Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Maharashtrian Thali

In a really good Maharashtrian meal, the arrangement of the items on the thali is of immense importance. Below is the picture of typical Traditional Maharashtrian thali. It is a dinner prepared as a feast for lord Ganesha. This meal is elegantly presented on a rangoli(design around the plate) made of lentils, rice wheat, beans etc. this picture is taken form a book named "The cooking of India".

take a close look

The Thali consists of salt, wedge of lime, a fresh chutney, achar (pickle), a raita (vegetables or fruits in spiced yogurt), rice wafers and pakoras. Maharashtrians are particularly proud of their astonishing range and diversity of chutneys, achars, brine pickles and koshimbirs.
Another vital point of maharashtrian etiquette is arrangement of rice. the rice should never be in the middle of the thali. It should never be the haphazard mountain of rice. It should be placed to one side of the thali. Above the rice is thoordal puree. Next is one dry vegetable and one curry. In even the fanciest maharashtrian meal there will still be only two vegetable dishes on the right-hand side of the thali.The vegetables are never overcooked and the spices are always mild.

Now here is my Thali. I did not have a big thali to put every thing in one so separated the curries.. I made a very simple thali and the menu goes like this. From the right clock wise kakadichi koshimbirs(cucumber in yogurt), Ghadichipoli(Rotis), rice, Simla mirchi / bhopli mirchi chi peeth perun bhaaji (bell peppers subzi), batatyachibhaaji(potato subzi), besan laddus (chickpea flour laddu).

On the left hand thali clock wise is Aamati, Amrakhand, tomatoche saar(tomato soup) and green coriander chutney.

The best part about making all this is, I made some of the dishes from my fellow blogger friends who have made this for the RCI. so it was alittle easy for me.

Besan Laddus


2cups besan flour (gram flour)
11/4cup powdered sugar
3-4tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
crushed cardamom powder
raisins (fried separately in ghee)


in a deep bottomed pan, roast the besan flour on a medium low heat until the raw smell leaves and the flour gets a slightly dark color than usual. Remember don't roast it till it burns. To this add the cardamom and sugar and fold in well. Finally add ghee to this and fold it gently. You can see all the sugar and besan melting and coming together. The flour becomes moist enough so that when you make laddu the flour will hold together. If it dosen't you can add a little more ghee. Add the ghee fried raisins too. Remove the mixture from heat and pour it into a plate. when it slightly cools down and the heat is bearable by your hands you can make laddus and enjoy.

Simla mirchi / bhopli mirchi chi peeth perun bhaaji (bell peppers subzi)

4 medium sized green bell peppers / capsicums, (or take 2 bigger ones)
3/4 cup chick pea flour / gram flour (besan)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
sugar (optional) to taste
cilantro/coriander leaves
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp oil


In a pan add oil and mustard seeds to splutter. Also add asafoetida and bell peppers. Saute well so that the moisture in the peppers evaporate. Now add gram flour and cook for sometime. don't add salt. If you do so, the water content in the peppers make the flour sloppy. bell peppers need not cook for long. once the flour gets crispy, add salt, sugar, turmeric and cilantro. Mix well and remove from flame. Its that simple.



1/2 cup toor dal
1 medium sized onion
1 tomato
3 green chilies
2 teaspoon Maharashtrian goda masala or garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 small piece jaggery or 1 teaspoon sugar
coriander leaves
salt to taste


Pressure cook dal till soft. Remove from the cooker and mash it.

Chop onions into vertical thin pieces. Chop tomato and chilies. Else give vertical slits to the chilies instead of chopping them. Heat 2 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. As they splutter, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and onion pieces and chilies. Fry for sometime or till the onion turns light brown. Add chopped tomato pieces and fry again till tomato pieces turn soft. Add mashed dal and 1 cup water. Stir.
Cook on high heat and when bubbles rise up on the top, turn the heat to medium. Add salt, jaggery and goda masala. Mix well and simmer.

Remove Aamati from the heat and decorate with coriander leaves. Serve with plain rice, pulao, or chapatis.

Green coriander chutney


1 bunch of fresh cilantro
3-4 green chillies
1 tomato (optional)
sugar or jaggery


Grind all the ingredients by adding very little water. It is a simple chutney.

The Bell pepper subzi , Aamti and chutney are prepared by referring here


This Recipe is made from the lovely blog Bhaatukli. My friend Tee explains how to make these polis so very beautifully. She also has many other interesting Maharashtrian recipes.

kakadichi koshimbir, Tomatoche Saar, batatyachi bhaaji, Amrakhand are made from another beautiful blog Aartis Corner . She is an expert in Maharashtrian cuisine.

Kakadichi koshimbirs
Tomatoche saar
Batatyachi bhaaji


So since I cooked some simple recipes from co-bloggers this thali goes to coffee's Going Lite:)
This below picture is taken from the same book. It is Chowpati beach, Mumbai in the 1960's.

If you take a closer look you can see how the shop vendors are dressed.
This picture shows how turmeric is made in the local market in Mumbai
Spice Market
The making of jelabis

This is my contribution to the lovely Nupur's RCI event.


Revathi said...

First to comment !!! Wow what a lovelyyyyy spread.. Its lovely that you are preparing a feast for every RCI.. way to gooo. Excellent feast !!!!

Manasi said...

Lovely presentation!! looks too good!!!!

bee said...

sharmi, did i tell you i love your blog? if i didn't, i'm telling you now. your efforts and dedication are very inspiring.

Tee said...

Wow Sharmi! This is such a beautiful spread and a great post! your efforts are really commendable!! loved it...

Kajal said...

What great job my dear...all recipe looks yummy....specially your ladoooooo...I love your whole dish photo with nice work....Thanks for sharing so many nice recipe.
Great Entry!!

Roopa said...

Sharmi hats off to you dear for the wonderfull spread... looks very delicious...

Nupur said...

Sharmi, I look forward to your RCI entry all month! As usual you have come up with something that is simply spectacular! Thanks for an extraordinary entry.

Suganya said...

How come you always make a spread rather than one entry for RCI. I cannot guess which part of India you are from.. U seem to know every cuisine. I cannot imagine making all this at once. Great work..

Shivapriya said...

I can just say "Kudos". Wonderful presentation.

Coffee said...

Thats a spectacular post!!!!! :) I felt I was back in bbay again. :) Your efforts are truely commendable Sharmi. :) Hats off to you!! :)

Lata said...

Wow! so many items, how long did it take you to make all this? Nice one! and inspiring too.

Shilpa said...

Wow..what a great presentation....I donno how you come up with those great thalis. Really amazing.

bha said...

My o my, this is just amazing....this takes lots of preparation and harwork, and i have seen my mom do this, and the next one is you.....

Anjali Koli said...

I am feeling hungry and its just 9.30 am now.

Radha said...

Sharmi, you're a star!! That was a great great post to read. Made me miss Mumbai terrbily though!!

Srivalli said...

wow what a great feast. Must say you have real spread here.


archana said...

Wow Sharmi you are gr8. Lovely presentation and you have taken gr8 efforts to present our cuisine in such a beautiful way. Hats off to you :)

Sia said...

i am lost for words!!! :)

Arts said...

Amazing Thali.. And lovely preentation!
when can i invite myself for lunch?? ;)

Raaga said...

I wish I could eat off the monitor. Loved the stuff. :-)

I brought back a dabba of besan laddoos from home.

WokandSpoon said...

I love your cooking abilities! how many people were you feeding? That's a huge spread!

ushaprashanth said...

That's a really nice presentation!!! that besan laddu is called as sirumaa laddu in my house!! my grandma,mom used to make that during krishna jayanjthi festival..
Great work !!!

sunita said...

Another great spread...admire your enthu...

FH said...

OH WOW!! Sharmi,that is fabulous post my friend.Really enjoyed reading.As I wrote in my post,each meal really a feast for Marathas!
I loved every dish on the Thali.Not very hard to make them either but a joy to have them all.
Thanks for taking time do all these.Hugs:))

Bong Mom said...

You are amazing, again I repeat. Your dedication is truly "ekdum mind blowing"
Loved it how you came up with a full original thali for this as well as prev RCI

Cynthia said...

Sharmi, I am constantly amazed at the amount of work you do to feed us on your blog. Thanks for all your hard work which I know is a labour of love. Great job! Again! :)

Richa said...

wow! you made a marathi thali as well :) it's so much fun to have the thali, what time is good for you ;) looks great!
love those besan ladoo, it's my fav :) good job!

Mishmash ! said...

Sharmi, looks like you have set a trend for yourself....RCI means it has to be a full course meal from you :)) This is your passion dear.....!


SMN said...

hey so nice and tempting spread of food! amazing.. my mouth is watering.. how did u manage to do it?Great !!!!!

sra said...

Great effort once again, Sharmi! It looks lovely!

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

OMG!!! your dishes look sooooo very good!!!! Great collection of recipes. and lovely pics!

shweta said...


The post was wonderful and all the items look very inviting.Great Job !!

Padma said...

Sharmi, you made my Bombay memories fresh of a Maharashtrian Thali, I love eating it since kid. Good to see that spread, only thing missing is some marathi/koli songs to my ears!

Sharmi said...

Thanks all of you so, so much for the adorable comments.:))

DEEPA said...

Sharmi !!!...Man you r rocking lady ..So many dishes you prepared and neatly arranged ...Nice Pic

Viji said...

Sharmi what a lovely spread. Mouth watering. It shows your interest in presenting all authentic food and how it is being served. Good Job Sharmi. Appreciate your interest. Viji

Shobana senthilkumar said...

Hi sharmi,
what a lovely spread and a great presentation.Excellent preparation .I really appreciate ur dedication.Last ur plate like banana leaf is looking awesome.

USHA said...

Hi sharmi,,

What a lovely spread....Hmmm..that besan laddu really tempting me alot....I am suprised how you managed to do all those items...

Great information and snaps fo spice market...etc,....thanks.

Saju said...

what a banquet!
I can almost smell it, delish!

Bharathy said...

Absolutely speechless,Babe..!!!
An observative visitor can make out to which region in India(esp)the blog author belongs to...but any visitor is totally confused to which state you belong...coz you participate with much dedication to evry regoinal cuisine of India with magestic feasts!!!!!!Born to be a blogger!showers of appreciation,dear!!

Sig said...

Sharmi, now when I hear RCI the first name that comes to mind is yours... every time you just go for the gold... what a wonderful spread, and an amazing post as usual! Once RCI is over, you could just publish all your RCI entries to a book and that will sell like hotcake! just imagine that book, how colorful and informative that will be... I will place my order right now...)

deena said...

my my my god !!!..sharmi .that was something .too personal attractions amrakand & besan laddo & the 1960 pics..thanks for sharing

Linda said...

Sharmi, your thali is nothing short of spectacular. That's all I can say -- I am speechless!!


Jyothi said...

What a lovely spread? delicious and excellent job. Great entry too. Thanks for sharing.

Nabeela said...

I loooooooooove that green ceramic leaf tray in the second picture. Your spread of dishes is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Lovely Pictures and lovely presentation.

Priyanka said...

wow an absolutely amazing entry!!!! toooooooooooooooooooo gooooooooooood. the dishes are so tempting they make me hungry.

Prema Sundar said...

What can I say.... Awesome!!! Avery good effort I would say Sharmi. I have bookmarked the besan ladoos.

Rajani Rayudu said...

Hi Sharmi,
Very nice recipes and well presented.
Feel like making some besan laddus.
How r u?


Mahek said...

This is a great post , all the pictures clicked by you and those from the book are great, i liked your idea , i always wanted to know how india looked before or a little after independence and we rarely see such pictures . Its a good idea to click them from books which have such pictures and share it with our readers
Thanks again for the inspiration and the idea which we can follow. said...

Wow!!! I have come to expect this from your blog now. Great writeup! And lovely dishes for the Thali.
If only I could taste.....



Anisheetu said...

Hi first time to your blog... very nice n neat... liked the way u hve taken the photos and nice desciption too... :)

vibha said...

CHATAKDAR MAHITI, but would like to make some corrections :firstly when naivedya thali is prepared salt is not added to the thali special naivedythali SECONDLY a piece of lemon ,chutney pickle, raita{koshimbir} is serve in the above serial. Thanks for the best recipes ever. I would like know recipe of kolhapuri kurumure also called bhadang.