Veggie Meat is fast becoming a new food trend

Try out these veggie recipes if you want to change your diet from meat to vegetables, with the same experience of eating meat.

There are several options available today for those seeking alternatives to meat – mutton, chicken, etc. From jack fruit cutlets to soya bean chops or a ‘vegetarian’ chicken and fish.

Popularly termed mock meats, such food items are the favored choices among people ranging from newly turned vegetarians to those who are forced to give up meat due to health reasons.

The trend of eating mock meat is fast catching up, as a healthy alternative to meat as these foods have nearly the same nutritional value in relation to protein content, etc.

Easily available plant-based products are used to substitute meat in popular dishes and make them fit for even the strictest vegetarians.

People who want to turn vegetarian after years of eating meat; others who don’t eat meat due to moral reasons but at the same time don’t want to miss the experience; for them mock meats are the ideal choice.

Products popularly used as mock meats include raw jackfruit, soya chunks, tofu (soya bean curd) etc. Coconut, eggplant or mushrooms are other widespread substitutes that can be swapped for meat.

To cater to vegetarians clamoring for mock meat, companies like Godrej, Nature’s Basket have an extensive range of Mock Meat. Chicken products are largely soya based and completely vegetarian.  They offer a wide selection of Veg Chicken Burgers, Veg Hot dogs, Veg Sausages, etc.

The preparation of these dishes in meat recipes is similar to that of typical meat dishes. The variance being that the meat is replaced with other ingredients like soya chunks, mushrooms, raw jackfruit bulbs, etc.

Mock meat is an emerging trend amongst consumers as many people have chosen to turn vegetarian due to health and ecological reasons, which therefore has resulted in this becoming a major trend in the food industry. Ahimsa Food of Delhi claims to be the leader that began manufacturing products that look and taste like meat but are purely vegetarian.

Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has said that, jackfruit is also called vegetable meat or vegetable mutton. He once narrated an incident, “During my daughter’s marriage, the hired cook made cutlets from this flour of banana. Nobody could understand that it is vegetable. I did not allow them to cook fish, so the guests were given that vegetable cutlet. Many of the guests remarked, ‘We could not understand that it is vegetable.’”

One can also satisfy one’s hankering for meat by cooking with ghee. Ghee is said to contain the essence of meat because ghee comes from milk, which is produced from the cow’s body. Soya beans are a very fine substitute for meat.  Today there are many meat substitutes on the market, which may help a person make the transition away from meat.

Jackfruit, when unripe, is remarkably similar in texture to meat, making it an excellent vegetarian substitute for meat. Jackfruit contains many vitamins and minerals, and offers numerous health benefits. The ripe jackfruit itself has an amazing taste, aroma and texture. The delicious jackfruit is an amazing bounty from nature when straight from the farm. You can make a variety of dishes with this fruit.

Given below is a recipe each on raw jackfruit and soya. Please do try them out.

Raw Jackfruit biriyani:

Jackfruit Biryani

Cut out some raw or young jackfruit bulbs, and make into cubes and keep aside. In a pressure cooker add the raw jackfruit cubes, add turmeric powder, salt, and little water and cook till it is 80% done. Soak basmati rice and cook till 70% done and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add whole garam masala, bay leaf, cashew nut, raisins, chopped green chilies, ginger paste, salt and mix all and then add the cooked jackfruit cubes, sauté it and add chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves, curd, biryani masala and mix well. Spread the whole masala evenly all over the pan and then add chili powder and 70% cooked rice. Sprinkle mint leaves, coriander leaves, and a little color.

Cover it with a lid and cook over a very low flame for 10 minutes. After that remove and the biryani is ready. It is a very delicious dish, rich in energy, dietary fiber, mineral and vitamins.

Soya Sabzi

250 gm soya bean chunks
100 gm potato
50 gm green chilies
50 gm ginger
150 gm tomato
1 tsp chili powder
100 gms cooking oil
1 tsp jeera
1 pinch asafoetida
1 bunch curry leaves
Salt to taste

Soya Sabzi

Boil the soya chunks in hot water for ten minutes. When cold, squeeze dry. Heat oil in a kadai. Add jeera, asafoetida, curry leaves. When roasted, add cut tomatoes, ginger and potatoes. When cooked well add soya chunks. Add salt and hot water and boil well.  Add dhania powder, jeera powder and red chilli powder. Add some garam masala powder and garnish with coriander leaves.

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