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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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{ 54 comments… add one }

  • musy May 17, 2008, 9:02 pm

    What a lovely thali, Shilpa! Dalithoy, rice, kokum kadi and tendle, that has to be a blissful meal. Total feast, for all the senses!

  • vani May 17, 2008, 9:11 pm

    hi shilpa,

    very nice thali. looks very good. amazing pictures.keep up the good work.

  • Uma May 17, 2008, 9:34 pm

    Mouth-watering thali!

  • Rashmi May 17, 2008, 10:33 pm

    what a sumptous spread! and are’nt moms the sweetest :)

  • Maya May 17, 2008, 11:01 pm

    Wow, your Aayi is super-fast in cooking. What a sumptitious meal indeed!! Reading abt the placement of salt and nonche on the paan, brought back memories. There would be reminders every time we tried to volunteer as kids at native. I just love Kadgi Sushel and Gardudde Paayas. You really had a feast in India :)…

  • Purnima May 17, 2008, 11:24 pm

    Keli panna vailya jevnachi ruchi vingadi asta! Its truly tasty!
    Aayi’s experienced hands hv dished out perfect looking and tasty dishes, Shilpa. I m admiring it – to no ends!

  • Madhavi May 17, 2008, 11:54 pm

    Hi, Oh this thali looks mouthwatering, delicious, love the pic too!!!keep rocking..

  • oycie dsilva May 18, 2008, 12:30 am

    Morning dear and welcome back …………

    I’m sure u had a beautiful vacation and your post tells us all. Tks. for the feast that’s spread on the banana leaf, brought sweet memories.

    Way back when I was referring to mango receipe, this is exactly what I had in mind, but could not put in the post what was inside the mind. Anyways got the receipe at the right time when the mangoes r in season.

    Tks. and keep up the good post, your simplicity in writing and the name of your post somehow calls us to view the receipes again and again.

    With love and a good day ahead,


  • Manisha May 18, 2008, 12:52 am


  • gowri May 18, 2008, 1:28 am

    oh…wahh.. Luck you. I am drooling……
    You really had a feast in India.

  • taku-roo May 18, 2008, 3:36 am

    I always look at your site.
    Because I write the recipe of the side dish mainly, please link with my site.
    “The recipe of the delicious dish and meal”

  • Homecooked May 18, 2008, 5:22 am

    Wow…this really is a feast. The beautiful dishes on banana leaf brought back memories.

  • Mishmash! May 18, 2008, 6:35 am

    Shilpa, that was a nice read……..I see lots of similarities in the way food is served and the leaf placement, compared to our feast, Sadya……Love such posts :)


  • ms May 18, 2008, 6:44 am

    Hi shilpa, thats an unbelievably beautiful spread! Thank you.

  • Hetal May 18, 2008, 9:40 am

    The thali look wonderful…thanx for introducing us to this konkani thali..

  • Roma May 18, 2008, 10:07 am

    Looks absolutely delicious!!

  • Deepa May 18, 2008, 10:34 am

    Hey shilpa,this reminds me of our typical konkani wedding lunch…..love it!!

  • Aruna May 18, 2008, 11:02 am

    Your post after post, after return from India is making me homesick. Kele panna jevan look slurp! Taste of Kele pan and food cooked by onces closest can make one feel in heaven. In SK it is mainly channe ghashi, gajbaje and bibbe madgane.

  • Abhijit Pai May 18, 2008, 11:26 am

    The SK meal has the first course as the Saaru and Rice. Saaru is generally made of tomato and a masala. Its a watery dish and can be taken as a Soup too.

  • kanchangharse May 18, 2008, 12:02 pm

    Hi! Shilpa,
    Nice to see a traditionaly decorated food plate. It is a feast for the eyes. In Mangalore mooga ghashhi is not prepared for good ocassions where as in Goa side it is a must during weddings and they add a lot of cashew nut pieces. During shraddha [ varshik or such other rituals] mooga ghashhi is made. Kokm kadhi is a must for Goans and for Mangalorians it is optional. Usually we have valval or gajbaje during festive meals.

  • Susan May 18, 2008, 12:55 pm

    Shilpa, what a wonderful thing you and your Aayi have done in preparing this for us. It looks and sounds marvelous – I can almost smell the kitchen and feel the excitement

    Thank you
    Thank Aayi

  • Siri May 18, 2008, 3:38 pm

    the thali looks so authentic and traditional Shilpa.. all thanks to ur mom…so sweet of her..:)


  • Mamatha May 18, 2008, 5:02 pm

    That’s truly a feast for the eyes Shilpa. Thanks to you and your Aayi for this lovely post.

  • Ujwal May 18, 2008, 7:14 pm

    Hi Shilpa,
    Lovely spread.. In Mangalore for festivals/Marriages we usually have bibbo tendle upkari/Batate bhajjunu upkari,avnaas ambe sasam(during mango season),one fried item(capsicum/Gobi bajo),chane/Tori ghashi with kadgi soornu,some times some song or batate vaagu without onions,happolu/Pappod/Batate happolu,Pickles. First serving of rice is with saaru with tomato and second its daalithoy. Most of the times the dalithoy is had without any rice too ;). Last comes the sweet usually madgane/Doodpak. But these days even Puri with amras or pulav with raita etc too have become very common at weddings. And to gush it all down we have usually masala Taak or birinda kadi.
    Its so nice to see you post so many recipes here…Everyday i am learning something new and also experimenting.. Thanks

  • Srivalli May 18, 2008, 7:26 pm

    just awesome thali…too good…everything looks wonderful!

  • Asha May 19, 2008, 4:50 am

    Good Monday morning to ya! What a eyeful of treat for me this morning, great job Shilpa, I LOVE that red thili saaru, Kokum Kadi. I have Kokum, it’s black in color but neber used it so far, I will try this Kadi. I made your spicy Phovu.It was yummy, I will link on Wed!:)

  • richa May 19, 2008, 10:39 am

    oh my! words escape me when i look at that gorgeous thali! it must have been such a thrill hvng that thali, especially knowing that it is cooked by ur aayi :)

  • Kalai May 19, 2008, 4:12 pm

    Wow! What a spread! Your mom is really awesome. :)

  • rekha May 20, 2008, 12:03 am

    Hai shilpa,
    beautiful spread,i always read your posts and i tryed some of them like amala saru,ambe upkari,jack fruit roti and they came wery well.I started my blog a month ago only,my story is just like you only but i want to do somthing and i started it and i dont no how to write proper english any how i started for all this you are the inseperation for me iam already subscribed in your site if i need some help or i want to post my recipes can i do that ? and what can i do for that can you please link with my blog http://www.plantainleafandrarecipesblogspot.com. can you please drop in to my blog thanks alot.

  • veena May 20, 2008, 12:08 am

    very nice thali, if any other receipe from mango please send

  • rekha May 20, 2008, 12:10 am

    hai shilpa,
    sorry i gave wrong adress before
    http://www.plantainleaf blog spot.com please make a link with this.

  • Suganya May 20, 2008, 2:55 am

    Its 2 in the morning. This makes me hungry :(

  • Anita May 20, 2008, 5:04 am

    Wow, Shilpa – you lucky girl! I so want to sit down to this fabulous meal! What was the occasion?

    Shilpa: Thanks Anita. It was a kind of send off for V and me. We were craving for a very traditional function meal. Also we had few guests. The main reason was to take a picture for the blog :).

  • mallugirl May 20, 2008, 9:57 am

    wow!!ur thali looks really appetizing. I was searching for a kokum kadi recipe since one of my friends gave me kokum.. so thanks a lot.

  • Sangeeta May 20, 2008, 11:35 am

    I found this blog by chance and boy am I glad. My inlaws are Konkani and I am so happy to find yr recipes. I do know a bit of konkani cooking. Yr pics makes my mouth water. LOL Added u to my bookmark. Thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge with us. Oh and btw yr artwork and crochet is amazing too. U sure are one talented person.

  • Gauri K May 20, 2008, 1:32 pm

    i stumbled upon your article while browsing the net…and am savouring my eyes at the feast! I stay away from my parents and have to cook on my own..and I’m sure missing mom’s cooking! especially phanna dalithoy! (Mouth’s water now as I type… :D )
    Keep up the good work! :)

  • MRS.RASHMI R.KAMAT May 21, 2008, 3:01 am

    Shilpa, you made my day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What a recipe ?????????????????
    I am formerly Mangalorian (Veg) and will love to prepare/eat such dishes… Thank you once again

  • Chetna May 21, 2008, 11:20 am

    Oh, My God !!!

    Shilpa, you really know how to revive our childhood memories !!

    We always had jevan on Keli Paan for all festivals and my mhantu (dad’s elder brother) used to be very particular about which side the salt and pickle are served.

    I make this traditional konkani thali every year on Ganesh Chaturthi day, even if I come back late from work. Served on ceramic dinner plates, instead of the keli paan. I also make 5 types of phodiyos for this occassion !!

    You are so lucky that your aayi could cook this for you.

    Thanks to both you and your aayi !!

  • Komal May 28, 2008, 5:00 pm

    Hey Shilpa,

    As my grandma (Tatu) i call her lovingly, says, “collectoraaga ghaarche jevan mago” !!! kudos to ur aai.
    Is that ghardudhya paays the one with sabudana?? yummy yummy!!!


  • sheeja Vivek August 4, 2008, 4:03 am

    vow………… my sweet thali ………. awsome

  • sujata October 29, 2008, 5:23 am

    Could you please post the recipe for different types (kande bhaje, batate bhaje, capsicum bhaje, cauliflower bhaje etc) of bhaje. Bhaje is the one that is deep fried in oil with the besan (chanepeet) coating like what we do in bonda. I searched your whole site but this bhaje is not there. Please do remember that bhaje is different from bhaji. Bhaje is served compulsorily in all the konkani marriages.

  • Annette February 1, 2009, 5:34 pm

    Very informative and very interesting…Great recipes…Beautiful pictures…Keep up the good work…

  • faith gayer June 1, 2009, 8:30 am

    i like thali very much it tasts nice with sugar and spice!

  • Prathibha June 10, 2009, 1:33 pm

    Bhari chand dista… pannari javan :)

  • Santosh February 8, 2010, 5:07 pm

    Hi Shilpa,

    Just returned from a month long vacation in India. We got to visit and stay for 3 days at Kumta (place called Gud Kaagal) at my cousin’s wife’s paternal house. That was the highlight of our visit and We had an absolutely wonderful time there. My cousin’s wife’s mother (we all called her Amma) was such an wonderful cook and she produced such amazing veg thalis served on keli paana on all those 3 days and we were completely bowled over by their simplicity and amazing hospitality.

    Just wanted to share my amazing experience with you.

  • Poornima Prabhu August 15, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Hey Shilpa, the pic here is being put up on Facebook without due credits… Have a look..


    • Shilpa August 15, 2010, 7:43 pm

      Thanks Poornima.

  • Prathvish August 15, 2010, 7:25 pm

    hi shilpa
    wow, a mouth watering recipe indeed..very nice pictures..
    full credits to you and your aayi..sorry i found those pics in google and didnt knew that they belong to this page..i added one of those pics in f.b..
    hope you dont mind..:)

    • Shilpa August 15, 2010, 7:41 pm

      Pratvish, Please give due credits on FB.

  • Sivananda Shenoy March 19, 2011, 12:28 am

    Great, But this KONKANI KANARA THALI. This nice to eat for a Vaishnavate Vegitarian. In kerala thali is too different.
    Bannana Leaf is must. Cholko for Brahmin Males after upanayana ceremony and married women. Normally commence serving with some sweets. then side diches. then rice. Dalithoy is must.
    Dishes : Pickles. Fedi kutuko, methiye sukhe, ukeri, sasamme, ghesi, ambhat, elchri, allem, meet, papad of two types. Payasam of two types. then sara seeth or thakka seeth. fruits. And in packets some frys (Modoku, Cashew, Banana chips , Pottato Chips.

    Come to kerala, have a konkani jevon.

  • Maamathi Partheeban August 23, 2011, 8:09 am

    It looks delicious..feel hungry..

    • siva February 27, 2012, 7:35 am

      so your trying different types of food .now you must be good in cooking

  • Kateel Ramesh Prabhu June 19, 2012, 7:00 am

    Pannari vallele paleyithana thondathu oddak yetha…

  • sridevi July 10, 2012, 12:47 am

    Really wonderful dishes.it looks delicious .

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