Food from India


Food in India

***** Location: India
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Humanity


Indian food, who would not remember the smell of curry in the air!
It varies a great deal from North to South and here we will explore same samples of it.
The list will grow as we go along. Please add your favorite dishes and haiku to this article.

As long as there is no other mention,
the food will be considered a non-seasonal topic for haiku.

Gabi Greve


Quote from "http://www.food-india.com/"
Etiquette in Indian Restaurant

The basic etiquette for any restaurant is very similar such as leaving a nice tip for good service, and being courteous to your host. Many Indian restaurants are not very formal. Yes even those considered best (Indian restaurant are usually very similar). The etiquette for Indian (or any ethnic South Asian) restaurants might be little different from other restaurants.
Below I have provided some basic rules.

Do Not Ask for Beef or Pork:
Many Indians are either Hindus or Muslims. In Hinduism, the cow is considered a sacred animal so it cannot be eaten. Similarly, Muslims consider the pig to be a very filthy animal so it cannot be eaten. Most Indian restaurants do not serve any beef or pork products. Many restaurateurs might get offended if you ask for beef or pork, when you do not see it on the menu. If you see it on the menu, it is okay to ask.

However, both of those meats are not really an Indian specialty, so the safest bet for meat is chicken meat followed by lamb meat. Please also note that some Indian restaurants are purely vegetarian and do not serve any meat. Vegetarian restaurants are usually marked vegetarian from outside. Please do not offend a vegetarian owner by asking for meat.

If it is not wet or messy, it is okay to eat with hand:
Many Indian food such as naan (flat bread) can be enjoyed by eating with hand. The proper technique would be to break the bread, dip or take small piece of condiments such as chutney, or vegetable curry and eat it. So, it is perfectly fine to use your hands while eating. The basic rule of thumb is if you do not make a mess by eating something with your hands (such as liquid, grains of rice) it can be enjoyed with your hands if you wish.
The philosophy behind this is that eating is a very sensual thing and one should be able to enjoy eating with as many senses as possible – tasting, smelling, looking and touching.

Concept of ‘Jutha’:
’Jutha’ means something that came in contact with your mouth, your saliva or your plate (while eating). It is basically something that directly or indirectly came in contact with your saliva. It is considered very rude and unhygienic to offer someone else your ‘Jutha’ unless you are very close family, couple or close friend. So, avoid doing this if you are not sure how your other Indian diners feel about it.

Alcoholic Drinks:
Many Indian restaurants would not serve alcoholic drink. Even they serve alcohol, few restaurants have any range to choose from. Indians do not have any wine and dine culture, so best would be to go dry and try something like mango lassi for a refreshing alternative.

Paying Bill
For many Indians, when they invite you to a restaurant, it generally means they are the host and they are going to pay the bill. It however depends on the individual and nature of the invitation. Many Indians feel awkward asking new acquaintances or friends to ask for payment if they invited them. Even if they want to pay you, when offered money, they will say no at least once. So, please be double sure if they want to share.
Similarly, when you invite your Indian friend to Indian restaurant they might think you will be paying it. If you want to go dutch, rather than inviting them, just use words as “lets go Xyz” or “lets us both try Xyz”

Find your favorite recipe here:

Worldwide use


Curry Rice, or rather karee raisu カレーライス, it to be found everywhere.

Curry (カレー, karee)

When I want to tease my Japanese friends asking about our stay in India, I tell them:
"We ate rice and curry for breakfast, curry and rice for lunch and later rice and curry for dinner."

Gabi Greve

Food of Japan, by Naomichi Ishige
A very detailes history of Japanese food !

Things found on the way

Malai Koftha

Read the recipe here:


Memories of a party
by Narayanan Raghunathan

confusing scents~
perfumes from paris fuse
with mughali cuisine

party accident~
malai koftha on
benaras silk

Malai Koftha is a North Indian delicasy prepared with vegetables cream and spices. To be eaten with roti, chappathy, poori etc. [Types of Indian wheat main-dishes.]

the feast over ~
flies take over
the residual worlds

neon lights~
farewells~a bird song
in the astral cover

... ... ...

Here is my story about Indian food.

One day in Bombay we went to a very elegant and expensive restaurant. The tables with white linnen, silver candle sticks, tea service of silver and crystal, flower vases highly decorated, delicate music in the background, all in the Great British Tradition.

A table was set with elegant plates and glasse and then a group of six businessmen came in to take their lunch. All in suits and neckties of the latest fashion, elegant shoes, attachee cases, Rolex watches, you name it, the expensive crew...

They sat down and their meal came.
So, they pushed up the sleeves of their right arm just a little and started to partake <> with the fingers of the right hand, as is the old Indian tradition. (The left hand serves quite a different purpose, once the meal is digested.)

After the meal they were served water in a crystal glass bowl with silver lining each, a sliver of lemon in the water to wash the hands and the finest linnen towles to dry.

My husband and I at the table next to this elegant finger eaters could not help but smile at the power of assimilating certain things and keeping others of the own tradition, and then we eat with our fingers too .... mjami!

I am sure I will prepare a memory curry today!

Gabi Greve

... ... ...

In Kenya too, fingers are best (and are so skilled...!), and spoons are used a lot. Knives and forks hardly ever make an appearance. And I too, having lived in Kenya (and having tasted Japan...) use just one knife, for cutting up things in the kitchen -- then eat with chopsticks, hands and spoons as the case (and the food!) may be.
Which sometimes poses a problem when friends drop in and I cannot find the forks...

laotian ebony --
everyday tableware
in belgium

An Irish friend who had lived in Cambodia, gave me two sets of simple Laotian ebony chopsticks, when I returned to live here in 2000 and found it hard to get back to European cutlery. Little did she think that I would be using them, day by day, year after year, from then on... No doubt they are quite rare and precious now -- ebony must be under protection...

And Narayanan san, we have chapatis in Kenya, samosas, biryani,bhajia, masala tea -- all of them made Kenyan style, a bit different from Indian style -- and all of them excellent nevertheless!

Isabelle Prondzynski


rural open kitchen
grinding chutney
a scarlet scarf

Harvinder Dhaliwal, Punjab

. WKD : Punjabi Food .
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਪਕਵਾਨ


- quote
is a Middle Eastern, South Asian and Balkan meatball or meatloaf. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions. In India, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran, koftas are usually made of lamb, beef, mutton or chicken, whereas Greek and Cypriot varieties are usually made of beef, veal, pork or mixtures of them.
Etymologically, the word ""kofta"" is from kuftan in Persian Kūfte: In Persian, کوفتن (Kuftan) which means "to beat" or "to grind" or meatball.
Curries of Gujarat
there are several common kofta dishes which, of course, substitute vegetables or ground nuts for meat.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

an extra dollop of cream
in the kofta* curry

* delicious indian cottage cheese balls

Arvinder Kaur, Chandigarh,India

Related words

***** . Rice Vrihi (Oryza sativa) .

***** . Papad Bread .
papadam, poppadom, papadum, and appalam
- - - - and
Chapati, Chapatti

***** . Pilaf, pilau, plov - rice dish .

***** Hot Drinks, a List

. The Spices of India .


WASHOKU ... Japanese Food SAIJIKI



Anonymous said...

masala in her belly
makes her spicy
taste of onion
garlic and smelly


Gabi Greve said...

roasting the paapad
grandma says -
even this is an art

demonstrating . . .
the knack of eating dosas
with one’s fingers

This is in remembrance of a placard in a 5 star hotel in Chennai [ 25 years back!] which clearly stated:
please do not insult our dosas by eating it with fork and knife!

© Kala Ramesh

Read more of Kala's senryu here:



Gabi Greve said...

JAL Childrens Haiku
In 1996 we received over 60 000 haiku from 20 countries and regions around the world on the theme of "Food".

The sweet chestnuts
The prickles are guardsmen



Gabi Greve said...

Indian Spice Saijiki under construction



Gabi Greve said...


WKD : Washoku, food from Japan 



Many Many Thanks Gabi...!!!

.....Harvinder Dhaliwal

Gabi Greve said...

pounding rice-
the perfect full moon
of my idli*

* Indian rice cake

Arvinder Kaur