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The first Thali Tradition at MOOD Delhi served Darjeeling on a plate

After hosting sold-out Thali Festivals in the past, #ThaliThursday witnessed its first edition last week at MOOD in Delhi's Vasant Vihar was a celebration of Darjeeling cuisine

The first edition of The Thali Tradition in collaboration with MOOD in Delhi was a love letter to a regional cuisine and put the traditional thali on the front seat.

The Thali Tradition, The Ultimate Chef’s Table, is owned and produced by The Ideas Lab. At the core of all our curated programming is storytelling that is immersive, comprehensive, and contemporary.

MOOD is run by mother-daughter duo, Kusuma and Nicole Juneja. It was Darjeeling on a plate where the food was inspired by Nepali, Tibetan, Bhutanese and Lepcha cuisine. The one-day experience had two settings— lunch and dinner where participants got to experience locally sourced ingredients with authentic Darjeeling must-haves! The thalis were available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants. Barring a couple of dishes, most were the same in both variants of the thali. It was a no-brainer that the guests started their meal with Momos with Dallay Ra Tamatar Ko Achaar. Other items on the menu included Iskush, Ema Datchi (for vegetarians), Smoked Pork, Bhutay Ko Karela (for vegetarians), Yakitori Chicken, Aloo ka Achaar, Pyaaz Ra Tamatar Ko Achaar, Cucumber Salad, Mula Ko Achaar, Gundruk Ko Jhol and Steamed Rice.  The dessert for the day was Khapse, a deep-fried Tibetan biscuit made with Pahadi Coffee which included Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin, Cold Brew Coffee and sugar. The food was paired with cocktails by Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin. Upon arrival, the guests were served the Darjeeling Punch which was made from the Hapusa Dry Gin with Second Flush Darjeeling Tea, Himalayan Pink Salt, Palm Sugar Syrup, Fresh Lime juice and Nutmeg. The thali was also enjoyed with the Hapusa G&T with orange.

The Thali Tradition—our sister-company—was held at Kusuma and Nicole’s house in Vasant Vihar.  This way, the women behind MOOD were not only able to serve authentic, flavourful cuisine which was traditional to their culture but also created an intimate environment, letting the guests have a peek into their life and home.

While the first edition of the #ThaliThursdays was on December 14, the concept has been around for a while. In 2018, The Ideas Lab launched a luxurious Thali festival as an ode to regional Indian cuisine. The year after, we programmed and designed an empty building in Jor Bagh into the Thali Tradition Bhawan. Surprisingly, both years, the event was sold out within three days. Through our experiential storytelling centred around the thali and love for regional food being at the centre, we debunked the myth that a thali cannot appeal to the modern Indian consumer.

Powered by Zomato Live, #ThaliThursdays is a monthly food theatre that shares culinary traditions and stories from different regions of India. It is supposed to be a momentary respite from the universally dreaded question – “What do you want for dinner tonight?”

Take a peak at the experiential meal which was held at MOOD in Vasant Vihar on December 14, 2023.