Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Pukka Mean?

Pukka is a word originating from the various languages of India – including Hindi, Punjabi and Sanskrit – that means “mature,” “ripe,” “cooked,” “permanent,” “solid” and “fully formed.” It typically refers to ritually pure, high-quality food.

In northern India, Hindus traditionally have divided food into kaccha – everyday meals – and pukka. The latter is prepared by basting or frying in a type of clarified butter known as ghee, which is considered ritually pure. It is believed that ghee gives the food protection from spoiling and other forms of ritual pollution.


Yogapedia Explains Pukka

Pukka food may be shared with non-family members and is commonly served during religious feasts, at festivals and in the temples, often during special rites. Pukka foods may include fried breads and sweets.

The term, pukka, has spread beyond its origins to encompass other aspects of purity. For example, it is a term used in architecture in India. A pukka (also called pakka) is a building constructed of durable materials and is resistant to wear.

Pukka has also found its way into the English language, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it means anything that is genuine, substantial or especially good. It’s not unusual for a business to use the term in its name, such as Pukka Yoga in London and Pukka Herbs in Bristol.

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