Beef, not as taboo as you thought

Beef, not as taboo as you thought

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The deeply controversial beef has entered the frying pan of debates again with a section of students at Jawaharlal Nehru University advocating its consumption in the varsity. A group called New Materialists have even advocated a beef festival much to the chagrin of right-wing supporters.

As such, cow beef is banned in Delhi. A 1994 law banned the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks – but not buffalo. The ban restricts Delhi restaurants from serving beef at all – even if the meat has been slaughtered somewhere where it is legal to do so, say Kerala or Australia, as it says,  “no person shall have in his possession the flesh of agricultural cattle slaughtered outside Delhi.” That makes it difficult to sell it or cook it in the City.

Hotels, however, are allowed to import, cook and serve beef with a licence. Chef Ashok of Café Morrisson, a popular restaurant in Delhi, says, “Beef has its associated religious beliefs as a result of which many people avoid it. However, in the past few years its popularity is growing as more and more people go abroad, have beef, like its taste and come back to us demanding the fare.”

“Many Indian dishes make use of beef like say Beef curry, biryani, kebabs and pakore; but the beef preparations made in Delhi hotels are mostly continental. One beef dish liked universally, including Delhi, is beef steak. It is prepared in three forms – Rare (that is light grilled), Medium grilled and Done (fully grilled). Marinated with herbs, it is served with red wine sauce or black pepper sauce.”

He continues, “Other preparations of beef include Egnosomme soup which uses beef bones (prepared like beef stock), Tender Loin Adobo sauce which has sweet lime and spices besides beef and is served with rice and Demi glaze sauce which uses equal quantities of brown sauce and brown stock – both of which have beef. This thick sauce when cooked with black pepper becomes black pepper sauce, and when cooked with mushrooms becomes mushroom sauce.”

All these preparations are made in 5-star hotels mostly which import quality beef like Kobe of Japan, considered to be the world’s best beef.

Even as the debate on the subject continues and is likely to heat up in due course, one thing remains undisputed. That ban or not, authorities will not be able to put a stop to the demands of a beef eater’s taste preferences.      

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