The culinary richness of a state can only be gauged by trying out its food, and nothing better than its thali to get a sense of its local culture and diversity. Thali is a sum of all the staples specific to a certain area and usually that comprises an array of lentil broth, veggies and meats, pickles with a portion of rice or roti, as the case may be. What adds to the charm of eating a thali is that every state has such strikingly different offerings, combinations and use of spices that it is almost like meeting up the locals and sharing a meal with them.
Celebrating the specialties of every state, we give you a peek into the 29 colourful thalis (in no particular order) that are symbolic of India’s culture and diversity.
1. Fish lovers look no beyond the gorgeous Kerala thali
2. Chillies, pork, lentils and black sesame seeds, the Meghalaya thali is a bouquet of flavours
3. Seafood, rice and pork vindaloo, the Goan thali is also a test of your heat tolerance.
4. Sikkim thali is a mix of steamed and fried goodness
5. Tomato, red chilli chutney, some pork and lots of steamed veggies makes the grand thali in Arunachal Pradesh
6. An Assamese thali has to have pork and aloo pitika aside from dal and saag
7. A Manipuri thali is made up of so many components, there is a black rice kheer which you shouldn’t miss
8. A typical farmer’s meal, and absolutely healthy, the Bihari thali
9. The thali from Chattisgarh is rich in veggies, and also has a yummy raita topped with onions
10. Can you finish this Himachali thali in one sitting. Loaded with tentils, veggies, kheer and so on, it is a treat
11. From spicy to tangy, the thali from Tamil Nadu is also a beautiful amalgamation of flavours
12. From rasam, chutney, vada to a portion of rice, the Andhra thali is quite simple yet packed with flavours
13. The Gujarati thali is laden with sweet and tangy flavours from the dal, the saag and so many other accompaniments
14. The Haryana thali is a typical farmer’s meal. The flavours are simple and robust, and absolutely great for health
15. Jammu & Kashmir’s thali is meat rich. And for a non-veg lover, this is your absolute heaven
16. Jharkhand loves its puris and rice to go with daal and chicken.
17. The Madhya Pradesh thali comprises of roti, dal, sabji, sweets and a portion of salads
18. The thali from Mizoram is a delight to the senses. The rice is steamed, the veggies are boiled and served with the broth, and you also have an aromatic portion of salads
19. Sabudana vadas are an integral part of the Maharashtrian thali. The dal is very light, there is rice, roti and the special sweet, Srikhand.