Dietary Laws of Hinduism

Jack Sinclair C2, C4


Hinduism, one of the dominant religions of India, has many laws governing the preparation and consumption of food, leading to its nickname, the "kitchen religion". Several foods are forbidden in Hinduism, but not all Hindus follow these rules; Hindus are not supposed to eat meat, eggs, poultry, fish, garlic, onions, mushrooms, alcohol, and caffeine, but only very strict Hindus will follow all of these rules. Almost all Hindus will not eat meat, and most will eat garlic or onions.


In terms of preparation and eating the food, Hindus also have certain rules: one eats with the right hand, because the left is considered dirty; one bathes and puts on fresh clothes before entering the cooking area; one offers up their food on an altar before eating. Aside from rules around how to eat and prepare food, many Hindus follow the same eating customs, such as eating with the hands or with bread, eating on the floor, and eating family style.


Diwali is a celebration of the Hindu new year, and happens around October or November, depending on how the calendars align. On Diwali, Hindus clean, gamble, eat, and light candles to celebrate and gain luck for the new year. Some foods commonly eaten on Diwali are paneer tikka, nankhatai, chivda, kaju katli, rice payasam, rava kesari, and papdi chaat.

Sample Menu

Paneer Tikka




Palak Paneer

Paneerand Vegetable Pakoras


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