Meat shortage brings ‘veg twist’ to party menus
Hameeda Khatoon had planned a long list of non- vegetarian delicacies for her wedding menu. But the ‘pasanda’ and ‘korma’ kebabs did not turn out to be as tasty as she had thought them to be. Reason: These dishes were made of chicken, which the family managed with utmost difficulty.
“We couldn’t have switched to a completely vegetarian menu as the raw materials, spices etc were already bought keeping in mind the non-vegetarian dishes. Thus, we had no other option but to prepare the dishes with chicken, which we got at almost double the price and that too after a lot of difficulty,” said Hameeda who got married on Sunday.
While the crackdown on illegal slaughter houses had already created problems for all those who had weddings and parties lined up, the meat vendors’ strike only added to their woes.
“A number of people have rescheduled their receptions due to meat shortage. They say the nikah would be hosted on the scheduled date but the reception has been shifted for a later date,” said Faizal, of Dastarkhwan, a prominent non-vegetarian eatery in the city that is also into catering business.
Some have even changed the menus from non-vegetarian to vegetarian. “We had no other option. As meat isn’t available in the market, no non-vegetarian delicacies can be served in parties. Menus for upcoming parties have been changed to vegetarian,” said Santosh Rijwani, manager at Royal Café, a leading city restaurant.
However, some caterers catered to non-vegetarian orders with meat brought from nearby areas including Barabanki, Kanpur etc. “But that isn’t easy either. Transportation adds to the cost. More than that there is a risk of being checked on the way and thus we are now refraining from getting stocks from elsewhere,” said a city-based caterer.
While meat vendors’ strike has given nightmares to those who had parties and weddings scheduled, restaurant owners aren’t much worried about business, at least for the next 10 days. Navratri is scheduled to begin from Wednesday and demand for non-vegetarian food is already negligible during the nine days.
“We had some stock with which we have been meeting the demand. As demand for non-vegetarian food goes down considerably during Navtratri, we hope we will not face much problem,” said Shabahat Husain of Vivanta by Taj.
The demand for non-veg food is so low during this period that some restaurants switch to an all-vegetarian menu. Gyan Dev Dubey, manager of Metropolitan Club, said: “We don’t serve non-vegetarian menu during Navratri. Thus there isn’t much of a problem for the next 10 days. We are hopeful that things would be back to normal after that.”
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