HISTORY OF INDIAN THALI
Thali refers to the metal plate that a thali meal may be served on. Thali is popular in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and other states in North India. The idea behind a thali is to offer all the 6 different flavours of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy on one single plate (technically the last two are actually forms of chemesthesis rather than true flavours). According to Indian food custom, a proper meal should be a perfect balance of all these six flavours. Restaurants typically offer a choice of vegetarian or meat-based thalis. Vegetarian thalis are very typical and commonplace in Tamil Nadu canteens (and South India and Southeast Asia in general), and are a popular lunch choice.
Dishes served in a thali vary from region to region in the Indian subcontinent and are usually served in small bowls, called Katori in India. These Katoris are placed along the edge of the round tray, the actual thali; sometimes a steel tray with multiple compartments is used. Typical dishes include rice, dal, vegetables, roti, papad, Dahi (yogurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish to top it off. Rice or roti is the usual main dish that occupies the central portion of the thali, while side dishes like vegetable curries and other aforementioned delicacies are lined circularly along with the round thali. Depending on the restaurant or the region, the thali consists of delicacies native to that region. In general, a thali begins with different types of bread such as Puris or chapatis (Rotis) and different vegetarian specialties (curries). However, in South India and Southeast Asia, rice is the only staple served with thalis. Thalis are sometimes referred to by the regional characteristic of the dishes they contain. For example, one may encounter Nepalese thali, Rajasthani thali, Gujarati thali and Maharashtrian thali. In many parts of India and Nepal, the bread and the rice portions are not served together in the thali. Typically, the bread is offered first with rice being served afterward, often in a separate bowl or dish.
That’s why Taj Mahal Indisches Restaurants offers thali dishes. The platters are made of stainless steel and some have intricate designs along the edges.