The Thali is easily one of the richest forms of Indian heritage.
It’s been around for the longest time, and isn’t just a grand display of variety. Although it is also that.
If you really want to get into the philosophy of it, it represents the perfect balance of all flavours, and that’s why traditionally you’ll find thalis have some amount of sweet and spicy food always, along with ingredients that aid the process of digestion.
It’s all very scientific.
Thalis were also meant to be representative of the season, and the crop and meat that were plenty at the time.
Which is kind of why it’s one of the finest reflections of culture, as far as cuisine is concerned.
And a lot of ancient science and thought went into the plating of the thali too.
The ingredients sometimes varied in relation to the person consuming it, and also the state of socio-economic and political affairs.
Like, the items in a thali served to soldiers during war would be focused on delivering more of certain nutrients and also increasing vigour, while the same thali during more peaceful times would probably have milder dishes, and maybe a little more sweet.
Think of the thali as a composite history lesson of Indian culture of the time. The best kind of history lesson.
And apart from all the philosophical, biological and cultural goodness, the thali also allowed the Chef some serious bragging rights—steaming, grilling, frying, baking, this here is where the chef could show off his/her skills at the whole gamut basically.
The Chef could also experiment with local cooking techniques, and possibly add something new picked up during travels to neighbouring lands.
Even today, items in a thali differ based on location and nature of event too, right down to which item is placed first and meant to be tasted first.
It’s really a marvellous culinary wonder and that’s why we just had to create four gorgeously crafted thalis for you.
While thalis differ greatly based on which part of the country they’re being consumed in, our versions are combinations of the best of the South. South Indian Saapad Slammers, if you will. (This was a close second option while naming the fixed lunch, but alas, didn’t make the cut.)
As with life, there are some fixed items, and then there are some adjustable items, and with the right permutations and combinations, we make the most of it. (We can also be the philosophy types, ok?!)
But a word of caution. Thali thulping is serious business. Make sure you do a little research before you commit to the process. Because once you’re in, you’re in for life. You better be ready to roll up your sleeves, tie up your hair, loosen your belt and go for it.
It’s a solemn pact that's signed in starch. Which is binding for life.
At The Permit Room, we serve the thali in four fixed forms. But with room for quite a bit of personal customisation too.
Based on your preference or mood at the time of consumption, we have the Veg Thali, the Seafood Thali, the Chicken Thali and the All Meat Thali.
Yup. Total very best representation. Also, if that’s a bit much to remember, here’s a little visual aid to help you.
And here's the visual aid in high definition, just in case.
While all of our thalis have certain fixed items, (also fixed unwritten rules like you can’t just have one serving of rice without looking seriously uncool), every type has four starters to get you going.
Post starter beltings, you get to choose a curry of your choice from a list of three, and descend into a rice induced rhapsody. (or parotta, dosa, appam induced, whatever jellies your belly but rice rhapsody sounded more catchy. Plus, what is meals without rice?)
Anyway, these are our four types of thalis, put together with much thought and a lot of love. What are you even waiting for?
The unlimited rice won’t last forever. Or will it?