A few years ago, the mention of mock meats would have made people turn up their noses at the prospect
Hyderabad: The concept of mock meats is fast catching up among millennials and the urbane crowd looking for an alternative to traditional meats.
A few years ago, the mention of mock meats would have made people turn up their noses at the prospect. Cut to 2021, it’s a different story. After cafes and eateries turned up serving mock meat biryanis, burgers, spaghetti with mock meatballs, there is also a store dedicated to these plant-based meats in the city.
For the uninitiated, plant-based meats are made using soya protein, wheat gluten or vegetable substitutes like jackfruit. It’s specifically targeted at people who have turned vegetarian for health or humanitarian reasons.
“A common misconception people have about mock meat is that it is soya nuggets, it’s actually gone beyond that now. What makes mock meat are four elements – look, texture, taste, and smell. It can be made with soya flour, chickpea flour, soya proteins, pea protein, quinoa flour, rice flour or a combination of these,” explains Dhanesh who runs the vegan Terrassen Café.
Plant-based meat is not new at all – in fact, its roots go as far as 1896 and was popularised by Dr John Harvey Kellogg, the man behind the breakfast cereal. “It’s slowly catching up in India. There are companies which are making them now like Good Dot which has made ‘vegicken’, mock red meat, Plantarium in the city, Veggie Champ who are into mock duck, kebabs, mock fish fillets and mock pepper salami,” cites Dhanesh.
City-based all vegan store Plantarium run by Deepika has seen more customers turning up, looking to explore options available to them. “When we started, we got vegans coming in to restock their supplies. Now, people approach us for suggestions on cutting down on their meat intake and not limit their protein intake. There are also youngsters who want to try out plant-based meat,” observes Deepika.
The pandemic and the bird flu have also made many people rethink their meat eating habits and look towards alternatives. At the restaurant 45th Avenue by Karachi Bakery, the team is serving up mock meat burgers in keeping with the demand.
“Mock meats for burgers are made in-house. Mock meats are high in protein, so nutritionally they are a healthier option and less calorie-rich. People who are well-travelled ask for them, but considering the positive response we have gotten, demand is definitely up,” observes Pramit Konar, head chef, 45th Avenue.
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