Batasha, the Sweet Candy That’s the Most Favourite Temple Food

“Religious foods”, as I call them, sweets and savouries that are part of fasting and feasting rituals, are interesting because they often show up histories of ingredients that we may have long forgotten. In a large part of the Indo-gangetic plain, autumn is the season for batashas – simple, aerated sugar confections often thought to resemble meringues, even though no egg white is used to make these. For many of us, these may be fairly commonplace. Temples, gurudwaras and even small altars at home always have them handy to be given out as blessed offerings,…

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THE DIVINE TASTE OF TEMPLE FOOD

Shojin ryori or the vegan cuisine of Zen Buddhist monks in Japan makes for a meal that is a combination of simple processes and surprising flavours If you look up the phrase shojin ryori online, the most simplistic translation would be vegetarian food. Typically, the term refers to traditional Buddhist cuisine that spread from China in the 6th century. Described as ‘devotional cooking’ or ‘Zen Buddhist temple food’ by various sources, it is generally associated with the vegan food cooked by Buddhist monks across Japanese temples. Not surprisingly, food cooked…

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