Vaazhai Ilai commonly known as Ilai Saapadu is a traditional way of eating food on a banana leaf popular in South Indian culture. The food is always served on Ilai post a Pooja and during wedding ceremonies. The usage of Ilai dates back to at least 1500 years ago, mainly because of the size and shape of the leaf. Here are a few benefits of eating on a Ilai:
Germ Proof: The banana leaf consists of EGCG which are poly phenolic molecules that makes it anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal in nature, killing all the germs present in the food to a large extent.
Enhances the flavour: They have waxy coating which has subtle flavour that enhances the taste of food. When hot food is placed over the leaves, the wax melts and adds to the flavour of the food item placed over it.
Eco-friendly: Once the leaves are used as a plate, one can dispose them with no harm caused to the environment and since they are natural unlike plastic plates, banana leaves are eco-friendly.
Easy to use: These leaves are very hygienic, all it takes is sprinkle of water to clean them. You do not need to clean them with detergent unlike other kinds of plates thereby making them chemical free.
Water proof: Since South Indian delicacies have a lot of fluid items such as sambar, rasam, chutney, these leaves are water proof thus ensuring the water from these items don’t penetrate.
Cost and Space efficient: Banana leaves are quite inexpensive to purchase and the large size allows enough space for a complete Tamil saapadu.
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