Jain food culture is highly meticulous. But, did you know apart from not consuming non-vegetarian foods, the Jains also stay away from vegetables which grow under the ground like potatoes, onions and garlic? Read on to find out more.
Most Jains follow a lacto-vegetarian food culture. Jainism strongly believes in non-violence and ensures they do not hurt or kill any animals, insects or microorganisms. Vegetarianism is a strict compulsion in the Jain food culture. They believe that onions and garlic have a heat-producing element that hinders peace of mind and makes you feel anger and other emotions.
In 2021, it was found that 92% of self-identified Jains in India adhered to some type of vegetarian diet and another 5% tried to follow a mostly vegetarian diet by abstaining from eating certain kinds of meat and/or from eating meat on specific days.
1. The Jain Food Culture
2. What Foods Are Not Consumed By Jains?
3. What Foods Are Consumed By Jains?
4. Jain Pav Bhaji Recipe
5. The Final Say
Jainism is considered the 6th largest followed culture. Also, a high literacy rate among all the other Indians has been seen in more Jain people. They do not eat onion and garlic, and other underground vegetables. Jain people are strictly vegetarian, and their rigorous eating habits make it arduous to follow their lifestyle. Jains do not drink unfiltered water; they prefer to drink boiled water at all times. Animal products are a big no in their religion, and some dairy products are also not consumed by them.
Jains avoid eating potatoes, beets, garlic and onions as they grow underground. As they believe in promoting non-violence, Jains do not harm living creatures. Hence, they do not consume underground vegetables due to the presence of microorganisms.
They also believe that uprooting underground vegetables would kill the whole plant. Furthermore, as we discussed earlier, onion and garlic contain heat-producing compounds due to their Tamsee nature. Therefore, they should not be consumed as per the holy Gita.
Also, sprouts are not consumed because sprouting means having a new life and is home to hundreds of microorganisms. Other vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, brinjal, lady finger and tomatoes are also not consumed. Mushrooms, yeast and honey are also entirely avoided.
Jains do not consume stale food. They also don't eat after sunset. Eating before sunset is preferable because they believe microorganisms breed on food during sunset. Therefore, food must be eaten before sunset.
Jains consume fruits and vegetables which grow on the trees and fall to the ground on their own. These fruits and vegetables should not be plucked directly from the tree. Instead, they should fall on the ground by themselves. Other grains and pulses can be consumed as the crops get dried out.
They prefer eating primarily fruits and vegetables and moderately consuming sugar, oil, lemon tea, green tea, dairy products, soy products, wheat, jowar, oats, bajra and dal.
However, with the change in the generation and mindset of the people, some of the Jains have become acceptable to many food groups.
1. Take a pan, add ghee to it, add some cumin seeds and let it turn a little brown, now add capsicum and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Now, add mashed and boiled banana and mix well. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add some salt and mix well.
3. Add all the spices (red chilli, garam masala, pav bhaji masala, turmeric powder) and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for some time.
4. Add green peas and tomatoes and add some water. Add salt if required, mash all the ingredients well, and put it on simmer for some time.
5. Cut the pav into two halves. Roast it on Tava with butter.
6. Serve the pav-bhaji by garnishing it with lemon juice and chopped coriander seeds.
There are many strict rules which should be followed to be a dedicated follower of Jainism. For example, consumption of many foods is prohibited in this religion as Jainism follows the practice of non-violence, meaning a person should not harm any person, insect, plant or microorganism intentionally or unintentionally. This is why their food choices are very different from other religions. However, in this new era, some people have made themselves open to all food groups as the world is changing, and it becomes arduous to stick to some rules.
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