I have yet to see an Indian restaurant where at least one diner hasn’t ordered a thali if its on the menu. Thali is the Indian name for a platter, a round plate filled with a selection of dishes. This colorful assortment of flavors is a feast fit for a king, especially a hungry one!
This particular thali I ate at Saravana Bhavan came with the traditional South Indian fare. All items are vegetarian.
- White rice (staple of every thali)
- Choice of fried puris (deep-fried bread) or chapattis (bread cooked on a skillet)
- Fried Appalam or Poppadums (similar to a giant crisp; made of lentils and rice flour)
- Sambar: Lentil based vegetable stew in a tamarind broth
- Rasam: Spiced tomato soup in a tamarind broth
- Yoghurt (freshly prepared daily)
- Buttermilk (thin yoghurt drink prepared with curry leaves and chopped green chilies)
- 2-4 vegetable curries
- Fresh Mango Pickle
- Pachadi: Grated cucumbers or carrots mixed with yoghurt and spices
- Payasam (no thali is complete without dessert; this one is made of rice, milk, cardamom and sugar)
Since a thali comes with unlimited refills, I was stuffing my face like I hadn’t eaten in months. It was just so so good! My taste buds were going bonkers with the smells and flavors of the motherland. Clearly, the thali was working its magic on me. 🙂
If you are looking to try your first thali (a South Indian thali to be exact), or just on the lookout for a great vegetarian food platter, search for your nearest Saravana Bhavan. Its pure delish, and has the stamp of approval from the South Indian herself.