We went out for lunch at a nice restaurant the other day. I had a South Indian Thali (Rs125). I didn’t take a picture, but it looked exactly like this (pic from this cool blog).
You’re supposed to eat it with your right hand. Pour those little bowls of sauce over rice, then use all five fingers to mix it. There is a correct order of things to put on rice. I only remember that it started with Sambar (the lowest bowl). There are 4 different types of sauce and the rest are vegetables and desserts.
To eat, you use four fingers as a spoon to scoop up rice, then push it in your mouth with your thumb. It was pretty awkward. Probably takes some practice to get used to. Afterwards, my nails still smelled like spices after multiple washes.
About the taste…hmm.. most of the soups are sour (tamarind-based), spicy, and salty. Unfortunately these are not favorite.