Mock meats are finally going mainstream. From nuggets to keema, the Indian food market is now exploding with plant-based foods for those seeking meat alternatives. Do these products really taste like the real deal? How are they made? Are they healthy? And is this the future of food? Tried & Tasted dives into this brave new world of plant-based food—one product at a time.
Made by: GoodDot
One-line pitch: “Creating a healthy, peaceful and better world.”
Price: Rs299 for 600g
Ingredients: Soy flour, soy protein isolate, wheat gluten, vegetable protein (pea), refined wheat flour, gram flour, quinoa flour, corn starch, rice flour, flax seed powder, fenugreek powder, fennel seeds powder, coriander seed powder, garlic powder, onion powder, baking powder, iodised salt, stabilizers (INS401, INS412, INS415), edible vegetable oil (rice bran), asafoetida powder, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (soy), beetroot powder.
Whole spices: Black cardamom, green cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves.
Keema masala: Edible vegetable oil (mustard), rice bran oil, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, cinnamon clove, fenugreek seeds, red chilli, bay leaf, nutmeg, fennel, black pepper, mustard seeds, mace, star anise, turmeric, carom seeds, cashew nuts,
Nutritional information (per 100g): Energy: 488kcal; protein: 29g; total carbohydrates: 27.8; sugar: 11g; added sugar: 7.5; dietary fibre: 19.1g; total fat: 29g; saturated fat: 9.9g; trans fat: 0g; cholesterol: 9mg; sodium,: 1825.4mg; iron: 11.4mg
In 2003, engineering student Abhishek Sinha stumbled upon a research paper on tissue culture and that’s when the idea of meatless meat was sown in his mind. Tissue culture is a method of research in which fragments of tissues and cells are regrown in an artificial medium from living tissue. As far as the future of meat is concerned, this is an idea rife with potential.
Years passed. Sinha went on to become a civil services officer after he graduated. “But one day in 2013, I was faced with a moral dilemma. On one hand, I loved eating meat, and on the other, I didn’t want to partake in any violence against animals any longer,” he says. He quit eating non-vegetarian food and eventually his job, and revisited his 2003 idea, along with his friend-partner Deepak Parihar.
“I know there were many people who were struggling with a similar dilemma. The reasons could be health, animal rights, or the need for a sustainable lifestyle.” He also felt that this was a gap in India. “While there were many plant-based alternatives in the US, there were close to none in India.” After nearly three years of research, Sinha made a breakthrough with a plant-based alternative and set up a factory in Udaipur. Thus was born the mock meat brand GoodDot.
The meat of the matter
GoodDot’s repertoire of vegan products tries to emulate the texture of chicken and mutton. How do they achieve it? Sinha breaks it down: “The process is called denaturation of proteins. Think of a raw egg in a shell; it’s in liquid form. But if you put it in boiling water it solidifies. The protein and amino linkages have changed.”
Similarly, soy, pea and wheat proteins are put through thermal sterilisation, and thermal heat and pressure processes. A plant-based dough that could stretch far and wide earlier will have a different, layered texture now. This is because the amino linkages are broken and realigned in layers to replicate the texture of meat, he adds.
Even though the meat is technically missing, the products are still rich in proteins, says Sinha. The UnMutton Keema offers 29gm of protein as compared to the 21gm found in mutton keema. “Plus, mutton is high in cholesterol (97mg/100gm) and has nearly zero dietary fibre, whereas plant-based meat has zero cholesterol and is high in dietary fibre. It’s also free of growth hormones and antibiotics,” says Sinha.
How does one make it?
The UnMutton Keema kit comes with everything you need to make the dish. The only ingredient you’ll have to dig into your pantry for is green chillies. Start with boiling the mock meat granules for about six minutes. Once they turn soft, keep them aside. Sauté the whole spices (provided in the kit) such as black and green cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and star anise in a pan with some oil. Pour in the keema masala paste made with a mixture of garlic powder, coriander seeds, red chilli and more. Add the boiled granules to this mixture and cook on a high flame for about 14 minutes, stirring every few minutes, and the keema is ready to eat.
Besides the keema, GoodDot also offers a Vegicken Curry Kit, Vegetarian Achari Tikka, Vegetarian Bytz (imitates mutton) and Proteiz (imitates chicken). Proteiz and Vegetarian Bytz are unflavoured protein chunks that can be seasoned the way you like. Add them to a salad, wrap or momos, fry into fritters or sauté them to make chilli chicken. You can even mince the chunks to make a bhurji or scramble. The brand’s website lists a roster of recipes you can experiment with.
Too lazy to cook? GoodDo, a subsidiary of GoodDot, runs a food truck in Udaipur and QSR restaurants in Bandra (Mumbai), Mayur Vihar (New Delhi) and Kathmandu in Nepal. It offers kathi rolls, shawarmas, momos, keema pav and much more—all made from GoodDot’s mock meats.
Does it taste like meat?
Pretty close, we’d say. Packed with piquant flavours and a coarse texture, the dish tastes meaty and seamlessly stands in for your favourite street-style keema pav and can even make for a tasty filling for cutlets or samosas. The mix is redolent with fresh flavours and the aroma of keema from the whole spices and masalas. Plus, it cooks quickly and is fuss-free.
The box could also make for a great travel companion when you’re looking for mock meat with Indian flavours abroad where your options on supermarket shelves might be limited to sausages or patties.
What we liked: We didn’t have to go grocery shopping for ingredients and the keema cooked in less than 20 minutes.
Eat it when: You’re looking for a quick fix or an all-day snack between never-ending Zoom meetings.
GoodDot delivers across India as well as Canada, Dubai, Nepal, South Africa, Mauritius and Singapore. Website
Published on 25 Nov 2021
Blog Source- Conde Nast Traveller