Maharashtrian Thali

Maharashtra is a large state in western India. Its capital is Mumbai, which is also the financial capital of the country. Some of the cities in this state are Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Nagpur. While Pune and Nashik are close to Mumbai, Kolhapur is in the sugarcane belt, Ratnagiri is on the Konkan coast and Nagpur is the biggest city in eastern Maharashtra. Marathi is the language spoken in Maharashtra.

The Maharastrian thali consists of a wide variety of food. The thali below is the classic Pune thali. There is no onion, ginger or garlic in this meal and you will not miss it at all. At the beginning of such a meal all you can say is 'Annadata sukhi bhava' ('Anna' means food, 'data' is one who gives. Translated it means 'may everyone who was instrumental in providing this meal be happy').

This is just one example of the Maharashtra thali. While the thali from the Konkan region would include fish, a Kolhapuri thali will not be complete without a meat dish. There are variations in every dish in this meal as one travels across Maharashtra. In my opinion that is the beauty of the thali.

The plate is set up as in the picture below. Each type of dish has its place on the plate. At 12 o'clock is salt and is served first. Everything else goes around it on the left and right.

The meal consists of the following going anticlockwise from the left of the salt
Lemon wedge
Waran bhaat in the center (lentils and rice)

In the bowls from the bottom to the top

It took me about 5 hours to cook everything from scratch. But every dish has so many memories associated with it. My mother made delicious ambti. I will never be able to match hers. I remember making alu wadis with her on so many occasions. The kamang kakadi will always remind me of my aunt from Bangalore. The simple potato bhaji is my daughters favorite. And the pudina chutney was made by my dear husband.

Gulpoli is generally make for Sankrant. It was the 18th of January when I cooked this thali and so I decided to include Gulpoli. Normally the thali would contain puran poli (recipe for puran poli here).


  1. I love our Indian Thalis, and this is no less..such beautifully assembled one..


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