We will be dining in the Indian fashion. This is quite different from the European or Persian fashion that most of us are familiar with. These tips will help you know what to expect and enjoy yourself:
- When you arrive, there will be servants to wash your hands. If you want to say “Thank you” to the servants, simply say “Dhan-ya-vaad”. People may sit wherever they like, and moving around between courses is encouraged.
- This will be a lights-out feast. There will be some “mood lighting” in the hall to assist the servers, but if you would enjoy more light please bring candles and candle-holders. Candle holders with Asian decorations are appreciated, and small ghee lamps would be especially appreciated to add to the ambiance.
- You are also encouraged to eat with fingers only, using no utensils. This is fun and makes the food a truly sensual experience. Rice is eaten by scooping up with a piece of bread or balled up in the fingers and popped in the mouth quickly. Dishes with gravy are eaten on top of rice or scooped up with bread. Normally only the right hand is used for eating, but this takes a lot of practice. Eating with the right hand only is encouraged but not required. Greeting and taking food is also done with the right hand. A cloth napkin will be provided for each diner as a take-home memento of the feast.
- If you wish to take your beverages in the Hindu manner, choose a table companion to share your cup. To drink, you pour beverages directly into your mouth without the edge of the cup touching your lips. All drinks will be offered from pitchers and poured into each person’s personal cups.
- The starter course will be served immediately upon seating. After that the dishes will come out singly instead of in courses but closer together in time. Each dish will be served to you and then the dish taken away. If you desire a dish to be returned later in the feast you simply request it of your server. The menu represents all of the dishes that will be served but not necessarily the order of their service.
- If you have any questions about the style of service, and especially if you are interested in serving this feast, please contact the head cook.