The elaborate Gujarati-Rajasthani meal at Ohri’s De Thali is loaded with varied tastes and flavours. It is a Friday afternoon and I step into De Thali at White House, Begumpet, to indulge in a Gujarati/Rajasthani meal. My jaw drops as I look at the the 32 dishes listed on the digital menu at the entrance.
I find a cosy place to experience this lavish meal. As the waiters make sure I am comfortably seated , I look around. White is the dominant colour on tables, chairs and the restaurant is well ventilated. The waiter bring a glass of buttermilk. Then, as I relax over the instrumental music in the background, two waiters come with a jug of warm water for me to wash my hands.
De Thali was launched seven years ago when Amar Ohri of the Ohri’s group realised there was no restaurant in the city that offered Gujarati and Rajasthani cuisine. “There is a plethora of delicious vegetarian flavours from these two states which have not been experienced in the south,” he says, adding, “The service is legendary in Gujarat and Rajasthan and the culture of treating every guest as family is quite evident; we wanted to bring that to Hyderabad.”
Apart from the families residing in the nearby residential Kundan Bagh colony, the restaurant also caters to the employees working in companies in the nearby Somajiguda and Begumpet areas, on a regular basis. “The thali is best suited for corporate and residential areas as the variety and speed appeal to those looking for a quick bite; being wholesome vegetarian food is an added attraction,” he says
The waiters serve every item explaining its taste. We begin with groundnut-salad and move to fried peas kachori and dhokla served with three dips: mint, sweet and garlic chutney. As you relish the sweet-sour taste, the restaurant’s signature dish daal baati choorma arrives.
One look a the dish and our photographer recalls, on a lighter vein, how during a trip to Rajasthan, he ate this protein-rich dish and felt full for two days!
Soon the main course arrives with three varieties of breads: from the simple and delicious thepla and traditional rotla (bajra flat bread) to soft and healthy phulkas which can be had with bhendi curry with matar, spicy paneer gravy, aalu sambhariya, methi vadi, Jodhpuri gatha, ker sangri, Rajasthani kadhi and dal, (a spicy contrast to the sweet Gujarati dal).
The thali offers a veritable treat with a burst of tastes, flavours, and colours too.
I give my tummy a break to look around the family crowd enjoying their meal. A toddler seated on a high baby chair plays hide and seek while another one wants to eat only the desserts.
The meal doesn’t disappoint the lovers who can savour the soft khichdi, flavoured rice or curd rice. There is spiced rice for those who want to have it with dal. The hearty meal also includes three desserts. The thali is unlimited, but we wonder, with such an elaborate meal, if there is any need for second helpings.
The restaurant also has a takeaway section which offers set combos of either dal baati choorma, biryani or khichdi, along with side dishes. #KhabarLive