"the time has now come for us to dirty our hands"

Eating customs vary across Pakistan, but in general food is eaten with the hands. Muslims use the right hand only, as a sign of respect, and the plate should be cleared, so as not to waste food – rice or bread is used to mop up sauces. In rural areas the meal is often taken sitting on the floor, from a low table, but dining tables are common in towns and cities.