Ode to Thali

2 Apr

Mmmm. Thali & lassi. Mumbai.

Oh dear foodies, a poem, to help me relate,

The adventures that brought me the food that I ate.

Southern style thali. Aurangabad.

Across traffic, and mayhem, and down sidestreet allies,

Just to discover my favorite new thalis.

Fast food thali. Bhopal.

They’re hot in the north, and sweet in the south,

Guaranteed to satisfy foreigners’ mouths.

Vegetarian thali, Varanasi.

A neat row of shiny hot and cold dishes,

Presented to quench your comestible wishes.

The way thali should be done. Mmmmm. Udaipur.

Sauces and gravies presented with papad,

Chapati and rice and a fresh little salad.

Train station thali. Kolkata.

The chilis burn. The spices excite.

My appetite grows with every big bite.

Vegetarian thali. Varanasi.

Okra and peppers and spicy chickpeas.

The server arrives and I answer “more please!”

The coconut chutneys, the curd and the dhal,

The cloves and the pickles are incredible!

Fenugreek leaves and fill-you-up puri,

Gobi and channa and vegetable curry.

Potato and lentil and bright red masala.

How well you can eat for less than a dollar!

I slurp lassi up. Roti wipes my plate.

I now can’t believe how much food I just ate.

India, help! Export this delight?

Well, with some luck, I predict I just might.

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One Response to “Ode to Thali”

  1. Debarati Dutta January 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Christine, I love your blog. You have managed to capture the spirit of the country I know and love and long for…

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