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The South Indian Thali

Posted Aug 23 2008 10:48pm
What could be more satisfying than the South Indian Thali?



In its standard avatar, it is a delectable combination of about 3 puris, rice, a dry vegetable, a vegetable with gravy, sambar, rasam, dal, curd, a chutney or pickle, a papad and a sweet.





The beauty of the meal is that it is filling but doesn't make you feel uncomfortably 'full'. It is completely satiating but does not induce lethargy.



There is one special aspect of the curd. It is perfectly 'set'. This means that they put the milk to be curdled in the small bowls in which they are served. This causes the top surface to be perfectly smooth. The curd is not first prepared and then served out in a bowl.



I have always been a fan of the thali. There are many variations of course. Some omit the sweet. Some don't serve puris. But the basic concept remains the same in a true blue South Indian thali.



The old Taj Mahal hotel near Manju cinema on Sarojini Devi Road in Secunderabad serves really good thalis. And they are a steal at about twenty five rupees! The same taste over decades. Nothing has changed at all - except of course, the price. Which, if you adjust for inflation would be constant too!
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