Health on a platter…the Indian Thali

Thali a Hindi and Marathi word for plate is the Indian term used for round plates used to serve meals. Thali consists of a variety of dishes which together form a wholesome meal. Ideally, thalis in India maintain a healthy balance between carbs, proteins, fat, fiber and vitamins but you do find some truly elaborate versions of Indian thalis which are full of calories and high in fat content. Thali themed restaurants are famous in India where you are served a platter full of deliciousness. The thalis in these restaurants are more centered towards a particular food item, so you will find vegetarian thalis, fish thalis, chicken thalis etc. Heres a look at a typical fish thali which I ate in a restaurant in Mumbai, India.

The fish thali

Often confused to be a lavish meal, many forget that the thali can actually be made into a healthier version. Here I am going to discuss this healthier version of thali which is prepared almost daily in any Indian household. These healthy thalis are packed with benefits such as

  • Great balance between carbs,proteins, fats and fiber
  • Provides you with a healthy dose of vitamins
  • easy and quick to make
  • you can adopt it in your meal prep
  • it is super yummy!!

So what does a thali consist of….here is a look at what is in the basic thali

  1. Rotis or Indian Flatbread – this is a great source of carbohydrates and fiber. I make these with whole-wheat flour and back home in India we grind our own flour using organic wheat and oats.
  2. Subji/Vegetables cooked as a gravy or saucy, which are eaten as an accompaniment to the Roti. These are great source of fibre and vitamins
  3. Rice – usually it is the simple steamed rice or mildly flavored with peas and cumin
  4. Dal / Lentils – another power packed dish full of proteins and fiber, this is usually an accompaniment to the Rice.
  5. Pickle & Crisps – now these may not be served daily with the Thali but they do give add to an additional flavor to the dish.

My thali usually has 2-3 of the above dishes. I tend to exclude either Roti, Rice or Dal from my thali since I am concentrating on lowering my carb consumption.  This is what my usual meals look like –

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This homecooked thali consists of rice, roti and a mixed veggie gravy made with peas, cauliflower and mild spices served with my favorite lime pickle!

A healthy homemade thali has its roots in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian holistic system of medicine. According to Ayurveda, our body is required to maintain a balance of energies or doshas which regulate the proper functioning of the body. The primary source of this balance of energies is through a balanced meal.  A balanced meal would lead to a complete holistic well being of a person i.e. mind, body and soul.

Try making this amazing thali at home. Watch out for more articles on how to make this and if you want me to help you with the meal prep recipes for this..leave a comment and I would be glad to help you!!

Happy healthy eating!!

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