India food culture - Indian dining etiquette, habits, table manners

As in many cultures, proper habits of eating and drinking are very important. Dining etiquette is widely respected in parts of Indian culture, local customs, traditions, and religions. Proper table manners vary from culture to culture, although there are always a few basic rules that are important to follow. Etiquette should be observed when dining in any Indian household or restaurant, though the acceptable standards depend upon the situation. Here in this article, we will show you some Indian dining etiquette, Indian food habits, Indian dining table, table manners, dishes. Just keep reading to learn more about India food culture. Food facts!

Indian food culture, etiquette, and facts

Cutlery

The usage of spoons and forks is prevalent in the urban areas of North India, and food like curry or vegetables is generally not touched with the hands. When flatbreads such as chapati, roti, or naan are served with the meal, it is acceptable to use pieces of them to gather food and sop up gravies and curries. Not all Indian foods should be eaten with the hands, however. If the food is soupy, such as many daals, spoons can be used. Additionally, foods such as rice may be eaten with spoons in North India, more so in case of formal occasions as in a restaurant or a buffet. In South India, where the practice of eating food from a banana leaf is still observed, it is not acceptable to eat using spoons except on rare occasions.

Indian eating dining etiquette

Indians eating with their hands

Traditional Indian cutlery does not recognise the use of spoons, forks and knives while eating, limiting their use to the kitchen only. Spoons (for serving) were made of wood in ancient times, evolving into metallic spoons (for serving) during the advent of the use of the thali, the traditional dish on which Indian food is served. 

Contamination with saliva

This concept can refer to the food item or the utensils or serving dishes, that has come in contact with someone's mouth, or saliva or the plate while eating, something that directly or indirectly came in contact with one's saliva. It can also refer to leftover food. It is considered extremely rude and unhygienic to offer someone food contaminated with saliva. It is, however, not uncommon in India for spouses, or extremely close friends or family, to offer each other such contaminated food and is not considered disrespectful under such circumstances. In certain cases, as in the first lunch by the newly-weds, sharing food from each other's plates may be thought of as an indication of intimacy. You may also check out to get more India facts for kids!

Do Indians eat beef?

Beef eating is considered a taboo in much of India as cows are considered a sacred animal in Hinduism, the majority tradition in India. Hence beef is not readily available and there is a ban on cattle slaughter in most of India barring a few states, though there is no official ban on consumption of imported beef. Non-Hindu communities do eat beef, as it is not considered sacred in their religions, however, many Indian Christians and Indian Muslims do not consume beef as they most likely consider this an Indian cultural aspect and not a religious one. Most restaurants and fast-food chain-based eateries in India also do not serve beef. Meats such as chicken, goat and lamb are served, and seafood such as fish and prawn are served. Many Indian restaurants in outside India include beef dishes on their menus to cater to non-Hindus.

Indian don't eat beef

Indians don't eat beef

Do Indians eat pork

Muslims in India do not eat pork as consumption of pork is prohibited in Islam; however, Hindus and people of other traditions in India do not practice this prohibition. In Goa, pork vindaloo is a popular dish, and the Kodagu district of Karnataka is known for its spicy pork curries. Pork pickles are very popular among the meat-eating population. Nothing is explicitly stated about the non-consumption of pork in Hindu texts and scriptures.

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