A couple of evenings ago we dined at Meera Village but not ‘…on mince and slices of quince which we ate with a runcible spoon‘ !
We dined on Evening Thali – well, erhhhm, two Evening Thali – his and hers – which we ate robustly with silver spoons instead, aiyo madi.
My partner in crime called it ‘Indian tapas’. It took me back to a similar set up in a Mexican tapas restaurant in Bristol. In fact he is correct according to some accounts. We were given a round metal tray each with small bowls all arranged around the inside rim of the tray. These were then promptly filled with tasty morsels from larger bowls carried around by a waiter. As we tucked in with gusto there was always a waiter or waitress standing by who asked us whether we wanted to get our little bowls replenished – we always said yes with a huge smile. We had oodles of re-fills of whatever we wanted to eat – serving from the larger bowls arranged in a carrier like a condiment carrier albeit bigger.
Some of the food was served straight onto the tray and not in bowls like the bread and sweets. As the servings were dished out we asked what each was, however we were never really sure that we understood what was said as the names of the dishes were not in English. In the end we gave up asking. We might as well have been from Mars! With my rather limited culinary expertise in the kitchen I could identify chickpeas, roti, pickled veggies, rice, aubergine curry and a couple of others – interesting and tasty. We felt like we really dived into an Indian meal far from the familiar tikka, tandoori, masala and mari! We were adventurous and that was probably the most enlightening Indian meal yet.
Anyway, I was looking for thali on the net and found this really fun article about thali. Written by Martin Hughes on his experience with thali – written with such mirth and what a delightful read. If thali is an Indian lunch then perhaps that is why our meal was called Evening Thali – it was adaptable for the dinner menu as well. Clever isn’t it!
Here are some pictures of the wonderful servings we so thoroughly enjoyed. The tapas seems to be the way to go by the looks of things…had an absolute ball.
Washed it all down with carrot juice. We enjoyed being adventurous but it is not for the faint-hearted. In PNG we have some of the ingredients in the thali but we do not cook them in the same way. We were quite pleased with the outcome of our gamble – what a pleasant surprise that was – it sure was thali time.