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Hands Down the Best Way to Eat

Compiled/partly written by MELVIN DURAI Email Compiled/partly written by MELVIN DURAI
March 2012
Hands Down the Best Way to Eat

Like many people around the world, Indians love to eat with their hands. But unless they’re looking for stares and glares, they use forks and knives when eating out in the West. That’s the accepted way of eating at most restaurants, but according to the New York Times, some high-profile chefs have started encouraging diners to dig in with their hands. That should please Julie Sahni, a New York-based cookbook author and cooking teacher.

“Eating with the hands evokes great emotion,” Sahni told the Times. “It kindles something very warm and gentle and caressing. Using a fork is unthinkable in traditional Indian eating. It is almost like a weapon.”

Even if she’s in a formal restaurant, as long as Indian food is being served, the 66-year-old Sahni insists on using her hands. “I don’t care if I’m all dressed up, if everyone else is eating with a knife and fork, if the wine pairing is $80,” she said. “It’s essential.”

Bravo to her. So what if there’s someone staring at her—a person in a fancy suit who’s tackling a samosa with a fork and knife.

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
[Comments? Contributions? Please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips, and more.]

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