Vegetarian Thali

Thali is a metal dish used to serve foods.  The idea behind Thali is to offer all the 6 different flavours of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy on one single plate.  According to the Indian customs, a proper meal should be a perfect balance of all these 6 flavours.  A fruit is often served at the end of the meal.

Dishes served in a Thali vary from region to region in South Asia and are usually served in small bowls, called katori.  These katoris are placed along the borders of the round trays – the actual thali.  Typical dishes include rice, daal, vegetables, roti, papad, and a sweet dish to top it off.  Rice or Roti is a usual main dish which occupies the central portion of the Thali, while the side dishes like vegetable curries and other delicacies are lined circularly along the round Thali.

Dokra Daal Kheer Mixed Vegie Curry Bhindi (Okra) Masala
Brown Rice Carrot Pickle In the Centre,  Far Far

Serves 4

Daal                                      Rice

Gujarati Daal 1

Rice 2







Gujarati food is very tasty and it has a lot of different spices.  It is sweet from sugar, hot from chili, bitter from fenugreek seeds, sour from lemon juice and nutty from peanuts.  I got this recipe from my mother who got it from our Gujarati neighbor in Uganda.


  • 1            cup toor daal
  • 1/4         cup raw peanuts
  • 1            med tomato chopped.
  • 1            tsp dhana jeera
  • 1/4         tsp haldi (tumeric powder)
  • 1            tsp garlic paste
  • 1            tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2         tsp green chilli paste
  • 1/2         tsp salt
  • 1            tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 2            tbsp oil
  • 1/4         tsp jeera(cumin) seeds
  • 1/4         tsp rye (mustard seeds)
  • 1/4         tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
  • 5            curry leaves
  •               juice of 1 lemon
  • 1            tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Rinse daal in cold water and soak it in 6 cups of water  for 5 hours or overnight. ( Daal will cook faster if it has been soaked).
  2. Boil the daal in 2 cups of water, when the daal starts to boil remove it from the heat, drain it and rinse it in cold water(this will remove the gas from the daal).
  3. Boil it in 4 cups of water, add the chopped tomato, dhana jeera, haldi and  green masala.  Boil it for about half an hour, the daal will be soft.  With a whisk mash the daal.
  4. Add salt, lemon juice, sugar and peanuts.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan, add the rye, methi, jeera and curry leaves.  When the rye starts to pop, add this to the daal mix and boil for 15.
  6. Sprinkle the daal with cilantro before  serving.
  7. Serve the daal with rice, chapatti and  vegetable curry.

Daal soaked overnight

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Brussel Sprouts, Green Beans & Edamame Beans
Brussel Sprouts, green beans and Edamam Beans
Serves 6 Ingredients

  • 8               oz Brussel Sprouts
  • 8               oz Frozen Green Beans
  • 8               oz Frozen Edamame Beans
  • 2               tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5               curry leaves
  • 1/4            tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4            tsp fenugreek seed
  • 1/4            tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2            tsp (dhana Jeera Powder) corriandar and cumin powder
  • 1/4            tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2            tsp freshly crushed garlic
  • 1/2            tsp freshly crushed ginger
  • 1/2            tsp freshly crushed jalepeno(or to taste)
  • 1/2            tsp red chilli powder(optional)
  • 1                tsp salt
  • 1                tbsp finely chopped cilantro


  1. Cut the Brussel sprouts in half and rinse it in cold water.
  2. In a medium saucepan heat the oil, add the curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seed, and cumin seeds.
  3. When the mustard seeds start to pop add the Brussel sprouts, green Beans and edamame Beans.
  4. Add the chana jeers(coriander and cumin powder), turmeric powder, garlic, ginger, jalepeno, red chilli powder, salt and cook stirring for a minute.
  5. Add 1/4 cup water, cover the saucepan and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes stirring a couple of times.  The vegetables should be cooked.
  6. Sprinkle cilantro on it before serving.
  7. Serve with naan or chapattis.

You can use different vegetables for this, e.g. peas, potatoes, egg plant and spinach.

The frozen vegetables can be bought in an indian grocery store or some Super Markets and Chinese groceries.

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Bharazi nu Shak(Pigeon Peas)

You can either use dried bharazi that you soak in water for 5 hours or overnight and boil it, or you can use frozen bharazi or canned bharazi.  You can buy the bharazi at an Indian grocery store or Iranian grocery store.


  • 2            medium onion
  • 1              medium tomato
  • 1/4          cup vegetable oil
  • 1              tsp dhana jeera(coriander & cumin powder)
  • 1/4          tsp haldi(turmeric powder)
  • 1              tsp garlic paste
  • 1              tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2          tsp jalapino paste(or to taste)
  • 1              tsp tomato paste
  • 2              cups boiled bharazi(pigeon peas)
  • 2              cups water
  • 1              tsp salt
  • 1              tbsp chopped cilantro


  1. Peel and slice the onions and chop the tomatoes.
  2. Heat the oil, add cumin and the onions and fry till the onions are golden brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes, dhana jeera, haldi, green masala and tomato paste, stir and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the water, salt and the bharazi and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle chopped cilantro before serving.

Serve it with rice or chapatti.

Instant Shirkhand

Shrikhand  is an Indian sweet dish made of strained yogurt.   It is one of the main desserts in Gujarati  and Maharashtrian cuisine.  . Preparation of this dish is very simple but it takes some time to process yogurt properly

In Gujarati cuisine, shrikhand is eaten as either a side-dish with breads such as poori or as a dessert. It is commonly served as part of a vegetarian thali in Gujarati restaurants and is popular as part of wedding feasts. It is often served chilled as a counterpoint to hot and spicy curries.

You will find a lot of different recipes for shirkhand but I like this recipe.



  • 1               container (750 ml) 6 % MF Greek Yoghurt
  • 1               container(500 ml)  sour cream
  • 1               cup sugar(to taste)


  • 1               tsp cardamom seeds (crushed)
  • 1/4            tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4            tsp saffron
  • 1               tbsp slivered almonds
  • 1               tbsp slivered pistachio


  1. In a medium bowl mix yoghurt, sour cream and sugar together and mix well.  Transfer it into a serving bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  3. Serve with chapatti or poori  or it can be served as a dessert.
  4. Shirkhand can be made the day before.

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