Lots of Indian leaders have been interested in eating, of course, and nearly all of them ate tastier food than Gandhi – hardly difficult when, as his theories on food or more precisely on the dietary aspects of health developed, he stopped eating all spices, ate only boiled or raw food and reduced intake of pulses, essentially cutting out on nearly everything that makes Indian food good.
- Mahatma Gandhi was one person who embodied this thought. His lifestyle was simplistic and his thoughts highly intellectual. Fondly called the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi is not just a legacy caged in museums; he lives on in his teachings, in his Gandhian philosophy. “Be the change that you want to see in the world,” he would say. And he did his.
- Dietary experiments continued and he reached a point wherein he stopped eating all spices and only consumed boiled or raw food. His family too had to follow these food restrictions, sometimes grudgingly so
- A popular daily reported confirmation of this by means of a letter written by Mahatma Gandhi to one of the ashram managers in 1942, where the Mahatma conceded: “Mill sugar should not be bought. But so long as Ba is there it will have to continue.”
- Gandhi did undertake long fasts, follow severe food restrictions and advocate eating less. But when he was eating, he did not starve himself.
- Gandhi never forced anyone to follow his diets. On the contrary, he advised a follower who had been inspired by him to turn vegetarian, but whose wife was resisting, that it was his duty to buy his wife meat.
Gandhi’s 11 Vows
In 11 vows of Gandhi, one is Aswada (Control of the Palate) that completely explains the Food philosophy of Gandhi.
Aswada (Control of the Palate)
Unless we are satisfied with foods that are necessary for the proper maintenance of our physical health, and unless we are prepared to rid ourselves of stimulating heating and exciting condiments that we mixed with food. We will certainly not be able to control the over-abundant, unnecessary, and exciting stimulation that we may have. If we do not do that, the result naturally is that we abuse ourselves, and become less than animals and brutes. – Speeches & Writings of Mahatma Gandhi. p. 384
The diet should be healthy and well-balanced. The body was never meant to be treated as a refuse-bin. Food is meant to sustain the body. – My Philosophy of Life.p.111
The Gandhi Favourite
Vegetable Stew: –A simple vegetable stew cooked with the goodness and flavour of coconut milk.
Brown Basmati Rice Pilaf:-Brown basmati rice mingled with tomatoes, Kala chana, plums and spring onions.
Ragi Oats Ladoo:-Healthy ladoos made with ragi flour, oats flour, honey, dates and milk. Coated with sesame seeds and coconut.
Ayurvedic Khichdi:-As per Ayurveda, moong dal is said to have a cooling energy and it promotes the detoxification process in our body.
Beetroot Juice:-Detox with this healthy beetroot juice.
Kachumbar Salad:-Salad made with carrots, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes and sweet corn, sprinkled with spices and topped with hung curd.
Panchratna Dal: –A tasty and healthy Sindhi dal preparation with five lentils: moong, channa, masoor, urad and tuar/arhar.
Gur Aur Atte Ka Halwa:-Wheat flour, semolina and jaggery come together to make a quick and easy halwa.