There are many countries in Asia, Africa and the Mediteranean where eating with your hands is a norm.
While I knew this was the case, I did not expect Sri Lanka to be a part of this list. To my great surprise the Singhalese and Tamil people of Sri Lanka eat rice & curry with their hands, allowing for a whole new sense to be added into the culinary experience.
Why Eat with Your Hands?
You are more likely to get charged the local price if they see you are willing to eat with your hands.
You will discover food in a new way, adding complexity to your meal with the sense of touch.
Your appreciation of utensils will increase (or decrease in some cases), as you will now know what it’s like to eat without them.
You will understand the Sri Lankans on a new level.
How To Eat With Your hands
Step 1 – Wash Your Hands. You are eating with your hands and don’t know where your hands have been. Wash them before eating, it’s common practice and is the clean thing to do.
Step 2 – Only use one hand. Locals always eat with the right hand as the left hand is used for other things.
Step 3 – Mix the rice with the dahl or other more “wet” foods so that the rice is stickier.
Step 4 – Compress into a small ball.
Step 5 – Pick up with your index, middle finger, ring finger, and pinky.
Step 6 – Push ball into mouth using the back of your thumb.
Step 7 – Repeat until finished.
Step 8 – Once finished, wash hands again.
You can also ask any local to show you the first time. Some may do it differently, but this is the most common method. At first you will be out of your comfort zone, but soon you won’t want to eat it in any other way. Feel free to comment on your experience!