Can I eat a beef burger in India?
I always heard that cows are holy in India. So I assumed that you can't eat any meat made of cows in India. But recently a friend told me, that it depends on the region. Not everywhere in India cows are holy. Is this true? This friend also told me that even if cows are holy, you can eat them.
So my other questions are: If a cow is considered holy, can I order something like a beef burger in a restaurant? Will I get into trouble if I eat something like that in public?
After my visit to New Delhi in 2008, I was _really_ craving a hamburger. Burger King never tasted so good when I got back to the U.S.!
I am from New Delhi. Tons of my friends eat beef and its commonly available. Also, it is highly unlikely that you'd get into trouble for asking a restaurant if they serve beef. Which part of the country are you visiting btw?
I should also add that eating at a lot of these places (*corner shops*, as they are fondly called) could give you a strong case of Delhi Belly ;) good luck
Eating anywhere *could* get you Delhi Belly. I've been stricken when eating at seemingly decent places in a couple of countries. And of course in developed Western countries in North America, Western Europe, and Australia too.
No beef at McDonalds, but Hard Rock Cafe has it usual list of beef burgers.
In Bangalore Beef is openly sold legally. Beef burgers, steaks etc. available all over. Try Millers 46, PeppaZing,Sunny's, Shezan, Mac FasFood, et.al.t
Come to Kerala. Beef is available everywhere and kerala beef fry with porotta is a must try item there.
Cows are considered holy in Hindu religion, not India as a whole per se. North/East/West India are primarily Hindu-majority regions and thus you're highly unlikely to find any beef, except perhaps at dodgy places in Muslim-dominated parts of those towns. Dodgy places because in those three parts of India cow slaughter is frowned upon and you don't find organised slaughterhouses for cows.
While Southern India has its own conservative Hindu population which do not eat beef, it also has proportionally higher numbers of Christians and Muslims - historically because Christianity was brought in by sea traders. Beef is not as uncommon in South India and you will certainly find it some restaurant menu (typically ones that are not under a Hindu owner's management). This is generally in upscale restaurants or hotels bars with a significant foreign visitor clientèle.
You'll never find beef products in chain restaurants such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Domino's etc. (For instance, there's no Big Mac burger in Indian McDonald's restaurants; instead, they have a 'Maharaja Mac' which is about the same size but with chicken patties.) Chain restaurants across India are primarily owned by a handful of companies based in North India. This was somewhat of a big issue in 2001 when rumours spread that beef fat was used in making French fries. You might come across signs in restaurants to this day which state 'Beef and beef products not sold here'.
Since the availablity of beef is so restricted, I can't think of how you'd end up eating it in a public place. Nevertheless, it isn't illegal and if you do acquire beef then you can cook it in your own home too.
In state of Kerala, situation is totally different. A significant percentage of people, including Hindus eat beef. It is unlikely to find a non vegetarian restaurant not to serve beef. Likewise, Kerala style non vegetarian restaurant in other states will most probably have beef. It will be usually marked as meat only. For example, if you see 'meat roast', 'meat masala', read it as beef roast and beef masala. Ask discretely to waiter to confirm and enjoy. :) Best beef burgers can be found in burger places in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
Wiki: "Legislation against cattle slaughter is in place throughout most states of India except Kerala, West Bengal, and states of the North-East".
Effective date: On 26 October 2005.
You can however buy "Spam" beef burgers at places like INA market in Delhi : https://www.indiatravelforum.in/threads/where-to-get-canned-spam-in-new-delhi.17/#post-108
@jpatokal Span may be just pork where you live but across the world there is plenty of variety including beef, turkey, chicken etc.Spam is also sold in Israel and what sells there is mostly kosher beef. INA market in Delhi sells products brought from different parts of the world and that includes beef. I do not want to be cause of another lynching because of beef in India so I am going to give this a rest right here.
@PSC775 I doubt you'll get lynched for something openly sold in a supermarket / convenience store
@AnkurBanerjee I never said it is openly sold and people do get lynched in India over beef : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34398433 Two days ago some trucks carrying animal products were stopped and burnt (Hindu terrorists) even though what they were carrying was perfectly legal.