Thali is a plate that is usually accomplished by small round bowls called katoris, though there are also thalis made with built-in compartments for different dishes. Thali is a word that means a complete meal that is served on the plate. Small bowls are placed along the rim of the plate in which the gravy kinds are served. The dry veggies and sides are served directly.
The idea behind the thali is to offer all the six different flavors of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent, and spicy to provide a balanced nutritious meal. It comes in several varieties depending on the specific location. They generally contain traditional dishes alongside native specialties. It focuses on local, seasonal ingredients.
The name thali has acquired its name after the utensil it is served mainly in a plate and many bowls (katoris). But it is not a meal, nor a utensil. It is a tradition that represents the culture on the plate. On that plate, many traditions were handed down from generations of the cooks. This meal is always very wholesome, even though its complexity and quantity of dishes can vary.
Usually it consist of 14-15 dishes which include salad, snacks, lentils, curries, seasonal vegetables, which are served with flatbread and rice it is accomplished with chutney, raita, papad, and pickle. Sweets and desserts too are served along with the meal. Paan or mukhwas ends the meal. It has several varieties depending on a specific location. Thali is also not necessarily only vegetarian.
History Of Thali
India is a country where you can experience a variety of dishes and have an extraordinary culinary adventure. In the early days, it was only reserved for royalty. Emperors feasted on the bountiful meal that was made by their royal cooks. It was known as the rich man’s food and the only elite and rich people feast.
It reflects the country’s love for food as well as cultural and culinary homogeneity. Every region and state of India has a localized thali with different from each other but reflecting the same concept it has all flavors in one plate.
There are many reasons and meanings behind the thali. The history of thali is more royal. When thalis were served, everything was served once and no one could get up until everyone had finished their food. Traditionally it has the way of serving it is either clockwise or anti-clockwise depending on the region and culture of origin.
It emphasis on portion control. It serves a gigantic meal with a limited portion with lots of flavorful delicacies and satisfies your taste buds. It does not make you eat too much because it gives a limited portion of food with various varieties. Thus, the idea behind the thali is to essentially have a balanced meal, with all flavors as well as nutrients to keep you healthy. Thali not only celebrates the diversity in Indian cuisine but also provide taste and nutrition.
Read More : Authentic Indian Cuisines
Indian thali is a balanced meal providing carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Dairy also plays a vital role in Indian cuisine, it is used in form of ghee, curd, cream, or buttermilk. The combination of grain, lentils, vegetables, chutney, raita, papad, salad, and pickle makes the Indian thali wholesome. While lentil and grain combination is considered to provide complete proteins necessary for survival, good health, and immunity. The presence of all six tastes in Indian meals makes it nourishing.
It is the most elaborated form of wholesome meal that’s also a feast for our eyes, with its array of colors and bright bowls full of different types of food which appeal to you to eat. It’s a quintessential eating experience in India, whether as part of a cultural tradition or everyday life.