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THE HUNT FOR PUNE'S BEST THALIS

For the uninitiated, the thali is the quintessential complete Indian meal. A traditional thali includes protein –dal, meat, fish, vegetables and salad; dairy – kadhiraitadahi, carbs – roti, rice; fat – ghee; dessert and a digestive drink – buttermilk, sol kadi or kahwa. An Indian thali is a nourishing meal with the right balance of proteins, vitamins and carbs.

Chicken Thali
Chicken Thali
Maratha SamratKothrudMaratha Samrat is the place if you want to expereince regional Maharashtrian flavours. Regulars swear by their Mutton Chops Thali where the chops are served with rich and spicy brown gravy and the Kalla Chicken Thali with chicken cooked in traditional kala masala which gives the gravy mild coconut flavor and a unique aroma. Served in moderate portions, the thalicomes with chapatiKolhapuri-style red hot tambda rassa andcreamy white pandhra rassa, biryani and egg curry cooked in a distinctive Varadi cuisine-style.
Price: Rs 380 for Kalla Chicken Thali, Rs 420 for Mutton Chops Thali

Venkataramana MessViman NagarKnown as ‘Andhra Mess’, what once started off as a hole-in-the-wall has now expanded into a humble no-frills outdoor eatery that continues to serve typical Andhra meals. Working professionals and residents of Viman Nagar flock here for their simple yet tasty food. Their thali comes with steamed rice (unlimited portions), dal, flavourful sambhar, a curried and dry vegetable preparation, fried popaddams, curd and halwaor sevaiyya for dessert. 
Price: Rs 80 for Veg Thali 
Fish Thali
Fish Thali
Fish Curry RiceBudhwar PethThis outlet in Pune’s busy Budhwar Peth will serve you authentic Konkan food. As the name suggests, the place is ideal for Fish Thaliwhich has fried fish (you can choose from their fresh catch of bangada, muddusge and bombil), fish curry (again with fish of your choice), prawn curry, rice, chapati or bhakri and a cooling sol kadi to wash it all down.
Price: Rs 450 onwards for the Fish Thali

The Paratha PlaceViman NagarThough known for their parathas, this eatery also serves a heavy Punjabi Thali that defines a value-for-money delicious North Indian meal. Their heavy-on-the-stomach but light-on-the-pocket Punjabi Thali has two vegetables, two plain parathas or rotidal, rice and papad. If you’re feeling ravenous, we recommend their Maharaja Thali with paneer subzichholedal makhani, two plain parathas or roti, rice or pulav, a dessert, curd and papad. On Tuesdays, you can also opt for their offer of unlimited subzi at no extra cost.
Price: Rs 80 for Punjabi Thali, Rs 120 for Maharaja Thali
Thali at Hotel Kaveri
Thali at Hotel Kaveri
Hotel KaveriWagholiDon’t let the shack-like facade of this restaurant fool you; Kaveri has cult followers who regularly visit to eat their Gavran Chicken Handi. The Mutton Fry Thali, which is full of Kolhapuri flavours, is a must try. The spicy mutton gravy can be mopped up with bhakri made withjawar, besan or bajra. The hot and flavoursome mutton rassa might move you to tears so hold on to the stunning sol kadhi.
Price: Rs 260 for Mutton Fry Thali

Mayur Veg Thali, All OutletsThe Mayur brand born over thirty years ago is still a favourite thali place for Puneites. They have special thalison weekends and with summer at the onset; head over to enjoy a seasonal appearance of puris and aam ras among the other usual suspectsFood here is served hot and fresh but lately quality has been an issue at all Mayur outlets.
Price: Rs 300 on weekdays, Rs 350 on weekends for Veg Thali
Thali at Sukanta
Thali at Sukanta
SukantaDeccan GymkhanaWith its servers cajoling you to eat more as they pour copious amounts of ghee over your khichdi, it’s at Sukanta where you will experience exemplary hospitality. Their regional preparations will whisk you away to Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Expect to feast on items like sandwich dhoklachaatjowar rotla, Puneri usal,kadhi, assorted subzis, and rabdi. The waiting time here is long, especially on weekends, but the food is totally worth the wait.
Price: Rs 260 for Veg Thali

Rajdhani, All OutletsRajdhani has become synonymous with thalis. As per Rajdhani’s innovative ‘Thali meter’, they have served around 96,93,847 thalisto date. A meal here is a mix of Rajasthani and Gujarati dishes comprising of two starters, four dry and curried vegetables, their famous dal-bati churmakadhi, khichdi, roti, rotla, paratha anddal. Swing by on Tuesdays and you’ll find it crowded owing to their Thali Tuesdays offer!
Price: Rs 299 for Thali,Rs 225 Thali Tuesdays
Thali at Shabree. Photo Credits - Phillywave
Thali at Shabree. Photo Credits - Phillywave
Shabree , FC RoadServing masala bhaat, bhakari, pithla, usal, sol kadi and dessert, Shabree’s thaliboasts of local Maharashtrian flavours. During festivals like Ganeshotsav, they even add in freshly made modaks. Next time you make a shopping trip to FC Road and find yourself craving for a full meal, Shabree is your best bet. And, if you prefer indulging in a lavish thali in the comfort of your home, good news – they can parcel it for you.
Price: Rs 365 onwards

Panchvati GauravBhandarkar RoadWhen you eat a thaliyou want the service to be meticulous. Their discerning waiters know just when to top-up your plate. Their pampering and attention is impeccable. You’ll be treated to a parade of piping hot Marwari dishes like ghatte ki subzi and bajre ki roti slathered with ghee and jaggery; but don’t worry, the jal jeera and buttermilk served with the thaliwill help you wash down the heavy meal.
Price: Rs 200 for Limited Veg Thali, Rs 300 for Unlimited Veg Thali
This article was first published on Burrp.com. 

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