www.jainworld.com

The Vegetarian Way

The Key to Health and Happiness 

          The term Vegetarian is derived from the Latin word vegetal meaning �whole, lively, sound, fresh.�  Thus from a Jain point of view, a vegetarian is one who dopes not eat any meat, fish, fowl or eggs.  But there are many who consider themselves to be vegetarians even though they eat eggs.  There are three categories of vegetarians; 1) lacto-ovo-vegetarians: those that include milk, dairy products and eggs in their diets; 2) lacto-vegetarians: those that include milk dairy products but no eggs in their diets; and 3) vegans: those that do not include any animal; products like milk or eggs in their diets (most even eschew honey).
          Since time immemorial, studies and research have led us to one thing that is common to all living beings; the desire tops live and be happy.  However, man in his pursuit of pleasure and happiness uses everything and everyone to satisfy this yearning to the extent of hunting, confining and taking the life of freely roving animals.  In this way, not only does he abuse living creatures, but abuses himself as hye too is a living creature and cannot remove himself from the universal vibrations of the living, until, subconsciously he reaches a point of hating himself.  When one does not have reverence for one�s life, how can one have reverence for other living beings?  To have reverence for oneself, one must be non-violent to oneself which then extends to others.
           The first step is to watch one�s eating habits.  One starts to observe what one puts into the body where the soul is housed.  The body is, therefore, provided with healthy and wholesome foods, pure and untainted by blood and negative vibrations.  One is often not aware of the fact that when one eats meat, one takes in protein as well as the chemicals which are injected into the animals top control; diseases and fatten them up.  One also forget that in flesh, the negative vibrations of pain, fear and rejection do exist, and they permeate the cells of the human body creating there the feelings of fear, pain and rejection.  How can one hope to live with good feelings of health, when negative vibrations blended with chemicals are working in the body?  These, then lead to fatal diseases.  Statistically, approximately two million Americans die each year of which 68% are victims of the three major chronic diseases in which diet is a major contributory factor: heart disease, cancer and stroke.  The foods that have been singled out for special; concern in connection with theses diseases are meat and animal fat.  So feed the body with those foods which involve a minimum and violence.  Grannies, legumes, beans, vegetables and fruits are goods souses of protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
           One never stops to think that eating meat for palate and stomach involves much pain and torture to a life! A life that cannot be created in the laboratory!  A very precious life with a strong will to live! A life that needs time to unfold its own destiny on earth, fopr a premature death breaks the cycle of a natural unfoldment. Leonardo da Vinci rightly said, �The time will come when men will,. Look one the murder of animals as they nor look on the murder of men.�
         Here, many ask the question, �Why, then, kill vegetables if not animals?�  The school of Jain philosophy answers this question precisely.  Basically, this universe is made up of two substances,. I.e., �living� and �non-living�.  Classified as �living� as human beings, animals, birds insects, smaller organisms, vegetation, air and water.  Non-living substances are sand, rock, buildings, trains, cars, machines, etc.  Wherever there is life,. There is consciousness, there is a response to stimuli.  According to Jain philosophy, all life is divided into five groups, embodying the various stages of evolution.  Vegetables are one-sense beings and animals are five-sense beings.  Life has top go through a laborious and strenuous proposes to evolve from one-sense top five-sense beings.  By slaughtering an animals, one destroys completely the evolutionary progress of that life which it has attained through one destroys completely the evolutionary progress of that life which it has attained through suffering and pain.  The vegetable kingdom has not reached the bood �consciousness� which the animals (and humans) have.  Where there is blood there are feelings, emotions and possibility to feel deep pain.
         Two thousand five hundred years ago, Mahavir, the great teacher of Non-violence, emphasized that thoughts which govern our actions are the products of the food we eat.  The food that feeds the system has a definite influence on the person physically as well as emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.  Healthy, whole and harmless foods give rise to healthy whole and harmless thoughts.  Once our thoughts are harmless and healthy, our actions reflect the same qualities.  Weaknesses of character always develop in those who are in poor health.  Science discovered in recent years that character and personality are attributes opf the inner workings of the body and have a great bearing upon our success in life and happiness.  The personality reveals and expresses itself through the physical body.  The expression of the face, the smile; which is the manifestation of joy,. Happiness and compassion, reveal and personality within.  Without a healthy body these manifestations would not be possible.  Thus the vegetarian way is a key to health and happiness.
Spices & Herbs

           Known the world over as the �Home of Spices,� India has for centuries shared with the world a cornucopia of spices and condiments, thus enriching the ream of the culinary art with this invaluable gift. Long before the rise of the Greek and Roman Empires,. Ships carried Indian spices to Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt.
      Merchants from far away lands, plying the trade routes of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, thronged the market placeless, discovering, sampling and buying the various spices.  Back in their homeland, the variety of the spices from the strange lands, used primarily as a means of preserving foods from spoilage, were put together in ever-varying combinations to tantalize the tastebuds and entice with heady, exotic fragrances and perfumes.  These concoctions and potions were greatly desired by the nobles and aristocrats.  High-ranking officials made sure that their storehouses were well stocked with condiments and were willing to spend fortunes to do so.  In this way the need and demands for the spices grew greater and greater.  Gradually,. The fame of Indian spices tr4avelled far and wide luring many seafarers to the shores of India, making India the world�s major producer and exporter of the spices.

           Thus, the fascinating history of spices became a story of adventure, exploration, expedition and competition.
           Once a royal luxury, it now became everyone�s necessity.  So today�s spices, or racks, in jars and all manner of simple and fancy containers, is a common sight on the shelves of every kitchen.  With growing awareness of the factors contributing to the state of one�s health, people are paying more attention to the kind of food they are giving their bodies, and want to know more about their effects and merits.  Spices are becoming popular and readily available, and more people are utilizing them in their daily cooking.  So I have given a brief description and uses of each spice to provide a general background for the interest and welfare of the readers.  Even those on salt-restricted diets need not feel deprived of flavorful meals when spices are judicially combined in the preparation of the dishes.
          Altogether there are about 70 spices grown in different parts of the world.  But as it would be cumbersome to include all of them, only those spices used in the recipes given in this book are described for the benefit of the cook.
        Spices are comprised of different plant components or parts such as roots (horse-radish, leverage, etc.) or rhizomes (ginger, turmeric, etc.) or bark (cinnamon) or leaves (bay leaves, sage, etc.) or bulbs (garlic, onion, etc.)  or seeds (cumin, poppy, fennel, caraway,etc.) or berries (black pepper, all-spice) or kernel (nutmeg) or aril (mace) or floral parts (cloves saffron, etc.) or fruits (cardamom, tamarind, etc.)
         Spices impart aroma and add zest to the flopped, making the insipid dish desirable and palatable.  Their innumerable uses in the kitchen are surely amazing.  They are sometimes used as preservatives (especially useful when there were no refrigerators), for example, as with cloves which contain chemical; called Eugene; that kills bacteria.  Many spices also have medicinal; properties useful for luring illnesses and correcting many health problems.  Spices are also used top activate the secretion of saliva in the mouth.  Saliva is rich ptyalin-an enzyme possessing the property of converting starch into dextrin and maltose (which are simple sugars) causing the foods high in carbohydrates to digest more easily.
          Thus, when the nature and uses of the spices and condiments are discovered and known, it inspires and encourages incorporating them creatively in one�s daily cooking.
Happiness By the Cupful 

         A heaping cup of happiness,                        A level cup of wisdom,

         2 of love and caring,                                     1 of artful living,

         1 of understanding                                        1 of thoughtful insight,

         1 of joyful sharing,                                       1 of selfless giving, 

                                        Mix ingredients together,

                                        Tos in little flair,

                                        Serve to everyone you know

                                        Topped with a tiny prayer,

                                         May every measure of happiness

                                         Be yours for a lifetime! 

Secret Ingredient

Love

Gujarati: Prem: Hindi: Prem:         

         I have found that love is the ultimate spice of life.  When used generously, it enriches and enhances the flavor of life as well as food.  Remember: before entering into the kitchen check your state of mind and emotions.  Be in a centered, loving state when cooking.  Cooking with love generates a tremendous power transmuting food particles into health giving morsels.  Love stimulates the necessary enzymes in the body thus making one healthy, happy and wholesome.  Love has the power to change the flat and tasteless food into palatable and tasteful fare.

          Love is also important while eating the food.  Food eaten with love and appreciation digests well and nourishes the whole body (body, mind and spirit) We must show our family today the advantage of loving vibrations for a brighter and lighter tomorrow.

           Here is an example to illustrate how love and hated had ill effects on the human condition:

          In a remote village of India there lives a father, mother and their two sons, one of them being a stepson.  The mother used to feed both of them lead (a ball made of sesame seeds, coconut and jugglery) daily.  After a year, her own son gained weight and her stepson did not show any such improvement.  Both the children were served the same food.  The baffled father asked the doctor about this.  The father was amazed to find put that her own son was always served first,. With lat. of love, affection, care and warmth.  But when the stepson was served, she practically banged the plate of lade when she placed it before him. She abused him, hated him for being alive and cursed him.  The father immediately realized that lack of love and affection can hinder physical, mental and psychological growth.  Hate is like an acid,. Which corrodes the vessel; in which it is stored and the vessel into which it is poured.

          I invite you to form your own opinion by experimenting with this secret ingredient and subtle yet powerful principle in your own preparation and presentation and observe the results. 

Glossary of Spices

Their Description and Uses

Aniseed

Gujarati: Sowa; Hindi: Valaiti Saunf 

Description: Aniseed is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Ajowan (Bishop�s weed) family grown as a garden herb in India.  It is greyish-brown in color having an oval shape.  It has a licorice-like smell and pleasant sweet taste. 

Uses: It is used in cookery for flavoring confectionery goods, beverages and liquors.  It is good for digestion, for colds and used as diuretic stimulant and carminative.  Fresh leaves of the plant are used as garnishing and flavoring for salads. 

Asafoetida

Gujarati: Hing; Hindi: Hing

Description: Asafoetida is the dried gum oleoresin oozed of a Ferula plant species.  It is bitter and sharp in taste and gives out a strong pungent smell because of the presence of sulphur compounds.  It is sometimes called �Devil�s Dung.� 

Uses: Asafoetida is used as flavoring for vegetables, curries, pickles, sauces, pules and beans.  Medicinally, it is used to correct gastric troubles caused buy over-eating and indigestion.  Sometimes it is applied externally on the stomach to stimulate the intestines and relieve gastric pains. 

Basil

Gujarati; Damaro: Hindi; Tulsi 

Description: Basil or sweet Basil; is an annual; herb of the mint family.  It has bright green leaves, used fresh or dried as a condiment.  The flavor is warm, sweet and pungent, while the fragrance is sweet and pleasant.  It can be grown indoors as a houseplant or in gardens in ordinary soil. 

Uses: Basil is used in soups, vegetables and certain cheeses.  It is sometimes used as a substitute for oregano in pizza topping.  It is used in medicine as a stimulant, carminative and diaphoretic.  It is very often used for coughs and colds.  In India there is a common belief that a plant of basil; in the house brings happiness. 

Black Cumin

Gujarati: Kalu Jiru; Hindi: Kalungi 

Description: Black cumin is the dried seed-like fruit of a small berg, about 45 cm in height having long leaves, pale blue flowers and black seeds having triangular shape. 

Uses: The seeds are considered carminative, stimulant and diuretic. 

Black Paper

Gujarati: Kala Mari; Hindi: Kali Mirch 

Description: In the international trade market of spices, the volume sale of black pepper of considered to be the highest among the spices and so has rightly earned the title of �King of Spices� and cardamom reign as the �Queen of Spices.�  It is a sharp not spice prepared from the dried, mature unripe green berries of a tropical; vine called Piper Nigrum, found and cultivated in hot and moist climate.  Black pepper is also processed and sold as white and green pepper. White and green pepper are barriers of the same shrub, but unlike the black pepper, the white is harvested after the barriers are ripe and red in color, the green pepper are picked when the berries are semi-mature. 

Uses: Black pepper has a hot, pungent and sharp taste which blends perfectly with the sweet and sour tastes of soups and sauces and is well-known for its quality of correcting the seasoning of various dishes and as a preservative.  White pepper is used in products such as mayonnaise where specks of black are not desirable.  Green peper is generally used in pickling. 

Bishop�s Weed

Gujarati: Ajama; Hindi: Ajowan 

Description: Bishop�s weed, also known as goutweed, is a herbaceous plant bearing the greyish brown seeds, which constitutes the spice.  They have a peculiarly characteristic aroma, similar to oregano and a pungent sharp taste. 

Uses: They are occasionally used as a spice in dishes, but as one of the most valuable spices is medicine, it is used in a number of ways to correct human illnesses generally for flatulence, indigestion, cough and stomachache. 

Capsicums or Chillies

Gujarati: Lal Marcha; Hindi : lal Mirch 

Description: Capsicum is the common pepper of the garden.  It is a sub-shrub to which fruits hang like pendants occurring in many varieties that range from chillies cayenne,. Peppers to paprika.  The taste starts from every hot top every mild and then sweet.  The sweet variety is a large bell- like fruit found in yellow, green and red colors, used as vegetable. 

Uses: It is used as a spice by those who love hop food and the mild variety is used by those who love delicately flavored foods.  Its pungent property activates the fl;ow of saliva in the mouth thus helping the digestion of starchy foods.  They are rich in vitamins C and A when eaten fresh in salads. 

Caraway

Gujarati: Shah Jiru: Hindi: Shia or Siya Jira 

Description: Caraway is an aromatic,. Seedcake fruit of an umbeliferous plant.  When the seed is dried, it is brown in color, it has a pleasant smell and a sharp taste. 

Uses:  Caraway seeds are extensively used as a flavoring agent in cheese bread,. Cakes and biscuits.  It is used for flatulence and as carminative. 

Cardamon

Gujarati: Elachi: Hindi: Elaichi 

Description: Cardamon, popularly known as the �Queen of Spices� is the dried fruits of a herbaceous plant and one of the most expensive and valued spices in the world.  It occupies an important position in Indian cookery.  Its emerald grteen color is as attractive as its aroma as sweet fragrance. 

Uses:  It is very popularly used as a flavoring agent in Indian desserts, cakes and pastries.  Very commonly it is used aa a mouth refresher, It checks nausea and vomiting and its aromatic smell acts as a stimulant. 

Cinnamon

Gujarati: Tuj, Dalchini; Hindi: Dalchini 

Description: Cinnamon is the aromatic dried pieces of layers of inner bark of several lauraceous trees.  It is one of the most important tree spices used in Indian cooking, having sweet and astringent taste.  Cassia bark (Chinese cinnamon) is a good substitute fopr cinnamon.  It has a delicate taste and appealing fragrance. 

Uses: There are various uses of the cinnamon tree.  All the parts of the tree are useful; in one way or other- the bark, the leaves, the buds,. The flowers and the roots.  Every Indian home finds use fopr the cinnamon bark.  It is useful as a flavoring agent in desserts,. Cookes, cakes and pastries, chocolates, gum and candy.  It is used as a carminative; as a stimulant; to check vomiting and nausea.  It is also used as a general body cleanser.  Because of the presence of trunk acid which has an astringent effect,. It is especially used in treating diarrhea.  Cinnamon Oil is a powerful germicide and has the properties of an antiseptic. 

Cloves

Gujarati: Lavang; Hindi: Laung 

Description: Clove is the air-dried flower bud of a tropical myrtaceous tree, brownish-black in color with full; and plum crown.  Being one of the most ancient and valuable spice of the Orient its source and origin was kept a mystery for a long time.  It possesses a spicy,. Pungent and aromatic smell. 

Uses: Cloves are used for flavoring gravies soups,. Vegetables and baked goods.  Ground into a powder, it is used for both sweet and sour dishes; It is used as a stimulant, having the property of correcting disorders of the stomach. It relieves flatulence and dyspepsia: the oil of cloves has antibiotic and antiseptic properties and is effective for claming toothaches. 

Coriander

Gujarati: Dhana (seeds) Kothmiri (leves); Hindi Dhana 

Description:  One of the first spices to be used by mankind is the coriander seed.  They are brown sees,. Sweet in taste.  Fresh coriander leaves (in Spanish, the leaves are called �cilantro�� and the Chinese call them Chinese parsley) are used like regular parsley.  They seed and leaves are pleasantly aromatic leaving the kitten fragrant and sweet smelling.  The use of fresh coriander leased in different dishes enhances the flavor, taste and aroma so uniquely yet subtly that it is regarded as one of the �trade secrets� of a good cook. 

Uses: Copriander seeds are considered to be diuretic, carminative and antibilious; stimulates and sharpens the appetite; and lessens the intoxicating effect of liquors.  Their cooling effect helps to deserve the heat in the body. 

Cumin

Gujarati: Jiru; Hindi: Jira 

Description: Cumin is a light and dry greyish-brown seed of the coriander family similar to caraway seeds but a little longer.  The odor is peculiar, strong and heavy while the taste is slightly bitter and spicy.                                                                            
           Uses: Cumin is used as one of the main ingredients in all mixed spices (masala).  It is considered an astringent, a stimulant of gastric juices aiding digestion in the stomach, and useful; in calming dyspepsia and diarrhea and for treating diseases which occur due to excess of water in the body. 

Curry Leaf

Gujarati: Meetho Limbdo; Hindi: Curry Patta
Description: Curry leaves are derived from a deciduous tree, having an aromatic smell and fragrance.  It is commonly found in forest and much cultivated for its sweet-smelling leaves.
Uses: The leaves of this tree are used as a flavoring agent in various curries and chutneys for centuries.  The green tender leaves are eaten fresh to cure dysentery.   The leaves, roots and bark are also used in medicine as tonic, stimulant and stomachic.

Dill

Gujarati: Suwa; Hindi: Soya
Description: An apiaceous plant, bearing a seed-like fruit which is light brown in color, emitting an aropmatic smell, and having a slightly pungent taste.
Uses:  The seeds and leaves of the plant are used as a flavoring agent.  They are used as a condiment in soups, salads and in dill pickling.  It has medicinal properties useful in flatulence and hiccups in infants and children.

Fennel

Gujarati: Varialli; Hindi: Saunf
Description: An aromatic fruit (seeds) of umbeliferous plant having greenish-yellow flowers.  Its small, oblong seeds have a sweet and fragrant flavor and pleasant taste.
Uses:  Dried seeds of fennel are used in flavoring soups, sauces, candies, confectionery goods and pickles.  They are used to stimulate the appetite, give strength, and are used for dysentery, diarrhea and flatulence.  They check griping and are sometimes used as a laxative.

Fenugreek

Gujarati: Methi; Hindi: Methi
Description: Fenugreek is a small, irregular shaped, yellowish-brown seed having slightly bitter taste and a peculiar smell and flavor of its own.  The green leaves of this herb are used as a vegetable while the seed is used as a spice in Indian cooking.
Uses: Fenugreek is a very good source of protein and rich in essential amino acids used as a spice as well as a medicine.  It is used for loss of appetite, flatulence,. Chronic cough, gout and dysentery.  Sometimes the seeds are used as carminative. 

Ginger Fresh                                                 Ginger Dry

Gujarati: Adu; Hindi: Adrak                          Gujarati: Sunth; Hindi: Sonth 

Description: Ginger is the underground root of herbaceous plant. It is one of the most important and oldest spices.  The aroma and taste of ginger is pleasant, spicy and pungent. 
Uses: Ginger is used in many food products like baked goods and confectionery.  It is also used in drinks and vegetable dishes.  According to the Ayuveda (science of life) School of Medicine, ginger is used for warming up the body and helping the digestion of food.  Ginger is helpful; in relieving cramps in the hands and feet and excellent for warding off colds.

Mango Powder

Gujarati: Amchur; Hindi: Amchur
Description: Amchur is the dehydrated or dired part of the unripe mango.  It is used in the form of peeled slices or as powder.  Mostly undrape and wind fallen fruits are used to make Amchur and is produced in the northern states of India.
Uses: It is used as souring agent for dals, curries and savories.  Used in Chutneys,. Soups and in vegetables.  The unripe mango is useful is opthalmia and eruptions.Mint

Gujarati: Phudina; Hindi: Pudina
Description: Mint is an aromatic perennial herb belonging to the genus mentha species.
Uses: Mint is successfully used as a flavoring agent in soups,. Tea and chutneys.  The fresh leaves added in the fruit cocktail glasses, refreshes and cools the mouth and leaves a fragrant smell.  It is very often used in summer for its cooling property. It is useful for coughs,. Colds and fever: also used for stomach disorders.

Mustard

Gujarati: Rai; Hindi: Rai
Description: There are three varieties of mustard seeds: true or black mustard, yellow or white mustard, and brown or Indian mustard.  Among all the spices, mustard is the hottest.
Uses: The Powder of white mustard stimulates the gastric juices of the mucous membrane activating secretion.  Black and white mustard are ground together to make the mustard and various medicinal mustards.  Brown mustard is used in pickles and spreads.  It is very helpful for cough and preventing mucous formation.  If used in excess,. It may aggravate the secretion of bile in the liver.

Nutmeg

Gujarati: Jaiphal; Hindi: Jaiphal
Description: Nutmeg is a dry, hard seed of the fruit of an East Indian tree used as a spice.  It is greyish-brown is color.  When powdered, its fragrance is compelling.
Uses: Nutmeg is used as a condiment and as a medicine.  In combination with cinnamon and cardamom it becomes a good mixture for sweet dishes in Indian cooking.  It is used medicinally for stomachache, flatulence, dysentery, vomiting and nausea.  Taken in excess, it can create drowsiness and intoxication.

 Oregano

Gujarati: - Hindi: Mirzanjosh
Description: It is the aromatic dried leaves of a perennial herb cultivated in Italy and Greece.  Found abundantly in Mexico, it is known as Mexican Sage.  The color of the dried herb is light green.  The aroma is strong as aromatic and tastes spicy and bitter.
Uses: It is used in many Italian and Mexican dishes.  The oil of oregano possesses carminative stomachic, diuretic and diaphoretic properties.  It is given as a stimulant and tonic in colic and diarrhea.

 

TOP

NEXT