A vegetarian Konkani thali

It’s an ultimate feast for the eyes, and a hungry pet (stomach).

Eversince the inception of Aayi’s Recipes, I wanted to post a traditional Konkani thali here. But somehow could not manage to post it. First of all, whenever I cook, I try to make only 2-3 items as it is almost impossible for me to finish off leftovers. So I had to wait till I got back to India to do this. When I was at home, I was a bit hesitant to ask aayi because I didn’t want to pester her with my foodie ideas. But it looks like she knew what I had in my mind, and she said she will cook a traditional feast for me :).

So we decided what we will be cooking. Aayi told me about 4-5 items. I promised her to help her in cooking. The previous day I stayed at my in-laws’ place. Considering the places are just 11km apart, I told aayi that I will reach home early morning and will help. But next day, we got a call from a friend who was visiting Kumta and wanted to meet us. So we had to go there, and then we had to pick up a couple of things. It was already 11 and I called aayi to tell her I will be late. She said I need not worry because she had already finished cooking. I got upset because I could not help her. We reached home by 12 PM and I asked her what she had cooked. I could not believe she had made such a huge spread. Everything was so delicious and perfect.

Now coming to the thali, usually in any functions at our place, the main dishes served are rice, dali thoy (Konkani traditional dal), one or two kinds of coconut dishes(randayis), upkari with different vegetables, pickle, phodis, fruits, papad, a sweet. In all the functions, food is served on banana leaf, although these days people are switching to steel plates.

There is a particular way of serving food.
- The narrow part of the banana leaf(Suuv) always has to be on the left hand side.
- Salt and pickle are served at the top left corner.
- Sometimes when the leaf is small, another small leaf(cholko) is attached on the top.
- A spoonful of sweet is served on the right hand side.
- In NK, 99% of functions include dali thoy and muga moLe randayi. Sometimes kolmbo replaces dali thoy. But as far as I know, muga randayi is not included in all the functions in SK.

Usually food is served in 3 courses
- In the first course, all the side dishes are served with rice and gravy (usually dali thoy)
- Second course is usually sweet dish, even though a little sweet dish (any paays or kesribhath) is served in first course, more of the same dish is served in this course.
- Third course is normally called taaka (buttermilk) sheeth (rice). Here rice is served with buttermilk.

Kokum kadi is usually optional. But during kokum season, it is usually served.

Below are the list of dishes on the thali

- Salt
- Instant mango pickle (karmbi nonche)
- Snake gourd side dish (padvale upkari) – recipe coming soon.
- Moong dal kosambir (muga dali kosambari)
- Raw jackfruit side dish (kadgi sushal or kadgi chakko)

- Sprouted moong side dish (muga moLe randayi)
- Cucumber
- Mangoes
- Urad papad
- Fried buttermilk chilies (taka mirsang) – recipe coming soon
- Fried green chili fritters (Mirsangi vadi)
- Banana fry (kele phodi)

- Kokum kadi
- Ivy gourd – cashew sidedish (tendli bibbe upkari)

- Rice
- Ghee (it got melted, so cannot be seen in the picture)
- Konkani dal (dali thoy)
- Bottlegourd sweetdish (gardudde paays)

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