The Thali Adventure

(PART-1)


Thali/ Plate Meal shows the rich culture and tradition of that particular place, people and region. In this blog we are bringing you all the happiness at one place.


Every parent tells their children not to waste food which is served. Even we have got these teachings from our parents. Sitting together and having a meal helps us to bond better with the people around us, family and friends.

We shall start the adventure at our own state- Karnataka. The meals here can be segregated based on regions- The famous North Karnataka's Jolada Rotti meal (can vaguely say flatbread made from Maize flour), the Coastal area and the Mysuru region's Ragi Mudde meal.

Brown Rice with Dali Toy

The first Thali/ Meal we are introducing is a simple Konkani meal. The picture was taken at our grand mother's farm house where they are self-sufficient on most of the vegetables. Usually Boiled rice or Matta rice, a different type of brown rice, is most commonly used rice variant in Coastal Canara (Coastal Karnataka). It is so popular, even restaurants serve this rice as a part of the meal. At grandma's place they also prefer this rice as it reduces the amount of heat in our body and also contains fiber. It was accompanied by home grown Alsande Upkari (cowpea beans stir fry) and Batate songh (a dish made using potatoes). The dal which Konkani people make is called 'Dali-toy' which is a smooth blended version of Dal tadka. This simple and healthy meal makes us filled with nostalgia for our grandmother.

Moving on to the next one, is our Bengaluru's 'Appata Kannadiga' (typical Bengaluru) style. We had this Sankranti special meal at a restaurant called 'Halli Mane' in Malleshwaram (Halli means Village and Mane is House in Kannada). This place has a rustic look and serves some traditional Karnataka cuisines. Every year on festive occasions, they offer traditional dining to customers.


(From top left- Salt, Appe midi pickle, Channa Dal Kosumbari, Radish & Carrot Kosumbari, Tondekayi (Coccinia) and Cashew upkari, Dates Holige, Hagalkayi gojju, Beans carrot upkari, Steamed peanuts, Chilli bajji, Khara Pongal, Sweet Pongal, Chitranna, Akki Rotti with Chutney, Shevige paysa and Musk melon juice)


The food is served on a banana leaf with a wide variety of dishes. Starting with basic pickles to relishing the desserts, it was all worth drooling over. We liked every dish which was served but our favorite was the 'Kharjura Holige'(Kharjura means Dates in Kannada). Holige / Puran Poli, is basically a flatbread with sweet stuffing. The stuffings vary from jaggery, coconut, dates and many more. It was neither too sweet nor hard at the edges but very soft and delicious. Another dish which caught our attention was Khara Pongal. The spiciness and consistency was apt and when you have a bite of peppercorn in between, the taste rises to another level, just sharing my experience. This whole meal is priced at Rs. 250 per person inclusive of tax and they serve both lunch & dinner.

Up next is the popular ‘Andra meals’. If you have a spicy appetite then you have to give it a try. Namma Bengaluru has innumerable Andra meal outlets- Nagarjuna, Meghanas, Nandhini, Nandhana, Zamindar etc.. There are also few small outlets which serve delicious meals at reasonable costs. We shall talk about the one which is located at the end of RMZ Eco World, Bellandur. Sri Lakshmi Venkateshwara Guntur Andra Mess.


Sri Lakshmi Venkateshwara Guntur Andra Mess

A decent place which serves both veg & non-veg meals, also few curries and selected North Indian items. Our veg meal had flat beans curry, fried cauliflower, fried rice, papad and gajar ka halwa for dessert. The items keep changing daily but they have a fixed menu to serve- one special rice of the day, one curry/ vegetable stir fry and one dessert. Rice is served as many times as you want. Pappu (Andra style Dal) is served hot and is not very spicy like other places. There are two types of rasam, Gunpowder (Molgapudi), various pickles, fried chilies, tempered Buttermilk and a pot full of curd too kept on the table. You can pour as much as you want and fill your tummy heavenly. This meal is priced at RS.120 inclusive of tax (veg) and other renowned restaurants charges around Rs 450 for the same meal. The pricing varies from place to place as per the variety, quantity and many other things. The quality of taste and quantity of portion served is very well maintained including the hygiene of the place.

PS- If you are planning a visit do not hesitate to ask for extra Papads! :P

Next place is a peaceful and healthy meal. Sri Sri Tattva Panchamrut is located at the Art of Living center, Bengaluru. It is owned and wholly run by Art of Living center and most of the supplies needed for the restaurant are provided by the organic farms of the center itself. You can have a delightful meal in a Calm and peaceful atmosphere. The greens give a relaxing ambiance and allow us to enjoy the food from the heart. They do not have a fixed menu for the Thali but you get quick bites and juices all day long. Thalis are restricted to certain number after which only àla-carte will be available.


We tried their Thali as we would get to taste a variety of items. They always have a healthy yet exquisite food and are crafted to fill our hearts. Dishes we had on our Thali:

- Quinoa mixed veggies Soup

- Cabbage salad

- Stir fried Flat Beans - Veg Curry made from Coconut milk

- Dal fry

- Roti

- Coconut rice

We 1st ordered some healthy juice; we were told that we should have our meal at least 20 minutes later. This comforts our stomach to have the main course.


Coming to the main course, indeed the Thali was looking great and appealing. We first started with Quinoa mixed veggies soup. Healthy Quinoa, cooked properly, tasted really well with the veggies. You can always adjust the taste with the help of salt and pepper.

We were surprised by Cabbage salad! It was crisp as lettuce, marinated in a secret blend made by them. It had a dash of orange flavor in it. Second dish which was surprising to see on the plate was 'Flat Beans'. (PS- If it is not cooked properly then it would taste bitter) Hence many people shun these dishes from their menu. But here it was perfectly cooked when served. Coconut milk curry was a little sweet to taste but it was light and tasty and so was coconut rice.

The price of the Thali is Rs.250 (including taxes) and other dishes range from Rs.180 to Rs. 250. The staff were very courteous and knowledgeable about the dishes. We totally loved the dinner. We even had a wonderful time interacting with other guests around and greeted- Jai Guru Dev!


And lastly, Ragi Mudde (Kannada) or Ragi Sangati (Telugu). A very healthy meal consumed only in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and few parts of Tamil Nadu. It is most popular amongst the villagers as it is rich in Fiber, Calcium, Iron and it is Gluten free.

Mudde means lump in Kannada, so basically Ragi (Finger Millets) is added in a vessel of water and cooked on low heat till it thickens then it is made into round balls. It is directly swallowed and not chewed. It is usually served with spicy sambar or chutney, as Ragi itself doesn't have a great taste. It also goes great with chicken curry or Bassaru (rasam made from veg stock)

Well this was just a part of our adventure. Stay tuned as we are coming up with another set of Meals/ Thalis from other parts of India in "The Thali Adventure Part- 2". #BurpOutLoudly #TheThaliAdventure #TheGreatIndianThalis

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