Jhatka or Chatka meat (Hindi झटका, Punjabi: ਝਟਕਾ jhaṭkā, from Sanskrit ghātaka "killing") is meat from an animal which has been killed by a single strike of a sword or axe to sever the head, as opposed to Jewish kosher or Islamic halal in which the animal is killed by ritually slicing the throat.

This kills the animal immediately because the spinal cord is severed, and the blood flow to the brain is stopped almost instantly, causing brain death within seconds. Therefore, the method is adopted as being the less painful to the animal than other methods.

Hindus and Jhatka

Historically and currently, those Hindus who eat meat prescribe jhatka meat. This is the a common method of slaughter if animal sacrifices are made to some Hindu deities, however, Vedic rituals such as Agnicayana involved the strangulation of sacrificial goats. Many Shaivite Hindus engage in jhatka methods as part of religious dietary laws, as influenced by some Shakta doctrines, which permit the consumption of meat (except beef, which is universally proscribed in Hinduism). During Durga Puja and Kali Puja among some Shaivite Hindus in Punjab, Bengal and Kashmir, Jhatka meat is the required meat for those Shaivite Hindus who eat meat.

Jhatka Meat and Sikhs

Sikhs are recommended to eat Jhatka meat,[1] as they do not believe any ritual gives meat a spiritual virtue (ennobles the flesh).[2][3] Another reason Sikhs do not eat halal meat is because the use of halal methods is a prerequisite for converting to Islam.

Availability of Jhatka Meat

In India, there are many Jhatka shops, with various bylaws[4] requiring shops to display clearly, that they sell Jhatka meat.

In the past, there has been little availability of Jhatka meat in the United Kingdom, so people have found themselves eating other types of meat.[5] Jhatka has become more widely available in the United Kingdom nowadays.[6]


  1. 10 Misconception Regarding Sikhs
  2. Singh, I. J., Sikhs and Sikhism ISBN 8173040583 And one Semitic practice clearly rejected in the Sikh code of conduct is eating flesh of an animal cooked in ritualistic manner; this would mean kosher and halal meat. The reason again does not lie in religious tenet but in the view that killing an animal with a prayer is not going to enoble the flesh. No ritual, whoever conducts it, is going to do any good either to the animal or to the diner. Let man do what he must to assuage his hunger. If what he gets, he puts to good use and shares with the needy, then it is well used and well spent, otherwise not.
  3. Mini Encyclopaedia of Sikhism by H.S. Singha, Hemkunt Press, Delhi.ISBN 8170102006 The practice of the Gurus is uncertain. Guru Nanak seems to have eaten venison or goat, depending upon different janamsakhi versions of a meal which he cooked at Kurukshetra which evoked the criticism of Brahmins. Guru Amardas ate only rice and lentils but this abstention cannot be regarded as evidence of vegetarianism, only of simple living. Guru Gobind Singh also permitted the eating of meat but he prescribed that it should be Jhatka meat and not Halal meat that is jagged in the Muslim fashion.
  4. http://www.ajmermc.org/PDF/MeatByelaws1963.pdf
  5. [1] Sikh Women in England
  6. Food safety and quality assurance: foods of animal origin By William T. Hubbert Page 254

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