Indian Dining Etiquette: The Dos & Don'ts
Updated: Feb 28
Indian food has become one of the fastest growing segments of the ethnic food scene in recent years. More Americans have had some sort of exposure to the cuisine known for its diverse range of ingredients; tongue tickling flavors, health benefits, and levels of spiciness.
From London to Dubai, Bangkok to Brunswick, you can find an Indian restaurant just about anywhere these days. Bombay Mahal in Brunswick, Maine has been cooking up some of India's most spicy dishes for its customers for over 30 years.
Here are 5 do's & don'ts for your next Indian meal:
1. DO Wash Your Hands:
Washing your hands is an extremely important part of Indian dining etiquette, especially as it is customary to eat using your hands instead of or in addition to cutlery. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly at the start of the meal and after you have finished eating.
2. DON’T Use Your Left Hand:
In Indian culture it is considered unclean and disrespectful to use your left hand for eating. Use your right hand to scoop up your food with a naan or some riceand keep your left hand dry for passing dishes around the table or taking a drink.
3. DO Share Your Food:
Sharing food with friends and family is customary and encouraged in Indian culture. While you should never share food with others directly from your plate, it is traditional to have many different dishes on the table during a meal so that they can be passed around the group.
4. DON’T Leave Leftovers:
It is considered insulting in Indian culture to leave food behind on your plate after finishing a meal, as everything has been prepared with great care by the host. Consider how much of each dish you are putting onto your plate during the meal so as not to over face yourself.
5. DO Stay Seated:
When you have finished your meal, it is considered respectful Indian dining etiquette to stay seated at the table until the eldest person has finished eating. If you finish your food early, this is a great opportunity to chat with friends or compliment the chef on their culinary efforts!