India is one of the most promising lands that have been captivating the visitors with its scenic view and age-old tradition since time immemorial. Everything from picturesque locations to delectable cuisine, India attracts tourists from all over the world. The thriving economy, excellent architecture, and diverse culture make India a paradise in the true sense. The hospitability served by Indian people not only wins the admiration but also the hearts of the visitors. If you are planning to visit India then you might come across a unique dining manner that is not found in any corner of the world. The most common difference between the Indian and Western dining cultures is that Indians love to eat with their hands. Indians make sure that the guests are comfortable and should feel at home.
Just like the dining manner, Indian food differs from Western food and might appear atypical for outsiders. Do not need to stress out, as Indian food is made with a variety of aromatic spices, green vegetables, and juicy meat. The protein-rich lentils are used to prepare curry and Indian food is always incomplete without a sweet dish. Indian food is often served with rice, wheat loaves, and bread depending on the dish and preference of the individual.
Below is the list of dining etiquettes that one must follow while eating in an Indian household. These dining etiquettes will help you experience the traditional way of eating Indian food.
Indians prefer to eat with their hands as they believe hands hold the power and protect our digestive system to get affected by harmful bacteria. The direct contact of food with the fingers brings natural flavours of spices and food to our mouths. While not all dishes and food are eaten with hands as curry and gravy require a spoon to eat. Eating with hands is a common practice followed by almost every Indian household.
Since Indians love to eat with their hands so it becomes significant to wash their hands before eating. Washing helps remove microscopic germs from the hands and keeps the body healthy. It is essential to wash hands before and after eating. Whether you are eating with your hands or cutlery, you are supposed to wash your hands.
Unlike in Western countries, there is no tradition of serving starter, main course, and dessert. Indian food is always served in one go in different bowls and plates. It is completely the choice of the eater to start a meal with any dish served on the platter. It helps in having a different taste at the same time and if you think you need more then you can go for the second round. Never create a mess while eating and avoid talking.
Always use your right hand for eating as your left hand is used to pass the dishes to others and drink water. The use of the left hand for eating is usually considered offensive in Indian dining and is not a sign of healthy eating. If you are eating at an Indian household or restaurant always make use of your right hand, not your left hand.
The idea of dining alone does not go well with Indians as they love to eat with their family and friends. Sitting together for a dinner and having a heart-to-heart talk keeps the whole family united and happy. Well, sharing is a sign of caring and Indians firmly believe this. The conviction of sharing food is instilled in the mind of children from a very young age. Always remember to share the food from the serving bowl, not from the plate. Avoid dipping your used forks and spoons into others’ platter as it is considered insalubrious.
Indians do not appreciate those who leave the food midway. Once you have seated down for your meal you are expected to complete it. Standing in the middle of dining might leave a bad impression.
Leaving food on a plate is not encouraged in Indian culture. It is not necessary to taste every dish but once it is served on your plate you must finish it. Take only as much food as you can finish, it might avoid the wastage of food. Indians being kind insist consistently to have more but you can politely refuse if you think you are done.