Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Eating Out Gujarati style

The Gujarati festival of Diwali is approaching, and with it the streets of Mumbai are lit up with colorful paper lanturns and electric lights adorning the buildings while the doorsteps are decorated with diyas, or small earthen lamps. Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights, and reminds be quite a bit of how Christmas and the New Year are celebrated back home. This will be the first time I get to celebrate Diwali here in India, and I can't wait!

Since I'll be going to Akola with my parents for Diwali, Mama and Mami decided to treat me to an authentic Gujarati thali dinner before I leave this Sunday, and it was quite an experience. We sat down at the table that was set with large thalis that each contained 4 or 5 smaller bowls, and within moments the waiters began serving how dinner. The menu was fixed, and for the next few minutes each waiter came with serving dish in hand to offer us rotis, vegetable shaaks, curries, daal, khadi, dholka, fruit salad, and chaas.

We all tucked into the feast and our plates were kept full by the very attentive staff. Despite Malan Mami's warning that the waiters will keep serving you until you say no, the food was too good to refuse and I ended up eating far more than I normally do. As my cousin Adit told me, your thali should look messy at the end of the meal, because there is no way you can finish all the food they give you!

Here's an example of a traditional Gujarati thali:


For anybody planning on visiting Mumbai, this is something they have to try, it's wonderful.

7 comments:

Saket said...

OMG i'm so jealous

That makes me so hungry.

Today I had a small amount of pulao from the weekend for lunch. Then just a coffee until 10pm, where i scarfed down half a naan. Then came back to my apartment at 12:30 and had some old salad from a bag.

:/

mom said...

Yummy. Did you go to the place at the mall, on upper floor. Once we went there and had Rajasthani meal, thali style. Monday was the last time I cooked whole meal. Hooray, no more cooking for 3 months!

Sapana said...

hmmm, more than usual? So what, two rotis instead of one? :) Speaking of Gujarati food, I made batata-vatata shaak with paratha on Sunday. That's how I treated myself for finishing my problem set due the next day! It was nice, though my curry was much thicker than what we have at home. Oh well. Enjoy Diwali!

Sachi said...

Yep, I think it was on the 3rd floor of a mall in Borivali or Kandivali West, it had a bowling and an arcade.

Believe it or not, I had been eating 3 rotis for lunch but now I've cut back to two. Still, with minimal exercise here I've probably already gained a couple of pounds.

It's going to be tough going back home and having to cook for myself again!

Sapana said...

Well, you'll only really have to cook for a week until I get back. Bonnie's taught me a lot about cooking. I tend to think more in terms of "meals" while she thinks more in terms of "dishes" that can be mixed and matched to make meals. Thus her stuff tends to be way more creative than mine, though my stuff is usually more organized and "complete." Does that even make any sense? Oh, and I hope you like egg rolls!

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