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At home, we have decided to take you on a journey to discover tableware around the world. Each country has its traditions and specificities: find our series of articles "Around the table". And we start with India! In India, conviviality and tableware are favored for major religious festivals or weddings. The rest of the time, the meal is rather practical!
The traditional thali, main course and meal
The thali is a great classic of Indian meals, particularly typical of the Tamil-Nadu region in southern India. It is both the name of the dish and the meal served there. The traditional banana leaf on which the thali is still served in many restaurants in the South has been gradually replaced by large metal plates. They can have preformed compartments for different preparations or look like a small metal tray in which we place metal bowls too.
An all-in-one meal that can be eaten with your fingers!
Sweet, salty, spicy, sweet and sour, with rice, raïta, one or two chapatis (Indian fried breads), various vegetable curries, as well as a dal (spicy lentil soup), thali is a dish complete offering a multitude of combinations to mix… with your fingers! The Indians usually eat with the fingers of the right hand only (the left hand being considered as devolved to unclean activities) but little by little, the cutlery appeared on the tables of the middle and wealthy classes. Unmissable at lunchtime, the thali is a must, even for tourists, which allows you to taste Indian food as well as the ritual of the meal itself!