Kapilkumar Nivutti Ingle

Can seaweed have a place in Indian cuisine?

The rising population of India required more and more food and seaweed can be such alternative which can feed India. But is it easy to add seaweed in the traditional Indian cuisine?

In many East-Asian and Southeast-Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, Japan etc, seaweed is traditional and poplar food. Its properties such as fast growth rate, high productivity, no need of land for cultivation, no need of fertilizers and pesticides make it important food source in the East and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Sushi in Japanese cuisine


Seaweed is considered as future food, rising food, superfood, hidden food and many such terms now a days due to its nutritional value for human beings. Many countries cultivate seaweed for various purposes and for developing one of food sources. India has long seashore and also cultivates seaweeds but use of seaweed as food is still not popular in India.

Eastern and Southeastern Asian food includes seaweeds


Indian food style is based on the ancient and traditional terms such as Ayurveda. Ayurveda divided food in three categories. First is ‘satvik’ which is preferable. Then ‘rajasik’ which should not be preferred and third is ‘tamasik’ which should be avoided. Although Ayurveda, mentioned the importance of seaweed as a medicine, it is considered as ‘tamasic’ as food.

The ancient Indian theory (addhyatma) says, the true purpose of life is to get ‘Mokshya’ or ‘Mukti’ which means liberation from the cycle of rebirth or in other words, to release your ‘aatma’ (soul) to be a part of ‘paramaatma’ (God). Meditation is the powerful way to achieve this purpose of life and to meditate properly there are many rules you need to follow. Among those one is, you need to consume only ‘satvik’ food which support to meditation. Many ancient Indian philosophies including religion are based on such ideology and give importance to ‘satvik’ food which is helpful and supporting in the meditation to be a stable person ‘sthitapragya’ in terms of meditation.

On this background up to this time, it was difficult to gain community acceptance to seaweed as a food. However, many traditions and tradition loving peoples are disappearing in these days. Already many foreign food dishes, including Chinese food and other countries cuisines, are becoming popular day by day. In future, it may possible seaweed also get such popularity and it will be part of Indian cuisine.

About the Author
Dr. Kapilkumar is an Indian ecologist with proven expertise and a strong interest in the ecological impacts of bioeconomic plantations, and the sustainability of blue carbon ecosystems (BCEs). With environmental research experience in Japan, Israel, and Hungary, he studied journalism at Pune University, India. Kapilkumar is interested in addressing the challenges relating to climate change by using the fields of journalism and environment together.
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