana leaves?

    a) As there is no chemical reaction the food keeps its value intact, it can take heat and react well without tearing apart by the heat.

    b) Tasting better has it is considered green leaf (adds value to food just like any other greens) and it contains the leaf taste to make it better. Easily manageable on heat."

    Hope it helps!

  • 1 decade ago

    If you get a chance take ur breakfast, lunch and dinner in banana leaf. you will find a very good taste of the stuff you are eating.

    The reason for using this is you can throw it immediately after use. you need not wash and reuse just like we use the plates.. no religious or practical reason, but it is very hygenic.

    Even in some hotel they keep this leaf over the steel plate and serve.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Actually, banana leaf is also used in the Philippines as a huge plate especially if the feast is "salu-salo" or a food gathering with a lot of people but in an informal occasion...

    I do not know if it invovles religiously but it's sometimes a delicious way of preparing foods if placed on a banana leaf and followed by "kamayan" or eating using bare hands ^_^

  • 1 decade ago

    Vanakkam

    there are only hospitality and healthy reasons to use banana leaf. It is not used for religious purposes.

    Banana leaf contains all kind of vitamins if we pour or put hot meal on that, the vitamins of leaf will get into the meal and it gives extra energy to us.

    it is advised to use fresh/tender leaf as the dust and germs are in minimised state. Using banan leaf is eco friendly.and enhance the taste also.

    the banana leaf is placed in such a way that the narrow part is before your left hand side and broader side is before your right hand side. Many of us are using right hands to eat. So it would be easy to eat freely with broader side.

  • Mano
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Hearty welcome Sir, Thank you very much for your keen interest in Indian traditions.

    From the unknown past, banana has been a part of the Indian culture esp. in the South India. Planting a banana tree in the house is considered very important as the need arises on a daily basis. Banana leaf is a long leaf which has a long rib in the middle. When in tree, its life span is from 35 to 165 days. It is used for various purposes.

    Banana leaf - Offerings:

    Banana leaves are used as a plate or a tray to place the anything that is offered to God. Offerings can vary from fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, flowers and cooked items. It is considered unpolluted.

    Banana leaf on Occasions:

    Banana leaf is an easily and readily available plate in India, especially in South India. The tradition is to eat on banana leaves during any occasions. It is easily available and readily disposable. That is the reason why, the banana leaves are used in functions like Marriages/weddings, Birthday celebrations and other celebrations at home. These used banana leaves are given to the cattle, which is again disposed without causing much pollution and also quickly.

    Banana leaf at home:

    Eating on a banana leaves is considered hygienic and healthy. Any guests will be served on a banana leaf which is considered humble and respectful. It is even more respectful to give food in the blunt end of the leaf. Usually, the head of the family have food in this leaf or the center person of the occasion has food in this leaf. Since it is long it will be cut into sizes enough to serve food items. Usually the blunt end will be cut in the shape of a tongue. and the rest like flat mats.

    Eating on Banana Leaf:

    Usually varieties are cooked during occasions. So the banana leaves have enough spaces. The basic Items like salt, pickle (2 varieties, chutneys (2 varieties), dry sweet. (Four tastes are usually served bitter is not served as it is not considered right to serve bitter taste on occasions). Then you have aviyal, thuvayal, poriyal - all side dishes; Then the main courses Dal, kootu, curry, sambar, rasam, tamarind curry, and curd. Payasam, Poppadom and vada, banana plantain are usually served.

    No forks, no knives and no spoons:

    Since it is served on the leaf that is tender, you cannot use spoons, forks or knives. One's fingers (right hand) are one's forks, spoons and knives.

    According to traditions, one has to eat carbohydrates (rice) first, then protein(Dal), iron rich(vegetables) and fat (curd). This is the order food is served and consumed as well. It is even more traditional, to sit on the floor in a mat and having food. One has squat like one is sitting on padmasana.

    But nowadays, people find it difficult to sit on floors for various other reasons like physical uneasiness, old age etc. So they will be werved on table & chairs. Eating on banana leaf is still considered auspicious. It has medicinal properties too. Eat in Banana leaf consistently, your face, skin will have shining radiance.

    Other uses of Banana leaves:

    Banana leaf and fire victims:

    Fire victims, who are having third degree burn are made to lie on this leaf which will be cool for the person. The fieriness of the burn will be minimized to a greater extent.

    Thus Banana leaf has a great part in day-to-day life of people in South India.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, it is used as a plate in south India. one of the main reason is that on occassions when too many people are be fed, it saves time to clean the plates. and the easy avilability another factor.

  • 1 decade ago

    i live in south India,they do eat in a leaf without a spoon.that's really rare,Indians r supposed 2 eat with hand,the reason is banana trees r found in large no.'s.

  • 1 decade ago

    YEs its true.no religious reasons. if u keep some hot foodstuff in a banana leaf it releases or emits the vitamin-c it contains. so th people get more nutrition and enrichment when they use banana leaves instead of plastic plates.

    Source(s): i am a south indian
  • 1 decade ago

    May be due to the fact that this is cool and looks better than a crappy plastic plate or a standard ceramic plate

    and also the fact that they have a plenty of it

    I m just supposing

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