This section will be updated regularly, with Jain Recipes from Padma Shri Tarla Dalal – India’s #1 Cookery Author
Here is an extract from one of her cookbooks, which describes in detail the Jain Way of Cooking:
As you know now that Jainism not just a religion, but a beautiful way of life. The Jain scriptures clearly define the ways and means to live life, Including clear instructions about what foods should be eaten and even what type of water should be drunk. The scriptures delineate how and when food must be preserved for later use and so on.
To better understand the intricacies of Jain food rules, one should first understand the principles on which the religion was founded, especially the way Jains regard living beings with utmost respect. Jains believe that all living beings have souls, hence, killing of any living creature, be it a plant or a human being, is considered an act of violence.
The Jains have divided all food into three broad categories: tamsik, rajsik and satvik. Tasvik foods involve killing of animals and countless bacteria and when eaten they trigger lust, anger and negative feelings. Rajsik food is prepared to satisfy the human taste and flavour and for nourishing the body. These foods include fried and fatty items which are not easily digestible. Satvik food is prepared with ingredients, which cause least amount of violence, which include grains, lentils, fruits and certain vegetables. Satvik food is believed to simulate morality, compassion, bliss and spirituality.
Jains avoid root vegetables such as carrots, onions and potatoes. Root vegetables or kundmool are distinct from fruits and other vegetables because the entire plant as well as the bacteria residing in the soil are killed when they are uprooted to be consumed. Vegetables and fruits that contain many seeds, such as eggplant, are also avoided. In an effort to minimise violence towards living beings, including plants and even bacteria, Jains renounce root vegetable as they advance in their spiritual journey.
Below are links to Tarla Dalal’s Jain Recipes. We hope you find these enjoyable!