The idea of wholesome meals is a part of Indian tradition. Eating a complete Khanna or meal has been practiced from Vedic times. A thali is one of the most delicious, and well-balanced platter of food that you will come across throughout your travels in India. A thali is served on a round plate with small bowls, called as katoris, of vegetable, curries, curd and dessert lining the periphery. In the center of the plate roti or rice is served. A roasted papad and glass of butter milk is also the part of the meal. You have South Indian, North Indian, Gujarati and Rajasthani thalis.
North Indian, Gujarati and Rajasthani thalis are popular on the northern and western part of India. Here we introduce you to typical delectable and sumptuous Gujarati thalis.
Why is Gujarati thali a balanced diet
Gujarati thali is a well-balanced meal because it has pulses , cereals, vegetables and rice. Gujarati cuisine is known for its subtle sweetness. It’s relished by the children and adults alike. Gujaratis refer their everyday meal as Dal-Bhat-Roti. On special occasions or during festivals more delicious and scrumptious dishes are supplemented with this basic quartet. However, at the restaurants that serve authentic Gujarati thalis, it is always a special occasion. There will be an assortment of dishes for you to savor from. Also note thatGujarati thalis are mostly vegetarian and served in homely atmosphere.
A typical Gujarati meal is an assortment of roti, dal, rice and shaak. Shaak is nothing but cooked vegetables, it can be either a dry or gravy dish. The other accompaniments would be a variety of pickles, dry chutney powder and roasted papads. Remember, Gujarat is famous for its sweet dishes made from milk. Typical Gujarati thali will have aamraas (mango pulp) or Shrikand as one of the sweet dishes. You dip your roti into the aamraas or Shrikand and scoop out the smooth and pulpy aamraas/Shrikand before savoring it. However, aamraas is served only during mango season. During off-season the sweet dish is usually Shrikand or Dhoodh pak.
Benefits of eating Gujarati thali
Studies conducted by MyFood-a-apedia shows that lentil dal made using either tuver or moong dal contains 209 calories per portion. Similarly, the kichidi, a dish prepared with rice, lentils and vegetables, has approximately 196 calories. A Roti is around 60 calories while a small bowl of Kahdhi, a yogurt based dish, is 88 calories. The spices used in Gujarati cuisine hardly contain any calories. In brief a traditional Gujarathi vegetarian thali with several dishes and roti should not be more than 578 calories. Here are a few health benefits of Gujarati thali.
The spices used in the preparation of this vegetarian thalis are mainly ginger, garlic and green chilies. The dry spices that are commonly used include cinnamon, fennel seeds and cloves. These spices aid in digestion.
Salt, sugar or jaggery and lemon are used to give the balancing effect to the dishes. Also the subtle blend of salty, sweet and tangy flavors prevents dehydration during the summer months.
Again authentic Gujarati vegetarian cuisine uses seasonal vegetables. That is the menu of the Gujarati thali changes according to the season. In summer months the vegetables which help to cool your digestive system are used to make lip smacking dishes. Similarly, in winter a dollop of ghee is added to kichidi or dal to boost energy levels.
Spices like black pepper and other spices like garam masala, are used sparingly in the summer months. The reason being these spices increase the body heat.
Savoring a Gujarati thali is both a unique cultural and culinary experience. One gets to know the staple Gujarati diet and eat a well-balanced and healthy meal as well. Indeed it will be a thing to be cherished for long. Definitely a royal treat for all the Indian thali aficionados out there. Not to mention that the traditional Gujarati thali is the Raison d’etre of many prominent restaurants.
Rajasthani Cusine by Panchavati Gaurav
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