Why We Picked Jain Sambar As Dish Of The Month

jain_sambarSometime around Diwali, when we, at Naivedyam, decided to sit and brainstorm about the Dish of the Month for November, the discussion irrelevantly veered towards airplanes and in-flight meals. How most of what is offered on board is mediocre or even bad was a redundant topic, of course, but there was another crucial topic that cropped up during the discussion – Special Meals. Someone mentioned how while travelling to Bangkok, Thai Airways had offered the choice of a Jain meal to him. That set us thinking, why not focus on this subgroup of meals that is increasingly coming under focus worldover. Which is why, we decided to pick Jain Sambar as our Dish of the Month for November. A not entirely innovative but rarely used concept, Jain Sambar is equally delicious to normal Sambar.


Going Glocal


Indian Vegetarian meal on a Malaysian Airlines flight. Image via Flickr by @hiroshimagal (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hiroshimagal/5507484577/)

In an increasingly connected world, the fine lines dividing food according to region are fast blurring. While Indian airlines, have always experimented with Jain Pav Bhaji or Jain Kachori, and even Jain Chopsuey, not many would’ve thought of serving people with special dietary requirements – such as Kosher food for Jews or Low Sodium Gluten-free food for the health conscious, etc. Similarly, there was a time when an All American airline wouldn’t even consider serving something vegetarian (unless specially requested and paid for with extra charges; and that too in rare cases) to customers who were pure vegetarians. Today, almost all airlines carry a basic dietary list for flyers to pick from – Non-vegetarian, Vegetarian, Kosher, Halal, Gluten-free, Low Sodium food, Low Fat Meal, etc. Some airlines (domestic as well as international) such as Jet, Air China, and Thai Airways even offer Jain food packages.

Dietary Acceptance

A large part of this change can be attributed to acceptance of different dietary requirements or demands as individual choice. A vegetarian can stand out in a group of non-vegetarians, ask for what he wants to eat, and not get mocked as party-pooper. That what a person wants to eat is perfectly his or her opinion and no one has any right to change that, is something almost everyone has now come on board with – be it for religious, health, or any other purposes. The fact that there is a large group of people who are purely vegetarian and do not eat root vegetables such as onions or garlic is a fact that most have started to acknowledge – hence, Jain food offerings have been on the rise in recent times. By including it on their menu offerings, international airlines too have given Jain dietary requirements a global validation of sorts. From here on, the picture only looks positive. Naivedyam Restaurant’s Dish of the Month for November, The Jain Sambar is available year round on the menu and is being served with special love and regards all this month. Do visit Naivedyam to enjoy it.


Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @naivedyampune. Visit Naivedyam, order Jain Sambar, click a photo of it, and post it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #naivedyamdish. You could win* cool merchandise from Naivedyam restaurant!

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