Jainism or Jain vegetarianism is a diet that is followed by Jains. It is one of the strictest diets in the world that is religiously motivated. It excludes fish, meat and eggs, but also includes many other products. The principle behind Jainism is nonviolence. Anything that is done that is seen as injuring or causing death to plants or animals is not permitted. This is because it will bring about negative karma. The concept of nonviolence and karma applies to many religions across the Asian continent, but is the strictest in Jainism.
What Can and Can’t You Eat in the Jain Diet?
A Jain is not allowed to eat at night. This is because when cooking outside, night creatures could accidentally be killed. Food must also be 100% fresh, although ground spices can be used for a slightly longer period of time depending on the weather. Jainists are in essence vegans, meaning they also do not consume any lactose products. Some, however, do drink milk and eat yoghurt, so long as it is fresh. When using water, either for cooking or consumption, it has to be filtered through three layers of cloth. It should also be boiled first. Those who follow Jainism also do not consume any alcohol.
Root vegetables may never be eaten. Within the roots of these vegetables, organisms live that would be killed by eating the vegetables. Similarly, it is not allowed to eat beansprouts, as picking one involves killing the entire plant. Any products such as yeast or mushrooms are considered parasites so cannot be eaten, nor can honey as this is a bee excrement.
You may wonder what is permitted in the Jain diet. Firstly, it is possible to eat grains and cereals. Most fruits are also permitted, with exception of those that have a milky sap. Many Jains also choose not to eat fruits with red meat, but this is not a rule. Vegetables are in essence allowed, so long as picking them doesn’t kill the actual plant.
Why No Jainists Follow this Diet
It is becoming increasingly popular across the world to follow the Jainism diet, even if the religious background is not behind it. This is because the diet is, in essence, very healthy, but also because the thought process behind it is very appealing to many people. Jain food allows us to consume healthy products and be more aware of our surroundings and the damage we do to our environment. Furthermore, it directly opposes consumerism.
A Tasty Jain Recipe
If you want to follow the Jain diet, you may want to know a recipe to get you started. A banana burger is a very good example of a tasty Jain recipe that you could try. You will need:
• Cooking bananas – 500 grams
• Pease – 150 grams
• Bread buns – do check that they are suitable for vegetarians
• Three cucumbers
• Three tomatoes (optional if you don’t want to eat any red fruits or vegetables)
• Green chili paste to taste
• Fresh lemon juice
• Tomato sauce (again, optional)
Banana Burger Method
You need to boil the bananas and the peas in pre boiled, triple filtered water. After boiling, remove the peel from the banana and mash it together with the peas. Mix in the chili, lemon juice, salt and sugar together and deep fry this in warm oil. Do make sure that the oil conforms to the Jainism diet rules. Add some slices of cucumber and tomato and stick these between the bun slices. Bake the burgers in the oven and serve with some warm tomato sauce. Enjoy and be happy about the healthy meal you have consumed.