How to eat a Rajdhani Thali?

Posted: November 8, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Way back in 2005, I had shared about how I had never felt as stuffed ever, after doing a Thali meal at the Rajdhani!

Four years and a few months since that day, I am now ready to tell it all. A “how-to” guide on handling a Thali at the Rajdhani. We did it today and fared so much better than that day four years back. Not to say that I had enjoyed the food any lesser 4 years back. A Rajdhani meal is always a delight. But for various reasons – the excellent food, the way they serve it quickly, the fact that it is unlimited and a Gujju always tries to make the most of “unlimited” and other such reasons – there is a big risk that you would get very stuffed. And sometimes uncomfortable after that. And so there has to be a strategy about how to enjoy a Rajdhani Thali. And which is what I figured out – finally – today!

So some of that strategy unintentionally fell in place.

I got up very late today. Decided to make it a real Sunday and not do any office work at all, for a change. Having not seen movies for a couple of weeks, needed to make it up with a couple today. The Informant and Jail. Looked for good back-to-back show timings, and found these at R-City Ghatkopar. And there, the first of the two movies was starting at 11-30 am. And by the time we figured that out, there was just enough time to get ready and move out quickly. So no time for breakfast. Also we just made it to the show on time. That was for The Informant. And since we were just in time, hence again, no time to grab a popcorn or anything. Just dashed in to our seats. But before that, also took the tickets for the second of the 2 movies, viz. Jail, at 2-30 pm.

Anyway, relevant to this post, the fact here was that we had had nothing to eat from morning. By the time the interval happened (which is when we tend to gorge on the samosas and the popcorn again), we had figured the logistical advantage with reference to Rajdhani.

That Rajdhani was bang outside the theatre in this mall.

That we would have about 45 min between the two movies. Which could be perfect for a Rajdhani meal.

So we actually stay put on our seats in the interval and contined to starve ourselves some more.

All for the Rajdhani meal that had to happen.

And indeed, at 1-45 pm when we walked out of The Informant, we headed into the Rajdhani. All set for enjoying the perfect Rajdhani meal.

So the first part of the “how-to” and which happened accidentally for us, but which can happen by purpose for you, was to stay very hungry, as you get into Rajdhani.

(Disclaimer: we did have a pure Rajasthani meal for dinner at a party, the previous night, and ordinarily that would have also been a no-no for the Rajdhani lunch the next day. But as I am not a very big fan of Rajasthani food, I had not stuffed myself up, and was safe for the thali!)

As you now get in position with the Thali in front of you, you will find a score of watis (small bowls) in the thali (steel plate). And before you know, all the space in the thali, all the watis, and the couple of glasses outside, will all get filled up, with the range of offerings on the menu, that day. And you can be pardoned if you gasp just at this point. Most peole – and all first timers – do that.

Now come the important parts of the strategy.

1. At this time, you assess what is on offer. Figure out, mainly by your known favorites, as to what items you will “hit” on. What I mean is, what items you are likely to have a lot of.. ! Ideally these should be no more than 3-4.

2. The next step is to start nibbling on everything. By chance you do NOT like one or two of the items (which is very unlikely), do not waste any time on those. Oh, sorry, don’t waste any stomach space on those. Keep them aside. Immediately.You will need all the stomach space that you can afford to keep empty!

3. Now, you may take an occasional spoon of the items you want to ‘hit’, but for most parts, first finish off everything else on the thali. Especially if you are like me, and don’t like to leave things in your plate when you finish the food.

4. Now as you are finishing off all those “other” items on the thali, there will be attacks on you. From the servers. Wanting to give you more of those items. You have to ward off those attacks. And this takes some doing. You have to come out loud and clear that “you don’t want those things, and if you do need them, you will ask for them”. If you do not take this step, be warned that you will keep getting more and more of those ‘other’ items, and will either have to let them waste in your thali, or you will never reach the key items that you want to ‘hit’.

5. Now if you have played it well, you reach the meat. Well, that is only matter of speaking. Because both the Rajdhani and I, are vegetarian, and so I was clearly not speaking about actual “meat”. What I meant was that you reach the key items you want to max out on. In my case, these items were the surati undhiya (mouthwatering most loved Gujju vegetable for me!), the malpu and rabdi, and the basundi. (If you know me even a little bit, this should not surprise you – my love for the sweeter things in life!). Second priorities were the kadhi and the chhas.

So I attacked the undhiya, the basundi and the malpua. A few rounds of these, each.

And then, as I got done, in time to catch Jail, I had an empty thali in front of me, I had had a fabulous meal, I was stuffed enough but not S-T-U-F-F-E-D. So I could stand up and walk to the cinemas again. And I had managed to get good helpings of all my favorite items there. All in all, a very satisfying Rajdhani thali performance!

To complete the story, as we sat through the second film, I did not fall asleep. As much a credit to the movie as to the fact that I had done a good job of the Rajdhani meal. Any worse and I would have surely snored away on the seat there!

And the second thing was that we were stuffed just right, to again have a food-less interval. Which was not bad!

I could drive back comfortably, do other things for the rest of the evening, and still want only a light dinner later in the evening, confirmed that I had handled the Rajdhani meal, just perfectly!

Want more tips for a Rajdhani meal? Write in to me..
P.S. On suggestion of @hkotadia I am adding an image of the typical Rajdhani thali. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of what we actually ate. Also note that this thali keeps getting continuosly refilled. So visualize that!!

  1. hkotadia says:


    You should post some photos too, that will convey the challenge.

  2. […] a comment » In the course of my elaborate explanation of eating a Rajdhani Thali, I did share the fact that we saw two movies, back-to-back on the Sunday. Let me quickly share my […]

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