What is Jain Food?

What is Jain Food?

Jains are followers of Jainism, one of the most ancient religions in the world. Jains do not kill or cause to kill any animal or a living being that moves. So they are staunch vegetarians. But they are not vegans, but Lacto-Vegetarians.

Orthodox Jains avoid root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic etc. in their food. They believe that root vegetables themselves are life forms having multiple numbers of lives. So generally the vegetarian food, which does not contain any root vegetables, is called a Jain food.

In most of the vegetarian restaurants in India, such Jain food is available. Now it is available in five star hotels and in aeroplanes.

But the tradition of not eating root vegetables is not applicable for all Jains. This tradition is popular in Jains of Gujarat state of India. Jains of other states are more practical about food habits. They too are staunch vegetarians, but they have not banned eating of root vegetables. Thus you can see eating of root vegetables amongst Jains of Maharashtra, Rajsthan, Punjab, Karnatak and other states.

In above condition, the vegetarian dishes popular amongst non-Gujarati Jains also come under Jain Food, although it includes root vegetables.

There are lots of varieties in the food items popular amongst Jains of various regions in India. The Jain food is not just delicious, but also nutritious.

Vegetarians should have a taste of Jain food. Lot of Jain food recipes are available in Indian cookbooks and on the Internet. Just search ‘Jain Food” or ‘Jain food Recipes’ through search engines and you will have a lot of results for your query.

-Mahavir Sanglikar

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