Get into the festive spirit with a traditional South Indian thali. As we welcome the festival of lights, your home is probably already abuzz with activity and your kitchen, a scene of hectic preparations. While you get your annual dose of Festive Sweet And Savoury Favourites and plan that Cocktail Menu for your Diwali Party - here is a traditional home-cooked South Indian meal menu to bring back some comfort to all your planning.
You may pick as many dishes from each course as you wish, but do make sure that you have at least one dish from every row as that will make your meal complete and wholesome.
No South Indian meal is complete without a crunchy beginning. We love our savoury snacks and for Diwali we have Onion Pakoras, the traditional Elai Vadam and a Ridge Gourd Peel Chutney to go with it.
For vegetables, we have a selection that includes healthy greens or Agathi Keerai, everybody's favourite that is Spicy Potato Roast and an Okra Stir-fried South Indian style.
The main part of any South Indian meal is the rice and lentils, of which we have so many forms. This Diwali, revisit old favourites like Tomato Rasam, Kerala Style Pulissery and Brinjal Pitlai.
Choose from Simple Steamed Rice, Coconut Rice or Curd Rice - classics that complement every South Indian meal.
This meal would be utterly incomplete without something to assuage festive sweet cravings. So we have the Rava Ladoo, Balushahi and Paal Payasam - sweets that will bring a perfect end to the meal but a welcome beginning to the festivities to come.