My South Indian Thali

Thali is a Hindi word that means ‘plate’. A thali set basically refers to a selection of different dishes, usually served in a steel tray with multiple compartments. In India as well as here in the US, many Indian restaurants offer Indian dishes for lunch or dinner in a thali set. In India, different regions offer different types of thalis. Whatever it is, the dishes in a thali can be as simple or elaborate as one desires.

I have heard of many other cultures having this same concept too. For instance, thali is a Japanese version of the bento box: a lunch set that comes in a compartmentalized box.

This is my simple version of a South Indian Thali: rice, tomato cooked in lentils, fried tindora, papads and sweet mango pickle.

Tomato cooked in lentils – Back in Malaysia, many of my lentils-loving non-Indian friends used to ask me for recipes using the variety of available lentils. I wish I knew this back then because it’s just so simple and yet can satisfy any lentil-lovers palate. Lentils and fresh tomatoes are cooked for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker. Separately, sliced onion, crushed ginger and garlic, curry leaves, sliced green chilies with some dried spices (cumin, mustard seeds etc.) are fried till fragrant. This is then added to the cooked lentils and tomatoes and with salt to taste, voila….all ready to be savored! Good with chapatis, too!

Fried tindora – I never had this vegetable back in Malaysia. In fact, never had an idea until hubby mentioned to me about this vegetable as it is very popular in Andhra. The first time I bought this vegetable in the frozen section, I did some online search on how to prepare it and glad the cooking process is indeed simple and hence it is a regular now in my kitchen. The texture of this vegetable, also known as ivy gourd, is similar to that of green beans. Here, I fried my tindora with onions, ginger, garlic and some split chickpeas and added some fresh grated coconut at the end.

A wonderful vegetarian lunch!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Site Meter