Homegrown | Modern History

Makhaniya Biscuits

Sweet | Snack

Written by: Laura May Bailey

Growing your own vegetables can help tackle climate change and produce tasty ingredients.


  In the last 10 years, the number of people eating a vegan diet in Britain has risen by 400%. While economic and ethical concerns are most common, becoming vegan or vegetarian is increasingly a step being taken for environmental reasons too. For example, one report has named the livestock sector as one of the top contributors to environmental issues such as “land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”

  Jainism is based on the principle of Ahimsa or Ahinsa which promotes non-violence towards all living things. Jainists are lacto-vegetarians, meaning they don’t eat eggs or meat. The strictest Jainists also avoid root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots because their harvest harms tiny organisms living in the soil. As the bulbs or tubers of these vegetables can also sprout new life, they are sometimes seen as living beings rather than plants.

  The religion emerged in India in the seventh century, BCE. It was a reaction against the “formalised rituals and hierarchical organisation of traditional Hinduism” and taught by twenty-four Tirthankaras – the spiritual teachers and founders of Jainism.

  One of these, Mahavira, is considered as the founder of Jainism after renouncing the world when he was 30 to seek spiritual truth. After 13 years of solitude, Mahavira found enlightenment and had converted 14,000 monks and 36,000 nuns to Jainism before his death.

  Makhaniya biscuits are a popular Indian snack which are appropriate for Jainists as they don’t include meat or eggs. The biscuits can be found in bakeries across the country.


  • 150 g flour
  • 120 g butter
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoon yoghurt

Wartime carrot cookies (image)


  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper and preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, caraway seeds.
  3. Separately stir together the butter and 1 tablespoon of the yoghurt.
  4. Add the first mixture to the second and knead into a dough. If it is not sticking together add a little more yoghurt.
  5. Form the dough into small balls and place on the baking tray.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave them in there for an extra 5 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool or enjoy warm!