India is a land of diversities and in a country where every cuisine is stuff that legends are made up of, the best way to experience the diversity of tastes is to indulge in a thali. We get you the best of the best…
Rajasthan is practically synonymous with the word thali. The most famous of all thalis in India, a Rajasthani thali is a riot of textures and flavours. Round batis, glistening with melted ghee, mixed dal to go with it & sweet brown churma to throw you off the predictable trail of taste. Hop on next to gatte ki subzi, best had with paper thin rotis (with lots of ghee) and sangri ki subzi. Next is the turn of rice with kadi and lasoon achar bringing zing to this play of tastes in your mouth.
Though thalis in Rajasthan are primarily vegetarian, you just may find non veg options too at times. The thali will include steamed rice that goes brilliantly well with the famed laal maans and safed maans (both meat preparations). Papad adds to the whole tasteful experience.
A classic way to wind up the royal thali is with the traditional ghewar or gond ke laddoo. Welcome to royalty!
Not known to many but the Bengali thali is an interesting experience. A truly authentic Bengali thali consists of a lot of fish preparations. So, you typically have Pooris & steamed rice with Macher Maatha Diye Daal (lentils with fish head), Patoler Dorma, Ilish Bhapa & Rui Macher Kalia; these are all different fish curries. Rice & fish is beautifully complimented with baingan bhaja (slices of eggplant fried in mustard oil & served sprinkled with salt & red chilli powder; simple & divine!). As true to every thali, papad is an essential accomplice to the sinful taste! If your thalis have raw mango chutney, then trust me you are the chosen one!
Vegetarians take heart…your thali will consist of moong & masoor dal, potatoes cooked with poppy seeds and a rather tasty cabbage ghunto.
Round off this wholesome meal with mishti doi (sweet curd) or the famous Rasugulla of Bengal. A meal truly fit for a king!
South Indian Thali
Food in various parts of south India is varied with each region having a distinct flavour & choice of ingredients. However, in general, the south Indian thali has won hearts across continents & is served everywhere. Thus, there is no rule as such about what constitutes a south Indian thali, with a lot depending on availability of ingredients. But, a general outline is pretty much laid out. So, your thali will have two dry vegetables (one usually being avial), one vegetable curry (could be cucumber curry; a personal favourite!), two soupy curries (if it’s pulissery, then it’s your good karma in play! Usually it’s sambar & rasam which is again very good). These could be served with steamed rice, tomato rice, lemon rice & surely curd rice. Raw mango pickle brings in the spark, while crushed papadums bring crunch to the taste! Wet & dry chutneys (like cahamandi podi) lend magic to your meal. Wipe all this down with payasam (the dessert divine!).
Oh! My favourite part of a south Indian thali?….that it’s served on fresh banana leaves! Takes the experience to the next level.
Note: Rajasthani & South Indian thalis are usually served with curd based drinks like lassi & buttermilk, to aid digestion.
So pick up a thali today and be prepared to feast like a king!