Thali means a plate with rice and a set of sauces that traditionally has to offer all five flavors.
The word ‘thali’ means a plate in Hindi and Nepali. The dish under this name is offered throughout northern India and Nepal. Restaurants compete in the quantity – and of course, sometimes and in quality – of the sauces offered in the set. Traditionally, there should be six bowls with six flavors: sweet, spicy, salty, bitter, sour, and tart. Of course, the dish is modified depending on the season and the popularity of the flavors. The offer can be veg or non-veg.
The non-veg dish in the Nepali version must include at least what I presented in the picture; successively from the left side:
- chicken curry (in the above picture I replaced it with chicken livers with onion and black pepper)
- sabji curry (sabji means vegetables in nepali)
The common additions are, not shown here:
- dahi – curd, similar in taste to yogurt
- papad, roti or chapati – fried pancakes more or less crunchy
- a sweet chutney – a sauce made of carrot or coconut milk