By listening to the word ‘Thali’, the first thought which strikes our minds is a various lip smacking dishes at one place. India is a country with diverse cultures and those cultures leave an everlasting imprint and aroma into their respective Thalis. A Thali holds everything one desire whether its spicy curries, rice, starters or desserts with sides of paapad, pickle, curd etc. . It has it all. Apart from this, every single Thali has its own specialty. You can get the reflection of culture in the food. So, let us have a look to distinctive versions of Thali.
Well known as ‘Rice Bowl of India’, you can easily find rice and rice flour in almost every dish, from savory to desserts. You can definitely find jalebis, rakhia badi and rice in every thali. Besides, the other items are rice, lal bhaji, fara, tomato-red chilli chutney, Angakar and Pan Roti, Panchratan Dal, Arbi Kadhi, gulgule, doodh fara and kusli. This yummy and not so common meal shall lead you to love this food for sure.
South Indian Thali
There is no fixed rule as to what comprises of a Thali. The south Indian Thali is Banana Leaf. Yes, the meal is served in a banana leaf which consists of all possible dishes such as Rice (compulsorily), Sambhar, Rasam, Pumpkin kootu, Potato fry, Medu Vadai, Fried Papad, Curd, Mango pickle plus a sweet dish. All the dishes are served hot and fresh.
The food of Rajasthan is mostly vegan and presents a remarkable assortment of mouth watering dishes. The use of spices is pretty high in comparison to other Indian dishes, but the food is utterly butterly delicious. Rajasthanis use ghee for food preparation. Dal baati choorma is an essential part of Thali. Other than this, Rajasthani Thali is inclusive of Chapati (India Bread), gate ki subzi, lauki ke kofte, dal tadka, Bajri ki Raab, Kadhi, one seasonal dry veg, Dal Chawal Kutt, Ghever (sweet), Balushahi (sweet), Chass (complimentary drink). People use a huge amount of milk and butter to avoid more usage of water as there is scarcity of water in Rajasthan being desert area.
Like there is an unwritten rule of including anything you want, Punjabi Thali also is not untouched of this. Yes, Punjabi culture has a pet name of foodie culture too. You can choose a huge variety of Vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes from plethora of choices such as Paneer butter masala, jeera rice, aaloo parantha, paneer tikka, aaloo-mutter, chole, tandoori chicken, Amritsari fish, Egg bhurji, dahi bhalle, dal fry, make di roti, sarso da saag, malai kofte, navratan korma, carrot halwa, kalakand, jalebis, pinni, soan papdi, sooji halwa and there is no full stop to this list. Make sure to make your choice in a balanced way to enjoy the most out of it.
Kathiawadi Thali or Gujarati Thali
This plate can be a bit nerve-racking. Reason being the names of these splendid Guajarati dishes are awfully hard to utter. A large number of dishes contain a sweet taste to them, even the ones which should are meant to be spicy! The signature dishes include Nylon Khaman Dhokla, Bajra Bhakri, Raasawala Dhokla, Methi Thepla, Kathiawadi Akha Adad, Sev tamata Nu Shaak, Kathiawadi Stuffed Onion, Ringan Batete Nu Shaak, Kathiawadi Dhokli Nu Shaak, Gujarati Dal, Chaas, Sukhdi / Gol papdi and Dal Dhokli, Khichidi Kadhi. Tasty, isn’t it? (Whether you understood the names or not, they at least look tasty)
The Bhojpuri or Bihari thali can blow your mind with its much crowded dishes in the Thali that you barely find any empty space. This thali comprises of mostly vegan dishes which are Bharbhara, Sattu Ka Paratha, Dahi chura, Kadhi bhari, Besan ki subzi/Besan Ki Machhli, Ghugni, Gurma/raw mango sweet curry, Tikari/Balushahi, Rasiyaaw and Sattu milkshake will get you lost on a scrumptious journey like no other.
Goan dishes have a bit of Portugal influence on both Konkan and Malvani types. Goa has to offer much more to a foodie, the main ingredients used are coconut milk, sea food and rice. Goan thali is decorated with dishes like Goan Rice Bhakri, Goan Daali Thoy, Plain Rice, Vegetable Vindaloo, Plantain Gravy/ Kele Ambat, Goan Kokum Curry / Sol Kadi, Kormolas and Goan Banana Halwa (the dessert).
Maharashtrian cooking style is known for its gently spicy food. There are dishes in Marathi thali like Aamras and Kanda poha that we normally use to eat but they are inseparable part of Maharashtrian Thali. This thali usually consist of some pre-decided things such as Varan Bhaat, Pav bhaji, Varan Fal, Roti, Sabudana vada, Danyachi Usal, Kanda poha, Aamras, Shreekhand, Sheera and Mattha.
The Haryanvi thali is actually very simple and is truly delicious! People use homemade ghee, butter and curd. The specialties are Bajra aaloo roti, Methi Gajar Ki sabzi, Kachri Ki sabzi, Hara Dhania Cholia, Kadhi ( without pakoda), Mixed dal, Mithe Chawal, Alsi ki Pinni and Kachi Lassi.
Since a huge variety of chilli is cultivated here, Manipuri thali is comparatively spicier than that of its sister states of North East. People love to have green food in their meal and grow vegetables in their own garden. Fish is a major part of Manipuri meal, they find a meal incomplete without a fish. The Manipuri thali consists of following dishes:
- Tan – Chapati or Puri
- Chak Angouba – fried rice
- Sana Thongba – Manipuri Paneer Curry
- Kelli channa – Spicey Yellow Peas
- Alu Kangmet – Dry Potato and Yellow Pea Curry
- Mario Nakuppi Pakoura – Spring Onion Pakodi
- Khamen Ashinba Athoomba – Sour Tomato
Give a shot to each one of them . . . After all our unique and diverse traditions are our roots which we must treasure in order to spread this wind to the world.