Mar 10, 2009
"Meals" (thalis) are a sort of workingman's lunch. Usually well under $2, served on an aluminum tray or banana leaf, and best eaten by hand. Can be "limited" (all you can eat rice) or "unlimited" (all you can eat everything). Contents vary day-to-day, eatery-to-eatery, and region-to-region. So far in South India meals seem to require the presence of rice, a papad, plain curd (yogurt), mango or lemon pickle, a dal, sambar, and rasam. Usually also a dry veg and veg in "gravy" and sometimes a sweet, eg. cardamom-saffron rice pudding. Every item is unfailingly delicious. Some thalis can reach semi-divine heights.
Toronto readers can get a decent one from Moti Mahal on Gerrard St. in Little India.
Posted by avs