Indian Dining Manners and Etiquette

Indian Dining Manners and Etiquette

Indian cuisine reflects the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage. India’s belief systems as presented in ‘Rig Veda’—ancient India’s repository of Vedic Sanskrit hymns finds its expression in food. As per Indian wisdom, food is God given and scared. Hence it is not something to be eaten for enjoyment. Eating Indian food also requires dining etiquette. Important etiquettes are:

  • Washing your hands and taking the seat offered to start your meal
  • Offering a seat to each other is an act of courtesy
  • Waiting until the elders sit for the meal
  • Maintaining good hygiene

Indian Food Sequence

Indian cuisine is different from the West because the concept of ‘Courses’ is not relevant in India.  Indian food is always served in one go. Thanks to India’s regional cultures there are different cuisines with varying styles of serving. The great respect towards food and adherence to traditional etiquette has not changed over the years.

Best Indian food
Standard Indian dish

A standard Indian meal consists of flatbreads like Roti and Naan, Curries, Daal and Rice accompanied by many sweets and savories.

Indian Food Curry
Indians do not usually use cutlery for eating, although the fashion of using a spoon for rice is catching up in cities. The hands are preferred and more convenient for eating flat breads and curries.

Naan bread - Indian Food
Use your Right Hand: When eating Indian food, always use your right hand. Cut out a small piece from the flat bread with your fingers and scoop the curry onto the flat bread and eat it.  Using your left hand is considered offensive and unclean.

Eating Indian food with hand
Proper scooping means making a boat-like shape with the roti and scooping up the curry without letting it touch your fingers. Insert the food into your mouth before letting anything spill out of the boat.

Finish up all your food: Never leave any leftover food in your plate; make sure to finish it all.  Leaving food in your plate is considered as bad manners; also do not talk with food in your mouth.

Pay Compliments: Indian food is prepared with great care and effort. Positively complimenting the food will make the host happy.

Sharing food: Sharing is an important part of Indian etiquette and culture. When two people are dining together in a restaurant and have two different dishes, it is customary to share those dishes. Do the sharing from the bowl only and not from the other person’s plate.

Leaving the Table: One should not leave the table before the host or the eldest person finishes their food.

Do not waste Food: It is not necessary to taste each and every dish but finish everything on your plate. Eating too fast or too slow implies that you are either rude or dislike the food.

Whatever the case, if you are enamored by Indian cuisine always eat authentic Indian food at the best Indian restaurants in your city.

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