Category: Blog

Third Jain organisation pledges to go vegan

A third Jain organisation has pledged to serve only dairy-free vegan meals at events it organises and hosts.

At its Mahavir Janma Kalyanak celebrations in April 2018, the President of the Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) announced that, starting from January 2019, JCSC would serve only dairy-free vegan foods at all organised events.

In making this pledge, JCSC joins UK Jain organisations Sri Digambar Jain Association and Young Jains UK who made formal commitments in favour of vegan catering in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

We are delighted with the decision taken by JCSC and its committee, and hope other Jain organisations around the world can follow their lead.

For further information about the announcement, please see this post by Pravin K Shah, Chair of the JAINA Education Committee.

Vegan Jain comes top on fitness test on UK National Television

Vijay Shah, a vegan from the UK Jain community, has been a participant on a UK television show called “Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?”

The show takes aspiring astronauts through the rigorous tests conducted as part of the astronaut selection process.  Vijay was selected out of thousands of people, and has made it into the final five candidates of the show.

Vijay has also demonstrated that both vegans and Jains can excel athletically.  Despite stiff competition, he came out top on the bleep test in the first episode, beating GB bobsleigh athlete James Hedger.  Vijay has consistently been among the strongest performing candidates in all exercises requiring fitness and stamina.


The next episode will be broadcast on Sunday 24 September 2017 at 8pm on BBC Two.  You can also view previous episodes on BBC Iplayer.

Vijay is an aeronautical engineer, a trained expedition guide and a film-maker.  He has helped design space planes, travelled to the remotest corners of the earth, and has also produced short films documenting his adventures.

He also comes from an inspiring family of vegan Jains.  His first cousin was one of the first vegan Jains in the UK, and his late maternal grandmother switched to a vegan diet when in her 80s.

You can read more about Vijay and his adventures across the globe on this website:

And you can read an inspiring biography of his grandparents and their journey from India to London via East Africa in this e-book (read review).

Image candidate

Two UK Jain organisations vote for vegan catering in less than 12 months

Jain Vegans is delighted to announce that two prominent UK Jain organisations have voted in favour of vegan catering in less than 12 months.

In October 2016, members of the Shree Digambar Jain Association (SDJA) voted in favour of a motion proposing that all catering is both suitable for vegans and excludes ingredients traditionally considered unsuitable for Jains, such as root vegetables. Young Jains UK passed a similar motion in April 2017.

Both organisations had been serving exclusively Jain and vegan food for some time. Nevertheless, the passing of formal motions at their respective AGMs demonstrates that their members recognise that using dairy products is inconsistent with the Jain principle of Ahimsa (non-violence).

The decisions by these organisations reflects a broader shift in the UK Jain community towards a vegan lifestyle.  We very much hope that other religous and community organisations follow suit.

The Jain Vegans Working Group has sought to recognise the non-violent catering stance of these Jain organisations by presenting them with the “Ahimsa in Action” award. Young Jains was presented the award in April 2013, while the award was presented to the Shree Digambar Jain Assocation in April 2017.


D - Ahimsa in Action Award - to Young Jains - 2013Young Jains receiving the Ahimsa in Action Award in 2013

“Given the violence and killing of cows in milk production, the majority of our members recognise that the use of dairy products is not consistent with the Jain principle of Ahimsa. Young Jains UK has sought to provide vegan catering at all its events over the past few years, and we are pleased our members have formalised this commitment through a vote at the recent AGM”

Dr Anuja Shah, President of Young Jains UK from 2016-17

D - Ahimsa in Action Award - to SDJA - 2016Mr Jyotindra Dhanani accepting the award on behalf of the SDJA Executive Committee in April 2013

“Three years back when SDJA started serving Jain vegan meals at their events, it was really hard to find caterers who could meet the requirement. Over time the caterers have understood the Jain vegan concept and now offer a wider menu options”

Mr Jyotindra Dhanani, member of the SDJA Executive Committee, on accepting “Ahimsa in action” award in 2017.

Chocolate Pots

(serves 6-8 people)

Recipe from:

choc pots


  • 200g good quality vegan dark chocolate
  • 700g silken tofu
  • 160g maple syrup
  • 1tbsp vanilla bean paste / vanilla extract
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • Optional: Flavourings of your choice e.g. orange essence, mint extract, lime zest, chilli flakes etc.


  1. Place a small pan over medium heat, half fill it with boiling water, then place a medium bowl on top – making sure the base doesn’t touch the surface of the water. Break the chocolate then allow it to melt, stirring occasionally.
  2. Line a medium bowl with a clean tea towel or cheesecloth. Add the tofu, bunch up the cloth and squeeze out the excess moisture into the bowl.
  3. Add the tofu to a food processor with the maple syrup, vanilla extract, 1 good pinch of sea salt and any extra flavourings, then blitz for 1-2 mins until smooth.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until silky and combined.
  5. Divide the mixture into little bowls or espresso cups and refrigerate for 15 mins to chill.
  6. Serve with crumbled golden oreo cookies, lime zest, hazelnuts or any other toppings you’d like.

Nut Free Macaroni ‘Cheese’ with Spinach

Recipe by Rena Shah

mac cheese


  • 500g macaroni pasta
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 4 matoke (small green bananas)
  • 40-50g nutritional yeast
  • 230ml oat milk
  • 2 – 3 tbsp vegan butter or margarine
  • 100g fresh spinach
  • 10g chives
  • 10-12 whole peppercorns
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and cut cauliflower into florets
  2. Wash and cut the ends off the matoke. Cut them into thirds and cut a slit into the skin and halfway into the flesh to allow expansion during cooking.
  3. Steam the cauliflower and matoke for 15 minutes or until soft. Leave aside to cool or run under cold water.
  4. Cook the macaroni as per the packet instructions.
  5. Wash and finely chop the spinach.
  6. Once the vegetables have cooled, peel the matoke skin off and remove any discoloured fibres.
  7. In a blender or food processor blend the vegetables, vegan butter, oat milk, nutritional yeast, salt and peppercorns. (This sauce can be used in other dishes where you want to replace a bechamel e.g. in lasagne)
  8. Mix together the macaroni, sauce and spinach while the macaroni and sauce are still warm.
  9. Serve with chopped chives on top.

Date and Coconut Barfi Balls

Recipe by Sushila Chandra Shah

date coconut burfi balls full









  • 175g dates
  • 125g oats
  • 75g chopped almonds
  • 25g cacao Powder
  • Desiccated coconut, for dusting


  1. Roast the oats and almonds
  2. Soak the chopped dates in 2 tablespoons warm water. Melt the dates if needed on very low heat, until soft.
  3. Add oats, mix and stir for two minutes on low heat.
  4. Add cacao powder, mix and stir for two minutes on low heat.
  5. Add almonds, mix and stir for one minute on low heat.
  6. Immediately start to roll the mixture into balls and coat with desiccated coconut while warm.
  7. Leave to rest in a cool place or in the fridge.



Recipe by Ranjanben Chandaria

Makes 20 Bhatura


  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 4 slices bread
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Half tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • A handful of methi leaves
  • Sparkling water for binding the flour
  • Oil for frying


  1. Dip the bread in some non fizzy water, squeeze out the excess water and mix it with all the other ingredients.
  2. Use enough soda water to make a soft dough.
  3. Leave aside for at least one hour.
  4. Roll out puri of approx 1cm thickness and deep fry on a low heat until light brown in colour.

Serve with a chick pea curry.

chana bhatura 1


Recipe provided by Nishma M. Shah

Serves 2


  • 200g soya yoghurt (plain, unsweetened)
  • 500ml water
  • ½ teaspoon powdered dry roasted cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander leaves (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Pour out the soya yoghurt into a deep jug/bowl.
  2. Add the water and whisk with a hand whisk.
  3. Chop the coriander leaves (optional) very finely and mix them in.
  4. Season the drink with dry roasted cumin powder and salt.

chaas pic


Makes 1 serving (multiply quantities as required)


  • 200 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp basil seeds (takmuria)
  • 1 tsp vermicelli (faluda sev)
  • 1 tbsp rose syrup
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla ice cream (e.g. Swedish Glace)


  1. Soak basil seeds in approximately 30 ml cold water for at least an hour.
  2. Cook vermicelli according to package instructions.
  3. In a glass, add soaked basil seeds and cooked vermicelli. Add the rose syrup and almond milk.
  4. Top with the scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.
  5. Serve immediately.

Indian Chai (Tea)

Provided by Nishma Shah


  • 150 ml water
  • 60 ml soya milk
  • 1 tsp tea leaves
  • 1/4 tsp tea masala or slightly more depending on the strength of the flavour of the tea masala.


  1. In a small flat bottom pan add tap water and let it simmer on medium heat.
  2. Add the tea leaves and tea masala and allow the tea to masala to infuse while the water is boiling.
  3. Once the infused tea leaves water comes to a boil add the soya milk and keep it in on the cooker for approximately 5 minutes. The colour should change from black to a golden brown. Add some more soya milk if you find the taste of tea too strong for your palate.
  4. Use a sieve to separate the tea leaves when pouring out the tea into the cup.
  5. Sit back, sip your tea and savour every moment.

Tip: You proportionally add more soya milk than you would have cow’s milk, to get a golden chai colour.