Tamil Nadu Thali ~ How to plan

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Planning a thali always takes proper planning and doing everything by the note. For the final day of posting Indian Thalis, I wanted to do a thali from Tamil Nadu.

This thali is in no means a festival spread nor showcases the entire array of dishes that come as part of the Tamil Nadu Meals or Thalis.

I wanted to include simple everyday dishes and specially those that I am yet to share, still regular at home. These are recipes that I have got to know from my Tamilian Friends and cook at home.

The actual cooking of this spread was about 70 mins approx.

The thali included

Vazhakkai Chips / Raw Banana Chips
Vazhakkai Bajji
Flaxseed Podi & Ghee
Spring Onion Drumstick Sambar
Chow Chow Moong dal Kootu
Cabbage Poriyal
Plain Rice
Badam Payasam

Other than Vazhakkai Bajji and Rasam, everything else is a new recipe.

So since I was planning on cooking about 6 dishes, I had to plan what needs to be done first. Using Pressure cooker is very essential as everything gets cooked very fast.

I hope my notes will help others who might want to make this thali.

These are the steps I followed to get this Thali cooked.

First Soak tamarind, badam in enough water.
Wash and soak the rice in pressure cooker with measured water and let it soak for 20 mins.
Wash the Toor dal and take in Pressure cooker along with Turmeric powder. Pressure Cook for 3 whistles. Let the pressure fall down.
Take a ladleful of dal for Rasam. Make the Rasam as per recipe.
Peel and chop chow chow into 1 inch pieces. In a pressure cooker, take moong dal and wash well. Then add enough fresh water along with chow chow and turmeric. Cover and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Let the pressure fall down.
Pick curry leaves and coriander leaves, wash and keep it aside.
Meanwhile chop the sambar onions, spring onions. Transfer to a bowl.
Likewise finely chop the tomatoes and keep it aside.
Now the Toor dal pressure would have gone down, chop the drumstick into 2″ pieces, add to the dal, add more water and again pressure cook. When the whistle almost goes off, switch off. Don’t let the whislte go. The drumstick gets cooked in this pressure iteself. I normally cook it seperately as it tends to get mushy in pressure cooker, thats why you should just keep it for 5 mins.
Next the moong dal chow chow will be ready.
Make the Kootu masala and pour on the dal.
Heat a pan and temper with the tempering ingredients and pour on the simmering dal, its done in 5 mins.
Next chop the cabbage and fry in a nonstick pan with seasoning.
Cook the rice for 3 whisltles and keep it aside.
Peel the badam and grind to a fine paste and cook with milk to make the payasam.
Now make the Sambar as per the recipe.
Finally make the Banana Bajji and Chips.
The Flaxseed Podi was made ahead.

I used about 3 pressure cookers, 1 sauce pan each for Sambar, Rasam, 1 non stick pan for poriyal, 1 sauce pan for payasam. Kadai for both Bajji and Chips.

Tamil Nadu Thali

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