Indian dinning etiquette is built on traditions
- With a rich heritage, the history of Indian cuisine is as old as our civilization. The Indian dinning etiquette is built on traditions.
- In a land of numerous rituals, the act of offering food to deities gave birth to many traditions
Americans love a loaded thanksgiving table, Chinese can’t do without chopsticks, Britons have formal dining traditions and the rest of the world has its own - different cultures, cuisines and customs. With a rich heritage, the history of Indian cuisine is as old as our civilization. The Indian dinning etiquette is built on traditions. And behind almost every tradition are centuries of invasions, conquests, religious beliefs, political changes and social customs.
People from the Indus valley cooked with wild grains, herbs and plants. Most of them are staples today. The Mughals saw food as an art and made us familiar with the fragrance of rose water, the texture of yoghurt and desi ghee, and the use of spices. They showed us that eating is meant to be pleasurable. The Chinese introduced the tradition of tea, Portuguese made red chilli popular and from the British we borrowed the dinner decorum of being conservative.
More interesting is how traditions have come into shape, evolved and transformed over time. They primarily vary by region and religion. In a land of numerous rituals, the act of offering food to deities gave birth to many traditions. The prasadsam served at temples, the langar at Gurudwaras or the lavish Iftar meals are a reflection of our diverse ethnicity. These traditions made their way into our kitchens and influenced how we regard food – sacred and pure. For instance, in some cultures a prayer of thanks comes first and then you reach out for food with your hand.
Eating is an elaborate ritual and certain traditions create our cultural identity. Here’s exploring some ancient food traditions that form the basis of our culinary reputation and have left a significant mark on our multicultural cuisine.