The people of India think “Atithi Devo Bhava”. This means, guests are gods and they treat travelers like gods. This highly populated country had been ruled by many different rulers around the world and got a multi-colored culture. In food habits, India is different from any other portion in the world. Travelers around the world desire to travel there to enjoy the diversification, balanced weather, and amicable hosting and want to learn what Indian eat.
If you’re interested in India or you want to visit for business purposes or stay for a long time in this country, you’ll need to know about their people, beliefs, culture, lifestyle, architectural monuments, and foods.
This guide will help you to understand what Indian eat. Moreover, to visit a country knowing about their food habits is crucial as you’re remaining there for a time and living anywhere healthy is the most important thing to perform the scheduled tasks properly.
Indian Daily Food Habit: What Indian Eat Daily
Culturally food habits are a massive thing to learn. South-Asian people have three major times of eating. The rest of the time, they have some light foods.
Indians have three major times of eating, in the morning (breakfast), at noon (lunch), and night (dinner).
What do Indian Eat for Breakfast
Indians eat many things for their breakfast. But it varies from one part to another in India.
- The southern regions of India- Idli, Dosa, Upma, Idiyappam
- The western parts of India- Poha, Thalipeeth, Dhokla, Thepla, Khandvi
- The northern regions of India- Aloo Paratha, Gobi Paratha
- The eastern regions of India- Sandwiches, Roti and other rice cakes
What do Indian eat for lunch
At lunchtime, Indians eat various things.
- Rice and
1. Rice: Consumed as Lunch
People consume rice a lot in South India and Bengal. In fact, this food is a staple food in India. It can be consumed in different ways.
- Rice with lentils
- Rice with a stew with vegetables
Moreover, the above two are accompanied by curry, fried vegetables, crispy and crunchy side dish, curd, and pickle.
2. Roti: Consumed as Lunch
Rotis, consumed in the north and south side in India. Also, roti is usually with Dal, somewhat like curry, semi-liquid, or dry, and in some places, it’s just roti with onions and chili. Moreover, they eat curd at the end of lunch.
What do Indian eat for dinner
Typical Indian dinner combines salty, sweet, spicy, creamy, hot, and pungent flavors. However, what do Indian vegetarian eat for dinner is different from what do Indian non-veg people eat. The basic menu is starch, a meat or fish main dish, vegetables, and chutney.
Like lunch, many people consume the same things for dinner. In the northern and central parts of India, roti or chapati is mostly popular to have before sleeping. In the other parts, rice is popular as dinner.
7 Unique Dishes What Indian Eat on Street or Restaurant
If you want to chart what do Indian eat, the chart will go long. But these 7 exclusive foods are very common in India. Ask a person in India what Indian eats? These seven things will be in common for sure.
- Hyderabadi Biryani
- Vada Pav
- Masala Dosa
Let’s know about these foods in more detail.
World Famous Hyderabadi Biryani
Some South Indian dishes are worldly famous and Hyderabadi biryani is one of them. There are two main varieties of this special dish. These are kachchi (raw) and pakki (cooked).
Hyderabadi biryani consists of various sort of element like-
- Basmati rice
- Goat, mutton, or chicken meat
- Onions, and
The food experts assert that Hyderabadi biryani’s elegant flavor is for the unique process of cooking raw rice and raw meat together with desi spices. However, people in other places in the world cook meat and rice separately.
Indeed, this exclusive cooking style came from Persia. Accordingly during the Mughals’ regime in India, people of India adopted the completely exotic style from them and they call it dum.
Famous South Indian Household Idli
You can find Idli anywhere in the entire India. But This spicy Indian cake is a famous South Indian household. However, one can make this with batter, fermented lentils, and rice. Most importantly, these spicy cakes are commonly hot and consumed on their own, dipped into sambar or chutneys, or seasoned with numerous spices.
Idli is hugely popular in India. There are two more versions of idli, such as-
- Rava idli (uses semolina instead of rice in the batter)
- Malli idli (fried with curry leaves and coriander)
The origin of idli is a debatable subject. Different sources claim different origins. Some say it’s from Gujarat, some say it’s from Karnataka, again the others believe it arrived from the food habit of Indonesia.
Though its origin is unresolved, idli remains a staple breakfast food in numerous Indian families.
Mumbai’s Famous Vada Pav
Mumbai people are fond of Vada pav. This food is one of the most favorite sandwiches in this state. Moreover, its name refers to the key ingredients:
- Vada; spicy mashed potatoes deep-fried in chickpea batter, and
- Pav; white bread rolls
There is a history of the origin of this food. Ashok Vaidya, a street vendor, used to work near Dadar train station in the 1960s and 1970s. He was kind. And, he thought about how to feed the poor and hungry people with proper satisfaction.
Eventually, this iconic street food got discovered and the popularity of this food skyrocketed. This portable, affordable, and easy to prepare food got much popularity after the movie “Shiv Sena” where Vada pav was promoted as an ideal working-class snack.
Nowadays, you’ll find this sandwich sold both on street stands and in elegant restaurants throughout Mumbai. The food is ideally accompanied by a hot red chutney with coconut, peanuts, tamarind, garlic, and chilies.
Southern Indian Dish Masala Dosa
You are an Indian movie fan but don’t know what Masala Dosa is, would be a massive failure for you. Additionally, Masala Dosa, a traditional southern Indian dish, is made from a batter of soaked rice and lentils baked into a thin pancake and usually stuffed with potatoes, onions, and mustard seeds.
The dish often garnished with grated coconut and chopped coriander is hugely popular around India. There are also some varieties in the dish, such as-
- Mysore masala dosa,
- Rava masala dosa,
- Onion masala dosa, and
- Paper masala dosa.
Indian serve this item as a main dish in this country. Hence, foodies in India consume Masala Dosa as a swift snack or as a part of any meal of the day.
A Typical Indian Snack Pakora
Pakora is a spicy deep-fried Indian snack made with pieces of vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and eggplant. Furthermore, Pakora is a typical Indian snack easily found on numerous street corners. But this snack item can also be made at home.
Traditionally, the local people enjoy pakora to celebrate the monsoon season. Although the snack is available in many varieties, it is usually made from potato, and another vegetable or meat. Then pakora is dipped in flour and deep-fried in ghee or oil.
Moreover, this snack is seasoned with-
- Chili, and other spices.
Bhaji, the same snack with a different name, is without any seasonings. Fun fact is bhaji is popular in South India, and pakora is famous in North India.
Also, pakoras make a great appetizer or a snack, and chutneys and a hot cup of tea on the side are the best suits for the snacks.
Food from Uttar Pradesh Chaat
Chaat is derived from the word in India chatna, which means lick. Additionally, the food is so tasty combined with salt, spice, sweet, and sour flavors that you’ll need to lick your fingers, that is why the name was given.
In India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the food is available in street vendors. Here, girls in this subcontinent like the mixture of sour, sweet, and spice. So, chaat is mostly consumed by them.
Indian make Chaat rarely at home. Rather, the snack is mostly available on the street. However, big restaurants also offer this food serving with another Indian traditional item lassi.
Also, this snack item originated from Uttar Pradesh spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. Moreover, Chaat dishes are very famous for their enormous variety and available for every type of foodie.
Another UP Food Panipuri aka Golgappa
Panipuri, a street snack, is extremely popular in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. And, this food, small in size, consists of a hollow puri which is fried until crispy.
The puri is stuffed with a combination of-
- Flavored sour water called pani
- Chaat masala
- Tamarind chutney
- Hot chilies, and
Panipuri, known as golgappa in North India where gol means the crispy shell, and gappa means the eating process as Indian eat these small snacks typically one at a time.
That, Indians think that panipuri came from Uttar Pradesh and gradually spread throughout the country and beyond. Nowadays, panipuri is a must for fairs, festivals, or weddings in India as well as the Indian subcontinent.
How Indian Eat Food
Eating mechanisms of Indian people are different from any other country in the world. They take rice and other food items with a spoon, helped by a fork to push the dish along.
Simultaneously, they tear tiny portions of bread like roti or naan. Then they fold it into a tiny pocket to scoop the desired amount of curry.
While most people in different parts of the world tend to eat with a spoon or any other tools, Indians don’t like to eat with a spoon. Rather, eating with their hands is their eating etiquette.
Why Indian Eat with Hand
Most Indian people tend to eat with their hands. There are many reasons for that thing. But religious belief is one of the major causes. When we eat, we eat for our health. The practice of eating with the hands in India came from Ayurvedic.
The Vedic people trusted that human bodies are in synchronization with the elements of nature and our hands bear a certain power. Ayurvedic education mentions that each finger is an extension of one of the five modules:
- The thumb – space
- The forefinger – air
- The mid-finger – fire
- The ring finger – water
- The pinky finger – earth
When an Indian eats with his or her hands, he or she is doing it by joining all fingers in a body. As for their beliefs, one has to be conscious of the foods that he or she takes.
You are not only feeding your body to fill your hungry stomach but you are also feeding your mind and spirit. Thus while touching your foods with your hands, you’re making a physical and spiritual connection with it.
Any sort of tool cannot feel the food when you’re having it. However, you’re much more present in the moment when you touch the food with your hand. And, the soul can connect easily with your body while touching and eating with your hands.
How Many Indian Eat Non-Veg
Vegetarianism was one of the vital things in India. But it has been becoming not that much strict over the past 30 years. Only less than 30% of Indians now claim to be vegetarian.
According to the SRS survey, 71% of the population in India is non-vegetarian and 28.85% is vegetarian.
The number of poultry, meat and fish eaters are
- Telangana (98.7%)
- West Bengal (98.55%),
- Odisha (97.35%) and
- Kerala (97%)
Does Indian Eat Beef
According to Indian government surveys, BBC depicts that at least 7% of Indians eat beef. So the question of “can Indian eat beef?” is positive. They eat in a very less number considering beef. Globally, India gulps the least amount of meat per capita. Hindus who eat meat, they often distinguish all other meat from beef.
According to Hindu belief, a cow is considered as a mother. And, most importantly, a cow is a member of their families. In this perspective, they avoid eating beef.
What Indian Eat: Final Things to Share
India is a country of multicolor where you’ll not feel bored. As you’re a cultural enthusiast, you’ve got a comprehensive idea about Indian food habits.
When first time you’ll visit there, at least don’t have to think about what to eat at indian restaurant. According to worldometer, there is one Indian among five people. So, how could you avoid the food habit of this country?
Truly, Indian are designed for foodies who innovate many food habits around the world. Eventually, what Indian eat is essential to learn in different perspectives. Even, they are booming their economy in a radical increasing curve. Who knows? Hence, your next business trip could be in India. So, knowing about their food habits will benefit you.