Rendezvous With Giant Indian Thalis’: Get On The Journey of Sumptuous FOOD
The quintessential Indian Thali is a cultural exploration on a plate. A complete meal in itself, a thali packs in small portions of a multitude of dishes on one salver. Each region has its own take on the Thali.
As you move from one region to another, you’ll be welcomed with a new platter, with its own elaborate menu. That makes the thali, where you get to eat a little bit of everything, the best way to explore any regional cuisine.
Assamese cuisine confluence the hill habits of adding fermented products and dried food in their cuisine. This cuisine makes use of very few spices & very simple cooking is done. Assamese use the bell metal wares called Kahor Thal for placing the meal on a platter.
Since it has a long coastline, the cuisine has a lot of seafood. The food is very spicy. There are a variety of chutneys and pickles. People here are Rice eaters. The Hyderabadi Biryani, Mirch ka Saalan are some of the most popular dishes of this state.
Arunachal Pradesh food differs from tribe to tribe. Toward the eastern side, people are dependent on bamboo and other leafy vegetables which are strictly boiled. Fried food is not very popular as people like to eat either boiled or smoked food.
It’s made up of various veg and non-veg dishes served on a platter. It consists of Rice, dal, brinjal fry, pepe bata, shukto, rohu fish curry, pineapple chutney, dahi, payesh(a dish mainly cooked with rice, milk, and sugar). The food is mostly cooked in Mustard oil.
Items change according to the season but rice, roti, achar, chutneys, daals, milk products remain constant. Popular ingredients used in cooking are mustard oil, paanch poran, rice flour, chana daal, poha, sattu. The unique flavor in the cooking comes from mustard oil.
It’ll surprise you with its multitude of flavours. The crispy bharbhara, dahi chura, golden brown sattu ka paratha, ghugni, the kala channa curry, besan ki sabji, besan ki machhli, sweet raw mango curries will take you on a culinary journey like no other.
It’s a mix of both non-tribal, tribal food since there are a lot of tribes here. Rice and rice flour make the base for most of their delicacies. Typical Chattisgarh Thali has Rice pakoras, Dehati Vada, Muthiya, Fara, Angakar and Paan Roti, Dals, Kadhi’s etc.
The fish Thali is a feast. Fish, curry, rice or ‘sheet kodi nustea’ as it’s locally known, is a medley of seafood dishes including dry shrimp curry, crab bhaji, mussels and sabji (veg), served upon a big, round silver plate, a Thali. (1: Non-veg 2: Veg)
Himachal Pradesh serves numerous delicious foods. Due to extremely cold weather, they consume Non-veg more than veg foods. The typical foods here are called Pahari food which literally means mountain foods. They have a mixed influence of Punjabi and Tibetian food.
Dham is a traditional food. It starts from rice, moong dal, madrah of rajama cooked in yogurt, boor ki kari, and dark lentil (Mah dal) topped with Katta (sweet & sour sauce) made of tamarind and jaggery. Dham ends with meetha baath/Sweet rice mixed with nuts.
It’s an experience of the real rustic & earthy flavors. The thali has simple delicacies, oodles of homemade desi ghee, and a large glass of lassi to finish the grand affair. Popular cuisines include Kachri ki Sabji, Khichdi, Hara Dhania Cholia, Bajra Aloo ki Roti.
The delicacies are served in a platter. (A combination of 11 local delicacies)Some well-known food items in the Jharkhandi platter are chhilka, dhuska, kurthi daal, red rice, maduwa roti, lal saag, khassi ka jhol, dehati chicken, dudhiya, and dudh peetha.
Jammu ki Dogri Roti, Basmati Rice, Chana Dal, Dahi wale Aloo, Kaddu Ka Amble, Meethe Chawal, Maah di Daal, Rajma, all cooked in Traditional peetal ki Handi to get the authentic taste. This is the best comfort food and very tasty.
Traditional Kashmiri thali consists of Wazwan, which demands a lot of preparation. In fact, preparing Wazwan in itself is considered great art. A lot of time and effort is spent on the making of this special feast. The cuisine of Wazwan has near about 36 dishes.
Some of the finest delicacies form a part of Kashmiri cuisine. It’s dominated by a variety of powdered and whole spices. Onion, garlic, fresh ginger are not used much. Roganjosh, Goshtaba, and Rista are also famous delicacies. Crisp, tangy, nutritious, spicy, wholesome & exotic.
It’s famous for some typical dishes like Bisi bele bath, Ragi roti, Akki roti, Saaru, Huli, Vangi Bath, Kesari Bath, Ragi mudde and Masala Dosa. Coastal Karnataka is famous for its seafood curries. Among the sweets – Mysore Pak, Chiroti, and a variety of Payasam.
Served on a banana leaf, from top left to right is salt, pickles, chutney, two kosambaris and two palyas. From bottom left to right two varieties of rice such as vangi bhaat, lemon rice, followed by rice with sambhar, yogurt pachadi, rasam, a sweet dish (payasam), and buttermilk.
It contains all the main dishes of Gujarati food. It has one variety of dal, kadhi, 2 to 3 vegetables, salad, puri, chapati, rice, Khichdi, chutney, sweets, pickles, papad, and buttermilk. Most of the items are sweet.
It has Nylon Khaman, Dhokla, Rasawala Dhokla, Bajra Bhakri, Methi Thepla, Sev tamata nu Shaak, Kathiawadi Akha Adad, Kathiawadi Stuffed Onion, Kathiawadi Dhokli Nu Shaak, Ringan Batate Nu Shaak, Gujarati Dal, Dal Dhokli, Khichidi, Kadhi, Chaas Sukhdi/Gol papdi.
The traditional Thali includes Aamras, Kosimbir, Bhakri roti, Bharli Vangi, pitla(chickpea flour curry), Amti (spicy and tangy toor lentil), Pandhra Rassa (chicken in white gravy), Mutton Kolhapur, Sabudana Vada, kheer or Basundi.
It has a mix of colorful dishes and some local hits. The elaborate menu consists of Dal Baati Churma, Missi Roti with Gatte ki Sabji, Panchmela Dal, Laal Maas, and Bajra Roti, flavored buttermilk. For desserts Gondh Ke Laddoo and Malpuas.
The use of Makkhan in most of the dishes signifies a rich Punjabi meal. It consists of Amritsari Kulcha, Pindi Chhole, Dal Makhani, Jeera Rice, Paneer Makhani, Lassi. In Non-veg Butter Chicken, Amritsari Machchi & Naan. The thali is a lot like the people of Punjab.
Kumaoni Thali, Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand greets you with different aromas coming from the forests & roadside eateries. The Kumaoni thali is a regional culinary gem. It has unique delicacies such as Bhang Ki Chutney, Aalu Ka Jhol, Kafuli, Phaanu, Baadi, Chainsu, Ghar ka parantha.
Awadhi & Mughlai cuisines of UP bear similarities to Kashmir & Punjab. Cities have their own specialties. Lucknow is famous for Biryanis, Kebabs, sweets, Kanpur for Kakori kebabs, Agra for petha, Mathura for Pedas, Banaras for Paan, Rampur for non-veg & Pasanda dishes.
Kerala Sadhya Thali
The food is traditionally eaten by hands and served in banana leaves. The use of coconut oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and coconut milk are used in cooking. For dessert, there’s payasam (a sweet made with rice and lentils) to complete the meal.
Plain boiled rice is served along with other dishes collectively called Kootan which includes Parippu, Sambar, Rasam, Pulisseri, Kaalan, Avial, Thoran, Olan, Pachadi, Mango pickle, Naranga curry, Papad, Banana, plain curd, plantain chips. 3 or more varieties of Payasam are served.
Chettinad Thali, Tamilnadu
There is no classic Tamil thali as each district and community in the state has its own signature recipes but the Sappadu & Chettinad does have some much-loved staples. Each dish is a culinary specialty and this Thali is an adventure in itself.
The thali can fulfill up to 4 people which comprises more than 50 dishes. The thali comes for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. It’s a fully loaded meal. Begin your feast with starters and indulge in the main course thereafter. If you have some appetite left, go for desserts!
It has a wide variety for both veg and nonveg lovers. Mustard oil is very important in the cuisine but ghee is also preferred. The thali includes Phakala, Janta roti, Dalma, Aloo Posto, Baingan Chakata, Phulghobi kosha, Tomato khatta, Phala Rasgulla, and Kanika.
Madhya Pradesh Thali
Every city in Madhya Pradesh the ”Heart of Indian” has a specialty dish. The cuisine includes Dal bafla, Butte ke kees, Butte ki sabzi, Indori Poha, Bhopali carrot peas pulao, Mawa Jalebi, Kopra patties Indori shahi Shikanji with lots of nuts.
Some Other Famous Thalis
Khali Bali Thali. It’s 56 inches in diameter and offers 32 varieties of food. The majestic thali offers dal makhani, butter chicken, Paneer Tikka Ajwaini, Hara Bhara Kabab, Soya Chaap Punjabi, Paneer Tikka Kalimirch, Kadhai Paneer, Malai Kofta, Kumb makai, etc.
Bahubali Thali: It includes 11 types of main course dishes, 2 dals, 2 types of yoghurts, a bowl of butter, 6 desserts, 3 types of rice, 2 types of chapati, pickle, six papads, salad and two large glasses of Patiala lassi. This thali is enough for satisfying hunger of 4 people.
Dara Singh Thali: It has Aaloo Paratha, Chur Chur De Naan, Makki Di Roti, Murg Musallam Rice, Lamb Yogurt Curry, Chicken Amritsari etc. The accompaniments include 4 types of beverages, 3 chaat, 1 soup, pickle, chutney, 7 desserts. More than 40 items are served in this thali.
Chhappan Bhog Thali: Chhappan Bhog consists of Lord Krishna’s favourite dishes. These are makhan mishri, kheer, rasgulla, jeera ladoo, jalebi, rabri, mathri, malpua, mohanbhog, chutney, murabba, saag, dahi, rice, dal, kadi, ghewar, chila, papad, moong dal ka halwa, pakoda, khichadi, brinjal ka sabji, lauki ka sabji, poori, badam milk, tikkis, cashews, almonds, pistachios, and elachi among others. There are also variations wherein some people offer 16 kinds of namkeen, 20 kinds of sweets and 20 kinds of dry fruits.
Featured Image: LBB
The article was published by Vandana Jayrajan on her twitter handle @VandanaJayraja