7  Jain Dishes That Are Power Packed With Flavour

Yet being so simple and light this cuisine is tasty and has a unique taste. It's light as well as healthy and uses simple ingredients. Here are a few popular dishes from Jain cuisine:

1. Khandvi: Khandvi is well known due to the special smoothness of its texture. It makes for an excellent snack as it’s light, soft, flexible and dissolves in the mouth. The taste profile of khandvi is moderately spicy. This is often gentle with a mix of spices — for example, mustard seed, cumin, or green chilli — that allows the gram flour’s flavours to come through naturally. The addition of aromatic components like tadka of methi, mustard seeds and curry leaves can also be added at this stage. Khandvi is characterised by its subtle tanginess and is sprinkled with chopped coriander leaves, grated coconut or crushed peanuts (if desired).

2. Dal Dhokli: In Jain cooking, there is a dish known as “Dal Dhokli” or “Dahiviwa Dhokli” which does not use lentils, onions and garlic. It’s a curry made out of yoghurt cooked with a spiced and fried dumpling. Dal Dhokli uses yoghurt as its base providing it with a creamy and tangy taste. Traditionally, these dhokli dumplings are created using wheat flour and then flavoured with coriander, cumin, and various other spices. These provide a chewiness and softness to the food. The spices are usually mild and comprise ingredients such as cumin, mustard seeds, and green chillies that offer subtle heat and rich flavour. The freshly finely diced coriander, also used as a garnish, gives it a fresh finish. 

3. Khichdi: Besides its multiple uses and the comfort provided by khichdi in Indian cookery, there is a special form which is consistent with Jain doctrine. According to the Jain teachings of ahimsa and saucha, it must be prepared without onion, garlic, and tubers. The taste of this dish is balanced since it involves mixing rice and lentils. A dash of mild spices such as cumin seeds( jeera) with oil or ghee gives the dish a subtle and aromatic flavour.  

4. Undhiyu: Undhiyu has a reputation for a robust, complex and delicious flavour. It blends different vegetables and spices together, giving them an appealing flavour combination. The addition of spices such as coriander, cumin, and mustard seeds further enhances the distinctive and inviting smell of Undhiyu. Undhiyu can sometimes include diverse spices, but the heat is usually subdued because it lets out the native flavour of vegetables on its own. Jaggery (traditional sweetener) gives a subtle taste in undhiyu helping balance the flavour altogether. Slow cooking results in tender meat with a soft, moist texture that is delicious when it comes to the mouth. Undhiyu is a suitable dish for vegetarians as it consists of beans and peas which are sources of plant-based proteins.

5. Vegetable Biryani: Jain Vegetable Biryani also maintains the dietary requirements with a unique taste that’s lighter than traditional meat-based biryanis. Aromatic basmati rice is flavoured with different spices and is usually used as a base for Jain vegetable biryani. The biryani is seasoned with a mix of spices comprising cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and clove which results in the food having a textured and flavoursome mouthful. Adding distinct vegetables such as beans, carrots, french beans, etc., enhances the colourful look and feel of this side-dish.

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6. Bhindi Masala: Bhindi masala constitutes one of the dishes in line with Jain dietary guidelines. Bhindi Masala has a typical hot flavour profile. Often, a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala are combined for this purpose to give the dish a rich taste and a pungent aroma. The okra is sautéd until it becomes tender but with a little bit of bite which adds some interesting texture contrast to the dish. Tomato and fresh coriander leaves will go nicely with Bhindi Masala in terms of giving an all-around improved flavour.

7. Paneer Tikka: Paneer Tikka retains the traditional taste of Jain cooking. Paneer is often marinated with yoghurt mixed with spices to make it smooth on the mouth. The marinade of jain paneer tikka has garam masala, cumin, coriander, etc. A Jain paneer tikka with a smoky taste may provide an additional texture or flavour profile. Smokiness enhances the taste of the dish, and it provides an interesting smell sensation. Paneer tikka can still have its slight spiciness from green chilies and other spices because of the nature of Jain dishes that do not include garlic or onion. It’s not hot but has the right amount of kick.