Subscription Subscription
Home > Sunday Mid Day News > Chinese to Ice cream Explore these five unique thalis in Mumbai

Chinese to Ice cream: Explore these five unique thalis in Mumbai

Updated on: 25 February,2024 08:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Gautam S Mengle |

With innovation being the name of the game, the food industry is taking some of our most loved items and bringing them together on a platter

Chinese to Ice cream: Explore these five unique thalis in Mumbai

Pic/Sameer Markande

Carbs in the centre and katoris of sides around the edge beckoning you to ride a flavour carousel of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy—growing up, we’ve seen restaurants typically offer a choice of vegetarian or meat-based thalis. Rice, dal, vegetables, roti, papad, dahi or raita, small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish—being the staples. 

What we were not prepared for was to see some of our favourite solo dishes—misal pav, pav bhaji and ice cream, even—shapeshift into thalis. Here’s a curation of the five best ones across the city, and where to find them.

Chinese thali at Tadka and Spice

What’s better than desi Chinese? A platter full of desi Chinese. We remember the time when these were called combos, but some hotelier thought, ‘When in Rome’ and embraced the Indian name for it. Varun Santani, the proprietor of Tadka and Spice, says he experimented a fair bit before settling on the current thali which has fried rice, schezwan rice, hakka noodles, a Manchurian gravy and a paneer gravy. “We used to also serve a starter, but discontinued it because it wasn’t cost-effective. Especially with Chinese food, customers like to try a little bit of everything, and this thali offers them just that,” says Santani.

Puranpoli thali at Kharwas

Rani Sutar, who launched Kharwas in Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, wanted to bring a touch of rural Maharashtra and it’s heritage to the city. “As a child, I remember that puran poli was always accompanied by so many other dishes, not just one or two. I wanted to restart that tradition,” she says. Today, one of the most ordered items on their menu is this heavenly combo of puran polis, milk, gulawni (jaggery syrup), kat aamti (a spicy curry), potato sabzi, rice, bhajis and kurdai, a thin, curly fritter made from wheat. The result, Sutar says, is that youngsters who would earlier come with friends have now started bringing their elders to Kharwas, “because the children just know that their parents and grandparents will love it.”

Misal thali at Ladu Samrat

A favourite for Maharashtrian snacks since 1967, Ladu Samrat brought the misal thali to their menu in 2022. This was around the time of the great mix lentil revival in the form of the misal thali spreading across several outlets in Pune. Apart from the cult favourite misal and pav, Ladu Samrat’s misal thali has papads, curd, onion and potato bhajis, a gulab jamun and buttermilk. “People love it,” says Santosh Chandan, who heads the Thane outlet. “They get to sample multiple dishes and they get it at a cost less than the individual cost of each dish. What’s not to love?”

Ice cream thali at Kiga Ice cream

We’re considering a signature campaign seeking the Nobel for whoever thought of a whole thali full of ice-cream. Speaking to Prasad Pawar, who runs Kiga’s outlet in Nerul, we realise it’s not just about quantity, a good deal of thought has gone into curation. “The Peshwai Thali, has seven ice-cream flavours from Maharashtrian favourites: Puranpoli, modak and the masala doodh that we have on Kojagiri Poornima. They are all placed around a bowl of Mango Mastani,” says Pawar, who started the outlet for the Pune-based chain in 2020. They also have a kids thali, with chocolate, red velvet, cotton candy flavours encircling a chocolate mastani; and a dedicated chocolate ice-cream thali, with five different flavours of the favourite that a group can sample to decide on the one they want.

Pav bhaji thali at Flavours Of Home

Is there scope to make the filling and delicious pav bhaji even more fun as a meal? The folks at Flavours of Home in Kalyan certainly think so. They have two options. The first is a thali with pav, bhaji and tawa pulao with plenty of chopped onion and green chutney thrown in. And for larger groups, there’s the Bhaubali pav bhaji thali, that holds a large tub of bhaji, 16 pavs, eight gulab jamuns and a bottle of soft beverage. “It’s just innovation,” says Kanchan Awsarkar, who started the joint last year. “This area has many other eateries and the main clientele is college students. And they love variety, so we’d like to give them some. The pav bhaji thali is ordered by individuals or groups of two, while large groups or families go for the Bahubali.” 

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK