Considering the first thought that comes to people’s minds when you say ‘thali’ is an assortment of vegetables and the words all-you-can-eat, we appointed ourselves culinary crusaders once again and decided to tap into the lesser known chicken and mutton varieties of thali this week. Masala coated sukha chicken and tender chunks of mutton masala that come apart in your hand are just two of the amazing dishes available across the city. From hole-in-the-wall joints to more established eateries, here’s a list of our favourite chicken and mutton thalis to be had across Mumbai. From us, to you. Happy Eating.
I. Chicken Thali at Benzy’s
Where: Hotel Benzy Palace, Vijay Nagar, Marol Maroshi Road, Andheri East, Marol
Benzy’s in Vijay Nagar, Andheri East, makes a mean chicken thali and is a lunchtime favourite of corporates in the area when they can get away for a quick but supremely satisfying lunch. The chicken thali comes with three Malabari parathas, dal, rasam, a vegetable, chicken gravy, Kerala-style boiled rice and appalam along with pickle, salad, sol kadi and a sweet dish. We’re not sure how anyone manages to not take a two-hour-long nap after this though, so we’d recommend waiting for the weekend to try these out.
Cost: INR 160
II. Chicken Masala Thali at Highway Gomantak
Where: 44/2179, Gandhi Nagar, Service Road, Bandra East
Highway Gomantak needs no introduction. This eatery in Bandra East has been dishing out delicious thalis and more for over 20 years. And while we’re usually suckers for their seafood, once in a while, we’ll opt for their chicken sukha thali. And let’s just say it exceeds expectations every time. The dish comes with thecha, sol kadhi, roti or bhakri, rice, a Konkan-style light yellow curry and chicken in red or brown gravy. Pure, sinful goodness.
Cost: INR 240
III. Chicken Sukha Thali at Hotel Sunny
Where: Shop 43, Shell Colony Road, Chembur East, Chembur
Hotel Sunny in Chembur is nondescript, easy to miss, and absolutely delicious. Google Map your way here if you have to but don’t miss out on their chicken sukha thali. It comes with two vegetables, chutney, papadum, smoked dried chilly, paratha, appam, ada pradhaman, fruit salad, curry, a choice of brown or white rice, and delicious chicken sukha, of course. Our suggestion? Soak the white rice good and proper in that curry and crush the papdum all over it, then make sure you have a little pickle accompanying every spoonful to create the perfect bite.
Cost: INR 380
IV. Chicken Fry Thali at JP’s Lunch Home
Where: Shop 1, Sahyagiri CHSL, Near Railway Station, Goregaon East
The chicken fry thali at JP’s Lunch Home comes with three rotis, wade or bhakri, chicken masala, chicken fry, rice and kokum kadi. Can’t find any fault with this one, especially when their dry chicken fry is probably the best in town.
Cost: INR 200
V. Chicken Thali at Just Kerala
Where: Hotel Samraj, Chakala Road, Chakala
Just Kerala’s chicken thali comes with Kerala-style rice, rasam, thoran, mezhukkupuratti, pulissery or pachadi, avial, sambar, chicken curry, pappadam, parathas or appam, and buttermilk all served on a banana leaf.
Cost: INR 385
VI. Mutton Thali at Modern Lunch Home
Where: Harakh Niwas, Near Railway Station, Sion
Modern Lunch Home’s mutton thali features mutton along with a vegetable, rice, roti and a plain curry—the kind that’s so good you wish you could pack some up in a little dabba and take it home with you. Here’s a tip: order some neer dosa to sop up the curry instead of the roti. It does a better job and compliments the rich coconut flavour of the curry.
Cost: INR 310
VII. Chicken Dhangari Thali at Purepur Kolhapur
Where: 1, 2 Aditya Apartment, Parleshwar Road, Parleshwar Mandir, Vile Parle East
Purepur Kolhapur’s chicken dhangali thali a serving of chicken dhangali, half a portion of egg curry, pandhara rassa and tambda rassa, two rotis or one bhakri, along with rice or pulao and curd. As the restaurant’s name suggests, it serves food from the Kolhapur region of Maharashtra. And this isn’t food you want to miss out on.
Cost: INR 330
VIII. Mutton Thali at Satkar
Where: 15, 1st Floor, Dreamland Building, Opposite Railway Station, Goregaon East
Any foodie worth his salt will know that it’s always the most nondescript places that serve the best food and Satkar Rice Plate House embraces this philosophy whole heartedly. Their mutton thali is what we dream of on slow workdays when the temptation of stuffing our faces silly overrules all else. The thali features mutton in a gravy, rice, bhakri, and kokum kadi. Simple, yet satisfying.
Cost: INR 380
[Nobody died and made us chicken/ mutton thali gods. If we’ve missed out one of your favourite places, or you think something deserves a mention, let us and other readers know in the comments section below.]
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