5 Indian Dining Etiquette Dos and Don'ts to Remember (2024)

If you’re going out for dinner and looking for some Indian food in London, then you’re in for a journey full of flavour and tradition. Some of the best Indian cuisine restaurants can be found in the city, where you can enjoy a hearty meal made from the finest ingredients. But before you can sit down and eat, there are some dos and don’ts you need to remember first. Here are some tips in dining etiquette you should remember when dining out at a traditional restaurant serving Indian food or visiting an Indian household.

Use of Cutlery

While most Indian restaurants allow the use of cutlery when eating, don’t expect this to be the norm since people in India actually prefer to eat using their fingers. In a typical Indian household, you won’t see any spoons or forks on their table since the only eating instrument they require is their right hand. Even knives aren’t encouraged since Indian food is usually served in bite-sized pieces. If the dish is made up of liquid and sauces, they’re usually served in little cups, so you won’t really need a spoon. Also, since flatbreads like naan are a staple in Indian cuisine, tearing a piece of it and folding it serves as a makeshift spoon that you can use to scoop up sauces from the plate.

Lefties Aren’t Allowed

Continuing the discussion on using hands when eating, Indians generally prefer the right hand to use for eating. If you’re a left-handed person, you don’t really have any choice since using the left hand is considered unclean and offensive. In fact, when eating, the left hand must remain clean at all times as it is used for drinking or passing dishes.

Sharing Food

In Indian culture, eating is a sacred and intimate affair. They highly encourage sharing of food with others, making visitors feel like they’re part of the family. Even if you’re dining at a restaurant and you ordered separate dishes for you and your companions, it is customary to share your dish with other people. But keep in mind to share only from the serving dish or bowl and not from your own plate. Similarly, do not, in any circ*mstance, take food from someone else’s plate as it’s considered unhygienic and offensive.

Don’t Leave any Leftover Food

When dining in a traditional Indian household or even at a restaurant, you must finish whatever you bring to your plate. Leftover food on one’s plant is severely frowned upon in Indian culture. While it’s encouraged to share food and taste all the different dishes, you’re not required to do so. So if you’re feeling extremely full already, make sure you finish what food you have on your plate and respectfully decline the offer of tasting the other dishes served. So eat your food at a medium pace and always be mindful of how full you are so you won’t have any leftovers.

Paying Compliments

If you’ve finished your food a little early, you must remain seated until the host or the eldest person at the table finishes their food. Don’t get up from the table when someone is still eating. It’s also customary to positively compliment your host for the food. Even when eating at a restaurant, it wouldn’t hurt to pay your compliments to the chef and the servers.


Eating the Indian way is both fun and fascinating as you get to experience a culture that may be entirely new and different for you. Whenever you dine out or visit the house of an Indian friend, it’s best to know the proper dining etiquette so you’d have a great time eating traditional Indian cuisine.

Tower Tandoori has been serving Londoners in Tower Bridge Road for more than 40 years. With our delectable and authentic Indian-inspired dishes, you’ll have a completely different experience dining at our restaurant. If you want to taste food that reflects India’s cultural diversity, visit our London tandoori restaurant today!

5 Indian Dining Etiquette Dos and Don'ts to Remember (2024)
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