People who have never eaten Indian food often confuse it with Thai food. That is unfortunate because it means that you may miss out on something delicious when you decide that you do not like Thai and then refuse to eat Indian food. What you need is "food clarity." The following should help you understand why Thai food is not Indian food, and Indian food is not Thai.
Thai Food Is from Thailand, and Indian Food Is from India
The biggest distinction of all is that these ethnic foods are from two totally different countries. Thai is from Thailand, and Indian is from India. India is that larger country to the south and west of China. Thailand is several hundred miles east of India. While they may use some of the same spices in their foods, you cannot confuse the two countries considering the distance between them.
Lots of Spices in Indian Food
India has been the leading producer of exotic spices for a millennium. As such, it uses all of the spices it produces to season traditional Indian foods. For example, a popular dish there is tandoori chicken. It is rolled in yogurt, dipped in ground spicy chili peppers, and roasted. Rice cooked with saffron or lemongrass or basmati rice is usually served on the side. Indian food frequently appeals to your nose and sense of smell first, and your sense of taste second.
Lots of Fresh-Caught Fish, Fresh Vegetables, and Fresh Herbs in Thai Food
Thai food also uses some spices, but because this country is surrounded by other Asian countries, its food is heavily influenced by those countries. What makes Thai food stand out is the fact that Thai cooks insist on using fresh-caught fish (and lots of it!), fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs to induce more intense flavors. Spring rolls, for instance, utilize fresh mint or fresh lemongrass to create a big burst of flavor in every bite. The spring rolls are also rolled in fresh cabbage leaves, not leaves that have sat about and will not produce that satisfying crunch.
Because of the limited availability of refrigeration in most of the parts of Thailand, the inhabitants must shop daily for food they will cook and use the same day. Given the easy access they have to water from the ocean and surrounding bays, fish is most plentiful and least costly to get. They can grow their own vegetables and herbs. This is what sets Thai food apart.