“Thali” is a hindi word for Indian meal plate or dish. Various dishes are served in a single plate. It has Starter, Soup, Salad, 2 to 3 different curries, Naan/Roti/Chapati/Puri/Poori, Rice, Dal, Vegetables, Desert/Sweet, and traditional drink/juice. Different state or region has different types of dishes/ingredients/content/food but basic concept of “thali” is same. This type of thali concept helps host to serve fast to large number of people during lunch or dinner time or during festival. Also, it has all types of flavours and tastes which generally suits to everyone.
You can taste all servings in Thali and decide which curry/food/dish you like most. Later you can get/order only that specific choice. Most of the places you have to pay fixed rate to each thali (rate per plate) and food is unlimited till you are done! You can eat as much as you can and order whatever available in thali. Just confirm it with waiter before you order. At home, do not hesitate to tell what you need more. Its okay even if you do not like any particular item in Thali. Good part is that there are 10-15 items in each thali with different taste, so chances are high you will like particular dish. You can eat curry and dal with Rice or with Nan/Roti/Chapati/Puri (It is like flat bread or tortilla…..made from wheat flour; either by roasting or frying) as per your liking.
Thali can be Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian (Meat/Sea foods/Egg) depending upon your choice. You tell/order as per your preferences.
There are different famous thali from different states of India like Gujarati Thali (Flavour from State of Gujarat-west india), Maharastrian Thali (flavour from State of Maharashtra – West India), Rajastani Thali (flavour from State of Rajastan – North-west India), Punjabi thali, Bengali thali, Kerala thali, goan/Konkani thali, etc. More information about Indian thali here
A typical traditional Indian Thali
Konkani/Goan Thali (Coastal Part of Goa/Maharashtra- West India)
Thali using Banana Leaves Kerala (State of Kerala – South India)
Bengali Thali (state of West Bengal – East india)
Sources: Google search, Wikipedia, youtube, and others links provided in the post. image credit-Wikipedia