If you want value for money, a thaali is one way to go. It’s like a buffet but only they bring the buffet to your table. You don’t need to get up to get more food and more importantly, you don’t need to keep using new plates (in turn saving the water that would have been used to wash the plates. *This public service announcement was brought to you by She said, She said*)
There are many places that offer a vegetarian thaali. The place that really finds a way to stand out however is Maharaja Bhog. Located in Hamzah Mall in Karama (down the street from the Karama Post Office), you will see the line when you drive past it. It doesn’t matter the day of the week, there usually are people waiting to get in. Parking isn’t the best either. Mix the parking situation with the waiting-in-line situation and your fight for this thaali becomes quite the “Hunger Games” situation – may the odds ever be in your favor! Having said that (fairly dramatically) the She Said duo truly thinks it is all worth the wait!
As soon as you are seated, you get your place with quite a few katoris (tiny little bowls) which in no time all starts to get filled with a variety of vegetables and lentils. If you are looking for your standard “paneer makhni” this isn’t the place for you. What you find here is truly traditional, North Indian cooking. You will have the options of chapatis or pooris to begin with after which they will move on to the rice.
It’s hard to name all of the dishes especially because every time you go there, there might be something new in store for you. They don’t serve the exact same things every time – some might like that, some might not. Having said that, I know the buttermilk they serve at the start of the meal is something you would get every time and most refreshing. . If you happen to be there on a day that they serve their dahi kadi – it is second only to my mom’s kadhi (and that is saying something).
A meal fit for a king!
The service here is very hospitable. They will force you to eat more than you should and given the food is so tasty, you give in. They might just say “one more poori ma’am- it’s so small, it won’t really matter. And how about more buttermilk?” – try not to give in. The food coma that can follow is something else!
So this Diwali, go out and enjoy this traditional meal fit for a king! Happy Diwali, She Said readers – may you have a safe and blingful Diwali and a most joyous New Year!