Everything you need to know about Indian Dining Etiquettes

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The variety of food in Indian Cuisine is huge and popular. We all love Indian Food – no matter where we belong to. In America, there are over 80,000 Indian Food Restaurants. Those work because people love what they serve. Right?

But do you know the proper Indian Dining Etiquettes? Surely, the ‘eating with hand’ thing makes you feel a bit reluctant towards trying out Indian Food but is that all? Are you supposed to eat each part of Indian Food with hand? What about other etiquettes which need to be observed while savouring Indian dishes in an Indian Restaurant?

Though proper table manners vary with culture to culture, there are some basic rules that need to be followed. Here’s what you need to know about Indian Dining Etiquettes:

  1. You must wash your hands before and after eating food, even if you are going to eat all of it with a spoon.
  2. It is considered unhygienic to clean your eating hand with cloth or tissue. But this is now quite acceptable.
  3. Though traditional Indian cutlery doesn’t recognize the use of fork and knife, modern India does eat with spoon. Curry based dishes should be eaten with help of the spoon.
  4. When flatbreads are served with food, it is okay to use pieces of them to gather food and gulp up the gravies.
  5. Forks and spoons are used to distribute food to others and it is considered rude to touch someone else’s food.
  6. While having south Indian food, one must use the tip of the fingers to eat. It is considered ill mannered to let the food stain the outside of your fingers or palm.
  7. The pace of eating matters a lot. Eating too quickly is rude. Eating too slow would imply that you don’t like the food. Also, one must never play with the food while eating.
  8. Use of napkins or tissues while eating is permissible in North India. In South India, a long towel is kept on the shoulder which can be used for the same purpose.
  9. It is considered rude if the host doesn’t offer you food multiple times.
  10. It is a custom to share food with everyone who wants it.
  11. Sharing of food is good according to Indian Dining etiquettes but the food must not come in contact with other person’s spit if this has to be practiced.
  12. In India, food is considered sacred. So, one must finish whatever has been served in the plate. It is not necessary to taste all the dishes in the menu but what has been served, must be finished.
  13. Food has to be consumed with one hand only. Try to use your right hand. This doesn’t apply for Punjabi Food.
  14. If the meal has been served on banana leaves, one must fold the leaves over from the top. This would imply that you have finished eating.
  15. One must not leave the table before the host or the eldest person has finished the food.
  16. In some parts of India, people follow the rule of not drinking water while eating food. Water has to be drunk after one has finished eating.
  17. Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Try to eat silently.

Now that you know the basics of Indian Dining Etiquette, you can walk inside an Indian Restaurant and eat like a ‘pro’ ;)

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