A vegetarian Konkani thali

Konkani Veg 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)

54 thoughts on “A vegetarian Konkani thali”

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

  2. 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 :)…

  3. 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!

  4. 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,


  5. 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 πŸ™‚


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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!:)

  11. 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 πŸ™‚

  12. 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.plantainleaf[andrarecipes]blogspot.com. can you please drop in to my blog thanks alot.

  13. 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 :).

  14. 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.

  15. 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… πŸ˜€ )
    Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚


    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

  17. 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 !!

  18. 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!!!


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  21. shilpa,
    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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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..:)

  24. Sivananda Shenoy

    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.

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