The letter arrives, the waiter looks at you and the time has come. You have to order at an Indian restaurant and you do not know where to start. We explain some keys to understand what the menu is about.
An everyday meal in India is made up of different dishes both in the family and in the restaurant. When ordering in an Indian restaurant, in India or anywhere in the world, it is convenient to remember this way of eating, so as not to be hungry or waste food.
Ask at an Indian restaurant: do we share?
When you have to order at an Indian restaurant, it is best that each person choose a dish and share the food . If you only eat your plate, it will seem a very little varied food. Remember that you should try the great variety of Indian breads and that it is not necessary to order them at the beginning of the meal , but they are prepared at the time as required by the client.
If you are one of those who can not bear to share, a good option is the biryani , a dish of rice with chicken or lamb that is cooked for hours with a secret mixture of spices. If you want to avoid spicy, pulao is a similar preparation without masala . Another option for one -person snacks are the snacks . The Indians are very accustomed to eating on the street and have created a variety of dishes to peck. Samosas, pakoras, dosas or idlis are served in the restaurants and although they are dishes for breakfast or a snack between meals, many times they will seem perfect to kill hunger instead of a big feast.
* Our advice: Always specify the level of spiciness you tolerate. Rinse several times spicy if the chili is not your thing.
Order at an Indian restaurant: The Thali
An option when ordering in an Indian restaurant is usually the thali. A thali is a tasting menu the Indian way . It was traditionally served on a banana leaf and in its most recent version on a stainless steel tray . You will find achar (preserved, eye that is very intense), legumes, often lentils, and one or two plates of vegetables without sauce and a curry that vary according to the regions and the season. In the north you will find recipes such as aloo jeera (potatoes with cumin), bhindi masala (okra) or bainghan bharta (aubergines); in the south there will surely be sambhar (lentil-based soup) and rasam (soup based on tamarind juice).
When the restaurant is vegetarian it is completed with a plate of paneer (fresh cheese), while if it is non-vegetarian there will be chicken in the north and fish in the south. The thali usually includes a dessert and a serving of yogurt . It’s a good idea to get acquainted with Indian cuisine, but if you ask for it, it can be a bit repetitive.
* Our advice: Always try the thali dishes before giving them a bite . Cooking them for the whole restaurant is more difficult than respecting those who prefer less or no spicy food.