The Tastiest Navratri Vrat Thali Of 2021 – 4 Thalis Compared
After reviewing four Navratri Thalis we chose the one from Sagar Ratna as our Top Pick. This was the best Navratri Thali, from starter till dessert.
If you are observing the Navratri fasts this year and feel you’ll be missing out on all the delectable dishes, let us tell you- that’s not true. This year your Navratri fast will feel just like a feast. Here’s how.
Navratri fasts restrict certain ingredients like onion, garlic, some spices and any form of meat. Other elements that take the steering wheel during this 9-day Navratri fasting include potatoes, sabudana and buckwheat.
Most restaurants introduce Navratri-friendly meals that are pure vegetarian, do not contain onion or garlic, and are made using special ingredients. Amongst these lavish vrat-friendly menus, are the much-awaited Navratri Thalis. Navratri Thalis are meant for when you want to feast during your fast.
We picked Navratri thalis from four popular chain restaurants that have a prominent presence in the country. After gauging details about each thali meticulously, we picked Sagar Ratna Navratri Thali as the tastiest Navratri thali of 2021. We Also Recommend Bikanervala Navratri Thali. Read our Best Navratri Thali review to know more.
Navratri Thali Brands in India – Everything You Need To Know
Thali, as the name suggests, is a complete meal. You have everything right from a salad to a sweet dessert – all in one plate. This section will discuss all you need to know about the best Navratri thali brands, what’s inside the thalis, and how much it cost.
1. Available Brands
We researched and read about the places that have a Navratri special thali menu. And here are some we found –
- Sagar Ratna
- Khandani Rajdhani
- Om Sweets
- Other restaurants that also serve Navratri thalis include Cafe Delhi Heights, Maharaja Bhog, Daniell’s Tavern, Comorin, SodaBottleOpenerWala, Set’s, Hilton Garden, Manuhaar, The Earth Plate, Masala Kraft.
2. Price Range
On an average, a Navratri thali can cost anywhere between 250-500 rupees. The price depends on the restaurant, the variety the thali has to offer, and the type of thali (deluxe, executive etc).
3. Menu Items
Typically the menu items in a Navratri thali include kuttu pooris or paranthas, a samak khichdi or pulao, 2-3 gravies (sabzis), a dessert, and some sides and accompaniments like raita, papad, and pickle.
Some Navratri vrat thalis also have fried snacks or appetizers like a pakoda or a sabudana vada to enhance the vrat experience.
When you order in a Navratri thali, it is generally packed in plastic trays with separate compartments. They are sealed from the top with a plastic wrapper to avoid spillage. Restaurants may or may not choose to beautify their packaging with their brand logos and attractive outer sleeve boxes.
Plastic/wooden cutlery is usually offered along with some paper napkins.
Cutlery and napkins are equally significant additions to the thali if someone has their meal at their workplace.
5. Order Information
You can have these thalis in their dine-in restaurants, are available for takeaway, and, of course, available for delivery.
Due to the current lockdown/curfew restrictions, it is recommended to order your meals online. Most restaurants accept orders from online food delivery portals like Zomato and Swiggy or from restaurants directly. Some restaurants have their personal home delivery services too.
Thali-themed restaurants serve thalis all year round. The food items would vary based on the season and festivities.
However, the Navratri special thali is only available twice a year during the 9-day long Navratri festival, once in the beginning of the summer season and once before Diwali.
Typically, a thali for Navratri has items like kuttu poori, paneer gravy, aloo ki sabji, petha or kaddu, raita, and samak chawal khichdi or pulao. A fast-friendly sweet may be available as an ala-carte item, not part of the thali.
Navratri Thali Brands in India – Our Review Factors
Navratri is a grand festival that is celebrated for nine days. A lot of restaurants begin serving vrat-friendly thalis during this period. To review these Navratri thalis, we set out the following parameters –
How tasty is the overall thali? We noted down the flavor profiles of each component in the thali. Are the dishes well seasoned? Does everything taste fresh? Could we detect the authentic taste of ghee (if promised)?
2. Variety And Pairing
Thali means variety. People opt for thalis because they want a break from the mundane aloo sabzi-parantha or khichdi and dahi. Even those eating only one meal a day, enjoy a substantial variety in the thali.
We considered points like – What all does the thali have? How well do they all match each other? Any odd items? Anything that could have been left out or added to the thali? Are there any sides and accompaniments?
3. Value For Money
No one wants to spend a few hundred rupees on food that isn’t sufficient or good enough to satiate your cravings. Does the quality of food and variety of dishes in the thali justify the price? Is the thali worth the money you’re paying for?
How much food is there in the thali? Is it sufficient for a single person or more?
5. Individuality of each dish
Navratri thalis can be a feast for one, but sometimes everything in a thali can end up looking and tasting the same.
We wanted to see if this was the case with the thali or did everything have a different taste and individualistic flavor-identity.
How well are the thalis packaged? Is it attractive? Is the packaging sturdy? Is there any leakage or spillage? Does the thali come with paper napkins and disposable spoons? Is the disposable cutlery eco-friendly? Was the food hot when it reached us? Were the cold items cold or were they lukewarm?
Who Is This Review For?
Navratri Thalis are primarily for people who observe the fast and want to eat something beyond the home-cooked food to change flavors and variety.
But these are also for people who like the flavors synonymous with Navratri cooking and would like to take a break from regular, everyday food.
As these thalis are ONLY available twice during the entire year, for that one week, you wouldn’t want to miss out on some lip-smacking flavors.
How We Picked The Brands
First, we picked brands that have been serving the Navratri thali for a long time. Then we searched and added some brands that are new to the market. Our prime source of ordering was from any online delivery app. The idea was to pick brands with multiple outlets and are, therefore, available to a wider section of people
The Brands We Picked
We picked Navratri Thalis from four popular brands –
Which Thalis Did We Pick?
While some restaurants had only one type of Navratri thali, the others served multiple variants. In case a restaurant was serving more than one variant, we chose the thali that had more variety (higher range). We did this because we wanted to check them for their full range.
Our Review Process – How We Reviewed
Our review process was a simple one and took place in a single day. Once we had checked for leakage and packaging of each thali, we set them down and checked for the variety each thali had to offer.
After tasting each component and gauging them for the parameters mentioned above, we selected our Top Picks and recommendations.
Navratri Thali Brands in India – Let’s Find the Best
Navratri thalis can be extremely elaborate and wholesome. Here is a quick comparison chart displaying the prices and menu items of some of the best Navratri thali brands.
|Restaurant Name||MRP |
|Menu Items On The Thali|
|Chaayos||Rs 349/-||Green chutney, Meethi Chutney, Plain curd, Kuttu Paneer Pakoda, Aloo Sabzi, Tomato Paneer, Kaddu Ki Sabzi, 3 small sized rotis, Dry petha|
|Sagar Ratna||Rs 350/-||Sabudana papad, Kuttu pooris, Samak chawal khichdi, Paneer sabzi, Aloo sabzi, Arbi sabzi, Raita, Sabudana kheer|
|Bikanervala||Rs 400/-||Cucumber slices, Arbi pickle, Aloo chips, Boondi raita (Boondi made using vrat-friendly ingredients), Aloo sabzi, Tomato paneer, Shahi kofta, Kuttu pooris, Samak ki khichdi, and Makhane ki kheer.|
|Haldiram’s||Rs 390/-||Papad, Cucumber slices, Sabudana tikki, Vegetable raita, Kuttu paratha, Samak ka pulao, Paneer sabzi, Arbi masala and Gulab jamun|
#1 Sagar Ratna Navratri Thali – Mishry Top Pick
The Sagar Ratna is priced at Rs 350/-. This price is without taxes and delivery charges. Available in their dine-in outlets throughout, the thali is also available on online food delivery platforms like Zomato.
The Sagar Ratna Thali had a good variety and all the components made sense. Nothing in the thali seemed unwanted (to fill up space and make the thali seem more crowded).
Flavor-wise, we loved the aroma of ghee throughout all the dishes. The aloo sabzi and pooris are very homestyle. The sabudana kheer is delicious, and all the sago pearls have plumped up beautifully.
We feel that the packaging could have been better. The sealed plastic tray that held all the contents of the thali was very flimsy. The raita and kheer were packed separately, and the pooris came packed tightly in aluminium foil.
- Types of thalis available – There are two types of Navratri special thalis available at Sagar Ratna – Navratra Executive Thali (310/-) and Navratra Deluxe Thali (Rs 350/-)
- Menu of the thali we ordered (Deluxe thali) – The menu included the following dishes: Sabudana papad, Singhara-kuttu pooris, Samak chawal khichdi, Paneer sabzi, Aloo sabzi, Arbi sabzi, Raita, Sabudana kheer
- Each element of the Sagar Ratna thali is delicious.
- The aloo sabzi and kuttu pooris are very homestyle.
- All the gravies/sabzis were perfectly seasoned and cooked well.
- The fragrance of ghee is prominent throughout the thali.
- We loved how the samak khichdi was not sticky or gloopy. All the grains were separated, and the khichdi was very khila-khila. The seasoning is spot on as well.
- The packaging is a little flimsy and could have been better.
- The raita was a bit oversalted.
Best Suited For
The Sagar Ratna thali is for anyone looking for a flavorsome and wholesome thali during their Navratri fasting. All the elements in this thali are delectable and contribute positively to enhance the overall experience.
#2 Bikanervala Navratri Thali – Also Recommended
The Bikanervala Navratri Thali is priced at Rs 400/-. This price is for the Falahari Deluxe Thali excluding any taxes and delivery charges.
The Bikanervala Falahari Deluxe Thali came in a very festive packaging. Nothing spilled or leaked. We liked the fact that the pooris came packed in a paper bag. This helped retain the shape of the pooris.
Now, coming to the variety and flavor of each element. From the lauki kofta, paneer sabzi to the ghee-filled aloo sabzi, all the gravies tasted delicious. The pooris were soft and puffed up even when cold. The small portions of thick aloo chips given along the thali were addictive!
We also appreciate how a well thought out, well made, milk based dessert was given instead of a packaged mithai like petha or rasgulla. The samak khichdi needed improvement. But other than that, this was a wholesome and flavorful Navratri thali.
- Types of thalis available – There are three types of Navratri special thalis available at Bikanervala – Thali Navratra Special (Rs 300/-), Falahari Deluxe Thali (Rs 400/-) and Falahari Tandoori Platter (Rs 340/-).
- Menu of the thali we ordered (Falahari Deluxe Thali) – The menu included the following dishes: Samak ki khichdi, Paneer sabzi, Shahi kofta, Aloo sabzi, Veg raita, Falahari poori, Aloo chips, Arbi ka achaar, Salad, Makhana kheer.
- The Bikanervala thali has a good variety.
- We also loved the festive packaging of the thali.
- The pooris were puffed up and soft when they arrived.
- The lauki ka kofta was a surprisingly delicious element.
- Makhana kheer had the perfect sweetness and a balance of aromatics, spices, and dry fruits.
- The flavor of desi ghee is very evident.
- Full marks for making an effort to go all out with the boondi. The boondi was made using vrat friendly ingredients as well.
- The quantity is sufficient for 2 people.
- The curd of the raita was sour.
- The samak khichdi needs a delicious tadka. It was too bland.
Best Suited For
The Bikanervala thali is wholesome and full of flavor! For everyone looking for a filling Navratri thali eating experience at home with lots of variety, the Bikanervala thali is the perfect option.
#3 Haldiram’s Navratri Thali
The Haldiram’s Navratri Thali comes in a plastic tray pack and is sealed from the top to avoid spillage and leakage. The cost of the Haldiram’s Navratri thali is Rs 390/-. This price is excluding taxes and delivery charges.
Strangely, the Haldiram’s thali had added the paneer sabzi in two compartments. The staple aloo sabzi was missing from the thali completely. The ghee laden kuttu paranthas were a bit hard and were tough to chew. The raita tasted nice and fresh. The veggies and cumin in the raita uplifted the taste.
For dessert, Haldiram’s gave a piece of gulab jamun. While this was a tasty addition, we do not know if this is made using vrat-friendly ingredients. In case you’re fasting, do ask the restaurant before ordering/consuming.
- Types of thalis available – There is only one type of Navratri thali available at Haldiram’s, which is priced at Rs 390/-.
- Menu of the thali we ordered – The menu included the following dishes: Papad, Cucumber slices, Sabudana tikki, Vegetable raita, Kuttu paratha, Samak ka pulao, Paneer sabzi, Arbi masala and Gulab jamun.
- The sabudana tikki was crispy and tasty. It was seasoned well.
- The fresh tasting raita is also delicious.
- The paneer sabzi looks very appetizing and is very nutty and rich to taste.
- Even though the kuttu parathas were tasty and made using ghee, the texture was too hard. As it cooled down, it became chewier.
- The sabudana khichdi was a tad bit lumpy, and we didn’t enjoy it.
- The gulab jamun, while it tasted good, seemed like a regular one. We do not know if this was made using vrat friendly ingredients.
#4 Chaayos Navratri Thali
The Chaayos Navratri thali is priced at Rs 349/-. There is just a single variation of the Navratri thali available. Chaayos also offers a snack platter including sabudana tikki and paneer pakoda for people who are fasting. Chaayos promises that the food is made using 100% desi ghee.
The showstopper of the thali was the kuttu and paneer pakoda. When paired with the flavorful green chutney, the pakoda won us over. The paneer sabzi is also delicious and creamy.
We did miss an excellent finish to this otherwise delicious meal. The dessert, which was just three small pieces of petha, could have been a milk-based kheer or even a Bengali dessert.
- Types of thalis available – There is only one type of Navratri thali available at Chaayos, which is priced at Rs 349/-.
- Menu of the thali we ordered – The menu included the following dishes: Green chutney, Meethi chutney, Plain curd, Kuttu paneer pakoda, Aloo sabzi, Tomato paneer, Kaddu ki sabzi, 3 small sized rotis, Dry petha.
- It is made using 100% desi ghee.
- The paneer pakoda was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside—a clear match-winner.
- The packaging is elegant and attractive.
- The aloo sabzi was extremely sour.
- The dessert could have been more innovative.
Best Suited For
This thali is perfect for people who are ordering the thali at their workplace. Their packaging is mess-free and very on-the-go friendly.
Our Top Thali Pick for this Navratri 2021
Why did we choose Sagar Ratna Deluxe Navratri Thali as our Top Pick?
For our review, the thali had to excel in three departments – variety, flavor, and value for money.
We chose Sagar Ratna Navratri Thali as our Top Pick because this checked all the required boxes.
The Sagar Ratna Navratri Thali had a vast variety of sides, rice, breads, dessert, and main-course dishes. From the delicious paneer sabzi, to the fresh-tasting pooris and the well-made sabudana kheer, we loved it all.
Why do we Also Recommend Bikanervala Navratri Thali?
We also recommend the Bikanervala Navratri thali because it also has one of the best varieties amongst all the contenders. We appreciate the detailed curation of this thali which included boondi made using vrat-friendly ingredients and a rich makhana kheer. We also liked how well the thali was packed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on Navratri thali.
When are Navrtari Thalis available?
Navratri thalis are only available twice a year during the 9-day long festival of Navratri. This is not available all year round.
How much does a Navratri Thali cost?
Depending on the restaurant, quality and quantity, a thali can be priced anywhere between Rs 250/- to Rs 500/-.
Does a Navratri Thali contain onion and garlic?
Some vegetables and aromatics are a big no-no during the Navratri fasting, including onions and garlic.
Which is the best Navratri Thali in Delhi NCR 2021?
As per our Navratri thali review, Sagar Ratna Navratri Thali (deluxe) is the tastiest and most wholesome Navratri Thali in Delhi NCR. We also recommend Bikanervala Falahari Navratri Thali.
Summary – Navratri Thali Review
Sagar Ratna (Top Pick) and Bikanervala (Also Recommended) are the thalis you should definitely try during this Navratri season.
We liked how each component had a role in uplifting the overall look and value of the thali. Nothing was added to ‘crowd’ these platters; neither was anything missing.
We appreciate the addition of well made desserts in both these thalis, which in many ways complete the whole experience.
Which is your go-to brand of Navratri thali? Have you tried any of these before? How was your experience? Let us know in the comment section below.
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