What are the dishes that come to your mind when you think about an Indian thali?
Paneer butter masala? Palak Paneer? Paneer Tikka masala? Dal Makni? Rajma? Chole? Parathas? Naan? Dal fry?
Well, almost all of these are from the state of Punjab. Punjabi food has become synonymous with Indian food.
And with a good reason. It’s absolutely fantastically tasty!
The flip side is that it’s rich. A lot of fat in the form of butter or ghee go into these dishes and it cannot be had on an everyday basis.
On an everyday basis, it can be roti or low fat parathas with simple side dishes.
This mini thali here is a balance of rich food and the simple ones. The parathas have been treated with ghee, but there isn’t much that’s gone into the side dishes. The dal is simple and plain and so is the chole. The salad provides a refreshing experience, so does the onion with lemon wedges. I have never tried eating the chillies (fried or not), so can’t comment on that!
Palak paneer is also not too rich, yet maintaining that oomph factor. You can dress it up a bit more by adding some cream.
Jeera rice is a good side for this meal. It’s mildly flavoured, so it can be enjoyed with curries without having a clash of flavours.
- Palak Paneer: Puréed spinach with cottage cheese curry
- Dal Tadka : A simple and easy moong dal preparation
- Chole: Chickpea cooked in a tomato based sauce. Pairs well with the Indian breads.
- Aloo paratha : Potato and onion stuffed whole wheat Indian bread.
- Jeera rice : Rice with a simple tadka of cumin seeds and some spices.
- Raita : Chopped onions and green chillies in yogurt. Decorated with a pinch of chilli powder
- Onions, chillies, lemon wedges : on the side