INDIA. For more than 500 years, Indians have enjoyed eating traditional food plates, or thalis. Presentation varies according to region, with the local thali usually named after the actual state, such as Gujrati Thali, Punjabi Thali, and Maharati Thali. First-time eaters might be a little overwhelmed, so here’s a breakdown of a thali plate that includes dishes from various regions:

  1. Papad. A popular appetizer, usually dipped in chutneys and sauces.
  2. Roti, or Chappati. Roti, or chappati, is an Indian flatbread, usually made of wheat, water and cooking oil. You’ll find that it is consumed by just about every household in the country.
  3. Masala wala Raita, or yogurt in common English. Usually served cold with cucumber.
  4. Rice. White rice is the most common.
  5. Achar. Achar, or pickles, made of green chilies.
  6. Pan ka patta. The pan ka patta, or betel leaf, is usually eaten after the sweet dish to digest the food.
  7. Rajma. Kept close to the rice, this is a popular Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans with thick gravy and spices.
  8. Sambar ki daal. Very popular in South India, this yellowish stew is made of tamarind leaves and pigeon peas. Further ingredients usually include brinjals (eggplant), tomato, onions, potatoes, lady finger biscuits, and more.
  9. Curry. A typical main Punjabi dish, usually made with lassi and Baisan (gram flour, also known as chickpea flour).
  10. Potatoes and beans make up the rest of the food items on the thali. The flavors can vary, from sweet to spicy.
  11. A glass of sweet lassi is kept outside the thali, along with a glass of water. A blend of yogurt, sugar and water, the lassi is sold all over India. The traditional sweet lassi is very common in the villages and cities of Punjab.
  12. Kheer, a popular Indian dessert consisting of rice pudding, is kept on the other side of the thali. Rice is boiled with milk and sugar, while cardamom seeds add the flavor. Kheer is always prepared in festivals, temples, and other celebratory events. It is said when you are going to starta new venture you should have a kheer before going; it will help you fulfill your goals.