Top 3 Indian Food Customs
There are many traditions in India when it comes to food, and they tend to vary from region to region. Southern locations will have different customs than their northern counterparts, for instance, although most traditions are common across the subcontinent.
Dining etiquette is important in all countries, as it shows respect and good manners; the same is true in India, where eating can be seen as an intricate ritual that is unique to the country:
Eating with Your Hands
One of the most widely recognised customs, eating with the hands is part of Indian culture and tradition. Its origins can be traced back to Ayurveda, a medical science that aims to keep people’s bodies and minds healthy and balanced. In this science, eating is considered a sensory experience that evokes emotion.
The fingers symbolise the five elements: air, water, fire, earth and space, the latter being represented by the thumb. Eating with your hands is supposed to help with digestion and also allows you to become more aware of the flavours, textures and aromas in the food.
Serving Food on Banana Leaves
A practice that is more commonly found in the south of India, especially in Kerala. This custom is considered a healthy way to dine, as placing hot food on banana leaves releases beautiful aromas and nutrients. Banana leaves have a high content of polyphenols, which is a natural antioxidant.
Serving food on banana leaves is an old custom. It was considered more hygienic than using wooden bowls and plates; also, these leaves are perfect as dishes, as there are plenty of them in the subcontinent, they’re large, thick and not perforated. This means they are ideal for meals like curries.
Sitting on the Floor
Another Indian tradition during meals is to sit on the floor, as it’s considered to have several health benefits. For instance, the constant bending of the spine is said to improve blood circulation, the cross-legged position (sukhasana or half padmasna) contributes to a healthier digestion, and improves your posture.
In addition, you can also become more flexible; the muscles in your lower back, pelvis and stomach stretch, which reduces pain and discomfort and helps you relax.
India is a country rich in tradition and culinary delights. There are many different food customs in the subcontinent, depending on where you go, as well as many different dishes; while you may not be in India, you can experience authentic Indian food when you visit our restaurant!