How many of you love relishing food directly from fingers? Desis, raise your hand. While some Indians consider it an unhygienic practice and prefer spoon, most of us like to savour our meals with hands. Eating with fingers is a traditional practice in India which most desis especially South Indians still follow.

Now, imagine you order rajma-chawal in a restaurant and the moment you start savouring it with fingertips, you are judged by onlookers around you. Cos it is oh-so-disgusting for some people to watch. Recently, a Redditor named Vivek from Uttar Pradesh had the similar experience and he really wants to know how are you supposed to eat food in a restaurant in India?

Dassana’s Veg Recipes

Here’s how his story was like:

Yesterday I was eating rajma chawal with my hand at a food court/cafe and a lady walked past me looking in disgust like I committed some crime. I felt like punching her. Why do some Indians have this obsession to eat food with spoons even if it’s not meant to?


Redditors have many things to say, some advice, some opinion, and more.

1. Depends on how dirty/clean hands are

People always have something to say. Do what you feel like. I’m comfortable with hands or Spoon/Fork. Depends on how Dirty/Clean my hands are and if the place has Washroom in the vicinity. Also if I’m in a hurry I just grab a spoon and wolf down a plate of rice in like 3 5 minutes. Ultimately it’s my preference, those people judging ain’t paying for my food, I’m not a guest at their house to follow their mannerisms and please them.  


2. Look them straight in the eye

Look them straight in the eye and lick all four fingers one by one as they go by…  


3. They aren’t paying for your meal, enjoy it

Don’t matter if your eat using a spoon or hand. Make sure you enjoy your meal and if someone is disgusted by your eating using hand, let them get disgusted. They aren’t paying for your meal.  


4. Slap with rajma fingers

Why punch tho? Slapping with rajma covered fingers is more fun  


5. Say get your own rajma

You should have yelled “stop staring, get you own rajma”  


6. Come to South India, no one will pay attention

Come to southern India bro, you will be stared upon for not using your hands to eat! You can make a mess and no one will even pay you attention 🙂  


7. Spoon in public, hands at home

I usually eat rotis and gravy with my hands and switch to spoon for rice. This is only when I’m out eating in public. When I’m home I only use my hands. There’s just something about rice and hands that people get grossed out watching. But then again if they don’t like it they shouldn’t be looking at you. I personally encourage people in my circle to eat certain things with spoon or fork and knife, but I don’t shame people for making choices that don’t align with my preferences.  


8. When someone licks till elbow, it’s disgusting

The only time I felt disgusted watching someone eat was when I saw a man literally lick his hand near the elbow. Even then I didn’t make any faces as it’s none of my business.  


9. Eat however you like to, who cares?

How do you eat food in a restaurant? However you fucking like to. People are entitled to their opinion but who cares. Do what makes you happy.  


10. Eating with hands is a fundamental right

Southie (TN) here, everyone eats with hand in restaurants. Eating with hand is a fundamental right.  


11. People blindly imitate West

The common Indian way is to eat with hand. I don’t know why some people always look at west and blindly imitate them.  


12. Eating with spoons is not superior

Who decided eating with spoons and forks is somehow superior?  


13. Hate the odd smell of metal

I honestly don’t like spoons for rice, because I hate the odd smell of the metal and steel. And for some reason it’s just super hard for me to use a spoon I really don’t why, so I am better of using my hand. However for foods where I need fork and knife I do use them obviously.  


14. Lick your fingers and say ‘food on fingers lickin good’

You should just smile and enjoy eating with your hands lick your fingers saying “food on fingers lickin good…” I also don’t understand how they make a show of eating everything with spoon and fork…. especially nonveg. Given a chance, I will eat pizza too with my hands (my family and friends stress on dining etiquettes)


15. Copying West = Sophisticated

Because copying western stuff is equivalent to being sophisticated. As long as your hands are washed and clean, you shouldn’t bother, treat these people like TV static. Plus, who eats rice with a spoon. Weird folks.  


According to India Today, eating food with hands improves digestion. Here’s what the report claims:

Once we touch our food with our hands, the brain signals our stomach that we are ready to eat. This helps the stomach in getting ready to prepare itself for the food, thus improving digestion.  

-India Today

Eating with hands is surely a personal choice, if hygiene is taken care of. But, can you imagine eating rajma-chawal or anything on banana-leaf platter with spoon or even relishing non-veg with fork? Cos jab tak ungliaan par laga hua na khalo, swaad nahin aata. So, how do you eat your rajma-chawal