Washing your hands is the first step of dining as per Indian etiquette. In restaurants, hotels and urban homes, tables and chairs are arranged for dining and this is a big part of how you eat in the most correct way. When you’re eating out at restaurants or ordering takeout, it’s not always easy to know what Indian food is healthy. Some dishes will be more healthy than others. Overall, it is a healthy type of food though.
There are some key points to remember though that are going to be gone over as per below in this article.
Use of Cutlery
While most Indian restaurants allow the use of cutlery when eating, don’t expect this to be the norm since people in India actually prefer to eat using their fingers. In a typical Indian household, you won’t see any spoons or forks on their table since the only eating instrument they require is their right hand. Even knives aren’t encouraged since Indian food is usually served in bite-sized pieces. If the dish is made up of liquid and sauces, they’re usually served in little cups, so you won’t really need a spoon. Also, since flatbreads like naan are a staple in Indian cuisine, tearing a piece of it and folding it serves as a makeshift spoon that you can use to scoop up sauces from the plate.
Left handed eating is not the done thing
Sharing your food is a big part of the experience
Continuing the discussion on using hands when eating, Indians generally prefer the right hand to use for eating. If you’re a left-handed person, you don’t really have any choice. This is since using the left hand is considered unclean and offensive. In fact, when eating, the left hand must remain clean at all times. This is as it is used for drinking or passing dishes. This is just as much the case in any Indian restaurant too.
In Indian culture, eating is a sacred and intimate affair. They highly encourage sharing of food with others, making visitors feel like they’re part of the family. Even if you’re dining at a restaurant and you ordered separate dishes for you and your companions, it is customary to share your dish with other people. But keep in mind to share only from the serving dish or bowl and not from your own plate. Similarly, do not, in any circumstance, take food from someone else’s plate as it’s considered unhygienic and offensive.
Try not to leave any food left over after eating out
When dining in a traditional Indian household or even at a restaurant, you must finish whatever you bring to your plate. Leftover food on one’s plant is severely frowned upon in Indian culture. While it’s encouraged to share food and taste all the different dishes, you’re not required to do so. So if you’re feeling extremely full already, make sure you finish what food you have. Look at what you have on your plate and respectfully decline the offer of tasting the other dishes served. So eat your food at a medium pace. From here, always be mindful of how full you are so you won’t have any leftovers.
Whether you are feeling adventurous for a unique cuisine or you just want to expand the gamut of your palate, there is no better place to start than an Indian restaurant. This, however, can prove to be a daunting experience given that Indian cuisine is, by nature, incredibly disparate. Trying any new restaurant is accompanied by its potential for not making the best choices. This is all when it comes to the menu, which is why you have the right to be cautious.