A dastarkhwān (Perso-Arabic alphabet : دسترخوان, Kyrgyz: дасторкон, Hindi: दस्तरख़्वान, Kazakh: дастарқан, Bengali: দস্তরখান, Uzbek: Dasturxon) or dastarkhān, is the name used across South Asia and Central Asia to refer to the traditional space where food is eaten. The term may refer to the tablecloth which is spread on the ground, floor, or table and is used as a sanitary surface for food, but it is also used more broadly to refer to the entire meal setting. The Mughal Indian cookbook Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh, which details the Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow, emphasized the importance of the dastarkhwan.
Dastarkhwan is a Turkic word meaning "tablecloth". It is used in many other languages of the South-Central Asian region such as Balochi, Bengali, Urdu, Sindhi, Hindi, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Uzbek, Turkmen, and Pashto.
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