It's well-known that Judaism and Islam have complex dietary codes, known as Kosher and Halal respectively. But there's a subset of Hindus, specifically some South Indian Brahmins, who follow a dietary code leaps and bounds more complex. It's known as Acharam, and it involves not eating meat, not eating eggs, not eating garlic and onions, and only eating food cooked by Brahmins. But that's just the beginning. It has very complex rules with names like Madi, Pathu, Echil, and Theetu. This Quora answer summarizes some of them. (It also includes some non-dietary rules of hygiene, but that's irrelevant for this question.)

My question is, are there any restaurants that comply with the rules of Acharam, similar to Kosher restaurants and Halal restaurants?

My grandmother follows Acharam, and I often feel bad that when our family goes to Indian restaurants, she's the only one who doesn't eat anything because the restaurant doesn't follow Acharam. It's not actually that hard to follow the rules of Acharam in cooking; my grandmother does it and our other family members are able to do it for her. So it wouldn't be that difficult for a restaurant to become Acharam-compliant.

  • I suspect that, for it to make economic sense for a restaurant to follow those dietary rules, the restaurant would have to be located in an area with a very concentrated and sizeable population of that Hindu sect. Finding a restaurant catering to those dietary preferences would probably entail either going to South India where this sect is based or finding where expats in that sect have been relocating to. Feb 17, 2017 at 15:59
  • First of all, it's not an issue of sect; there are South Indian Brahmins from many different sects of Hinduism who follow Acharam. In any case, I'm not aware of a single restaurant in South India that follows Acharam. And I live in New Jersey which has a large population of South Indian Brahmins, but I'm not aware of a single restaurant in New Jersey that follows Acharam either. So my grandmother is not able to eat out whether in India or in America. Feb 17, 2017 at 16:26
  • If that's the case, then it's entirely possible that a restaurant catering to people who follow Acharam is just not sustainable. A lot of things would contribute to this--the size of the pool of people who follow Acharam and have the spare income to eat out, the impact of the restricted menu on people who don't follow Acharam but could become customers, the costs involved, the size of the labor pool (just Brahmins as you noted). On the other hand, if you think it is a viable segment for a restaurant to cater to, this is a great business opportunity for you! Feb 17, 2017 at 16:41
  • @AdamMiller Haha... By the way, a couple days ago I went to an Indian restaurant in New Jersey where certain items on the menu were marked "Swaminarayan-compliant". The Swaminarayan sect is a sect of Hinduism predominantly found in North India, and they follow stringent dietary rules listed here: shayona.org/dietarypractices.htm. Now the Swaminarayan-compliant items on the menu were priced higher, but it's too bad restaurants won't do the same thing for Acharam-compliant items. Feb 17, 2017 at 17:01
  • Hi @KeshavSrinivasan, it would be great if you could state (in the question, not just the comments) in what area do you live. That way the answers would be relevant to you and help other people in your area.
    – istepaniuk
    Jun 24, 2019 at 12:32

2 Answers 2


In case of Hindu Brahmins, the food that they eat must comply with many criteria.

  1. The person should take a bath before cooking the food
  2. It should not contain onion or anything that grows under the earth*
  3. It should not contain non-veg, and must not have been cooked in the oil or pot used to cook non-veg.

There are many many criteria.

But you can see such hotels in Sabari Mala Season. Because at that season, all the Sabari Mala pilgrims follow such Acharams and you can see many hotels displaying a sign Swami Saranam. It is a phrase from prayer but it indicates that this hotel complies with the conditions I mentioned above.

* why such people don't eat food items grown under the earth - the reason behind this is, in food items grown under earth, the ThamoGunam is present and they should not eat it.


Work around for this is to book meals in Raghavendra Swamy mutt. They will prepare requested number of meals in booked date by following all rules mentioned in question.

Here is a list of mutt with phone numbers: List of Raghavendra swamy mutt

If you really want to go to restaurants instead of any mutt, then you can look for following words in sign board Udupi brahmins restaurants

Another option is bringing food from home and eating it along with other family members in restaurants!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.