The Traditional style of
Indian eating is, Thali Style, different from what is customary in the
west. Various dishes of all courses are served into small bowls (katoris),
which are then neatly arranged on a large rimmed plate (thali). Rice, bread
(Roti), pickles (achar) etc. are placed on the plate and this is fully arranged
thali, which is served to each person.
In the south, the customary replacement
for the thali is a banana leaf, These leaves are also used
for formal events, such as wedding banquets.
But it is not necessary, of course, to
stick to thali style or banana leaf of eating in order to enjoy Indian
food. The western style of serving separate courses is also suitable, in fact
it avoids the waste often associated with the thali style where it is difficult
to judge everyone's preferences and capacity.
An ordinary meal compose of a main dish
consisting of meat, poultry or vegetables and accompany it with Indian bread
(in the north) or rice (in the south). There are no separate courses, and even
dessert, if there is one, is trationally served with other dishes. For a more
elaborate meal, include a selection of side dishes such as daals, vegetables,
salad and raita. Pickles and chutneys are not essential but they add texture
and taste to the the meal.
Traditional-Style of Eating with Fingers
Traditionally, the food in
India is not eaten with a knife or a fork: Custom dictates that the right hand
be used to pick up the food with the help of rice or bread that is always
served with the food.
Most Indians, today also,
eat with their fingers, which adds a highly sensual accent to the dining
experience. Using fingers rather than a spoon or a fork is also logical
especially when bread is served. Indian breads like Mexican tortillas are
very soft and pliable. It is easy to tear a piece and use it to scoop up or
wrap around main dish.