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Why is Indian food served with a slices it tomato, slice o onion, and a lemon wedge?

asked by CrashKate over 2 years ago
25 answers 2750 views
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added over 2 years ago

I think that might just be a big generalisation based on the restaurant(s) you frequent. I have never been served Indian food with those garnishes.

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added over 2 years ago

Not a "generalization" the place we went to last night did. Thanks for your super helpful answer.

Sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I've never had that in Indian resturants. Cucumbers slices in yogurt, or naan bread and herbs maybe.

Maybe it's local your resturant, I see there is a dish like that on this blog.
http://prathiscuisine.com...

It's not uncommon for spicy food to be served to with a fresh veggie salad to counterpoint some of the spicy dishes.

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added over 2 years ago

It isn't. None of the Indian restaurants in my city do that.

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added over 2 years ago

Yeah, it is. We live in a city with a wider variety of of restaurants I guess. So we eventually hunted down an elusive server last night to ask her for our selves; it's served as "the salad"

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added over 2 years ago

It's a counterpoint to the spiciness, yes. It's also a handed down Indian version of a garden salad started by the British.

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added over 2 years ago

You're the only one who got this right! Thanks for your helpful answer :)

Webcam_01
added over 2 years ago

In most Indian households (all over India), meals are served with plates of sliced or pickled onions, lime (not lemon) wedges, whole green chilies and slices or wedges of tomatoes. The onion and chilies add to the spiciness and lime is always great with any Indian dish - it refreshes the palate and balances the spices.
However, these are served in most restaurants in India. I've found that Indian restaurants in Britain usually serve Indian food with raita or chutneys and leave it at that.
Apart from raita and a variety of condiments, Indian food is usually not served with salad of any sort, mostly because traditional Indian food is not based on the protein-starch-veggie concept...its based on a protein-starch-condiment concept. In this case onions, chilies, tomatoes and so on are treated as condiments.

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added over 2 years ago

Turns out we hunted down a server and actually got to ask; the three giant slices are served as "the salad"

Dsc_0122.nef-1
added over 2 years ago



Thats an unfortunate vestige of the notion that food from the Punjab speaks for all Indian Food. As Bombay Chow Party pointed out.. onions & lemons are seldom served in south Indian meal.
Amrita, I beg to differ, Most households from the NORTHERN states serve onions & lemons., it certainly does not speak for households 'All over India'.

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added over 2 years ago

Never tried to generalize and be some huge racist, but thanks everyone for being so nice about this.
So yes, actually, they DO since the restaurant we ate at last night kept serving them. At the end of the night we tracked down an elusive server and asked her; it's served as "the salad".
So thanks.

Dsc_0122.nef-1
added over 2 years ago

no offence taken at all CrashKate, in fact this is a great pickle question you've brought up. its a wonderful point to clarify.

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added over 2 years ago

Absolutely!
Just surprised when I asked why they were served like that some people would say they aren't... When clearly, they serve them like that in some places. Frustrating when everybody has an opinion and so few are actually helpful. Actually being the key word.

Webcam_01
added over 2 years ago

@Panfusine: It is unfortunate that people think North Indian food is the only kind of Indian food. I couldn't agree more considering the fact that I'm from Bengal and have South Indian relatives! I have been served chilies with curry leaves and marinated cabbages along with my South Indian meals and I have mentioned in my answer that its either onions or chilies or anything else...the key word here being 'OR'.
I probably should have been more verbose. I was trying to address CrashKate's question regarding just onions and tomatoes but I think including a full list of Indian accompaniments would have been wise.

Dsc_0122.nef-1
added over 2 years ago

Welcome to the club Amrita.. Pauljoseph & I have been trying our best to introduce & share recipes for non cliched regional Indian food here at Food52.

Scan0004
added over 2 years ago

Most people who answer questions on food52 do so from personal experience, and/or reading and research. It is a common mistake to generalize the part to the whole, and by throwing answers into the pot, we all learn. Thanks for the question, CrashKate. From you and from other people's answers, I now know much more than I did before... and that's why I'm here!

Baci1
HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

My Punjabi college roommate often had some sliced carrots, onions, and tomato as a 'salad' for her dinner. Never experienced it in an Indian restaurant, just at dinners in Indian homes.

Baci1
HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

sorry, meant 'with her dinner'.