Family Food Chronicles With Himangini: Behind The Makings Of The Great Festive Thali

Diwali is a festival of lights, and the festival of food. The delicacies, the decadence, the deliciousness! Every dish and every cuisine that we put out on Diwali has a history, has a story, and while hosting our guests and having them marvel of how beautifully we have done up our houses; the real joy is to see our guests have a mouthful of the dishes we cook for them and enjoy that feeling of satisfaction. There is nothing that describes this festival of food, than an elaborate and traditional thali feast.

The past two articles were all about some recipes that come together to form the grand feast, which is a festive thali. The recipes were close to our my heart and had a family history attached to them. With three more additions in the thali, we will have an entire feast prepared for your guests – one that they will keep talking about for days to come. But before that let me tell you the reason why thalis are such a prominent fixture in our household.

Growing up, we used to frequently visit my mother’s friend, and he had all meals in this big elaborate thali. It wasn’t just dinner, no, every meal from breakfast to lunch to dinner all were partaken in a gorgeous thali. So whenever he visited our house for parties or meals, my mother insisted we whip up his meals and serve them in thalis as well. From there on, a festive generous meal served in a thali is a must-do at any dinner or event or ceremony we have!

To complete this thali, let me tell you the recipe for the next three dishes: Tomato chutney, til wale aloo, and some kheer!

Here is the recipe for some tomato chutney:

Tomato- 500 gm

Oil – 2 tbsp

Panch phoran-2 tsp

Tej pata -1 piece (cut it and put)

Saboot Lal mirch -2 pieces

Garlic -8 to 10 chopped piece

Salt to taste

Dhaniya powder -1 tsp

Red chili powder -1/2 tsp

Sugar – 2 tsp


Take oil and put panch phoran, tej pata, garlic, saboot lal mirch. Once the garlic is red, add tomatoes and add salt. Then add dhaniya powder, red chilli powder and after some time, add sugar. Let it cook on slow flame. Once tomato’s fully cooked you can serve it.

Here is the recipe for til wale aloo:

Aloo -1/2kg
Salt to taste
Dhaniya powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder -1 tsp
Amchur -1 tsp
Chaat masala -1 tsp
Kitchen king -1 tsp
Garam masala -1/2 tsp
Jeera powder (roasted) -1/2 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp
Til -2 tbsp


Take oil (mustard oil) and heat it. Put aloo with skin and then add salt and let it cook on slow flame. Once it is cooked fully put all the masala in it. Then add til and cook for another 5 min and it’s ready to eat.

Here is the recipe for kheer:

Milk – 1 litre
Rice – 1 handle full rice
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Water -1/2 glass


Take milk in a big pan, put rice and water in it. Let it cook till you start seeing the rice being cooked. Now add the sugar and keep stairing it. You will see the consistency changing. Add kesar and badam in it.

Now that you can cook these family recipes of mine, let me tell you some health benefits of some of my favourite ingredients!

Til: This ingredient helps in lowering high blood pressure

Tomato: It helps in lowering the risk of cancer

This is the third article, out of three, in the Indian Festive Thali series by the author expert.

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