Recently an Arab gentleman asked me, “What do Hindus from India eat?”
I was taken aback, is he referring to the beef ban in some parts of India, which is causing a lot of heartburn for steak lovers like me.
No he was asking a genuine doubt as he is getting some “Hindus” from India on official visit and they are vegetarians. He has already come to the conclusion that all Hindus are vegetarians and can’t think of any food to offer for lunch.
I told him they eat all kinds of “vegetables”, well most of them. I didn’t want to make him suffer more by elaborating that some Hindus don’t eat onions, garlic, ginger etc…
He was surprised and reacted like I was speaking mandarin. “And’” he pressed further.
I had to clarify to the gentleman that vegetarian DON’T eat meat, fish or egg. Let me be clear here that we are talking about a typical Indian vegetarian, because I have seen fish eating ‘vegetarians’.
Once I was invited for dinner at a well-known city hotel and the lady sitting next to me informed the host that she is a vegetarian. When the pre plated dinner arrived, I had a nice grilled salmon on my plate and she had some mushy veg dish. Looking at the fish on my plate she said: “I said I am vegetarian. I didn’t say I won’t eat fish.”
“Excuse me.. you mean to say fish is vegetarian!!!!”
Yeah many vegetarians from western countries don’t eat meat… but they are okay with fish and egg.
Some of the Arabs have problem with understanding the idea of pure vegetarianism as the variety of veg dishes available in Arabic cuisine are very limited. They have lot and lots of veg appetizers, salads etc. but very few main dishes. But one can easily survive on the veg mezze and bread.
Coming back to the story the gentleman took me the corner of the room and asked in hush tones, “so they eat only salads for lunch and dinner.”
That’s when his good looking assistant came to my rescue and told him that there are many Indian restaurants nearby and all of them have lot of vegetarian dishes. He relaxed only after she assured him that she will take care of organizing the lunch
Even though he was relaxed there was a tinge of confusion on his face. Maybe he was visualizing about sharing the vegetables with the visiting ‘Hindus’.
This made me search for a list of Indian vegetarian restaurant in Qatar and got this nice link where all veg eateries are listed…
Check this out if you need to give meat a break…