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"Vegetarian Hindu" Meal not Vegetarian?!

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by skyhook, Feb 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic


I've ordered the Hindu special meal before and...

  1. Have seen meat in it.

  2. Have never seeen meat in it.

  1. skyhook
    • Original Member

    skyhook Silver Member

    (I can't seem to figure out a way to remove the extra bullet point in the unordered list, even with the "Remove Formatting" tool. Also, apologies for misspelling "seen" in the poll -- I don't see a way to edit the poll.)

    As a vegetarian, I've ordered the regular Vegetarian-Lacto meal, the Asian Vegetarian meal, and the Hindu vegetarian meal on a regular basis in domestic F. The quality is not always superb, but it's relatively reasonable.

    Last week, I experienced a "Hindu vegetarian" meal that is genuinely not vegetarian unless they have perfected "fake meat" at United. The "snack" came with rice, yellow lentils, chickpeas, pieces of roti, and a brown sauce enveloping something that texturally and visually seems like meat. I even picked up a piece and chomped on it to make sure. Surprised by this development, I asked the FA whether this was indeed the special meal, and she confirmed. I thought maybe I had it wrong all along, and the Hindu meal isn't supposed to be vegetarian (a long shot for sure, but you never know).

    When I gained internet access, I looked up the UA special meals here: http://www.united.com/page/middlepage/0,6998,1062,00.html

    Indeed, the Hindu meal is described as being devoid of meat:
    I sent a polite but firm email to 1kvoice inquiring about this matter. The response was more curt than usual, and notably didn't include any sort of compensation or sincere apologies:

    So, have you ordered the Hindu meal before and received meat? Is this a matter of the website being out of date? Although I don't ever feel entitled to compensation from UA, does this seem like it would fall under that category of inconveniences?

    Attached Files:

  2. Pat89339
    • Original Member

    Pat89339 Gold Member

    I had a Hindu meal two days ago and posted a photo on the Special Meal thread. There was no meat in mine.

    If you order a special meal and do not receive it, you should have received an appreciation card from the FA. However, some will not because they provided an alternate meal. Did you eat the meal or an alternate?
  3. snod08
    • Original Member

    snod08 Gold Member

    My experience on CO (on international flights). Their Hindu meal in international flights is not necessarily vegetarian (it can be veg or non veg..but is more likely to be veg when catered out of EWR or IAH).

    on UA international, I choose Asian-Veg. This has always been veg.
    I am sorry I dont have experience with UA domestic flights. (though thats what this thread seems to be about)
  4. skyhook
    • Original Member

    skyhook Silver Member

    Thanks for the note, Pat. I did not get a skykit, which is why I wrote to 1kvoice after the flight. There was no replacement meal available, so I just dealt with the non-entree parts of what I got...
  5. Misplaced Texan
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    Is it possible that what you got was highly processed tofu or a fermented soy or bean product? There are a number of mock-meat products available in the US that are more/less difficult to differentiate from meat, especially under heavy sauce. Heck, even grilled tempeh can be hard to tell apart from meat when covered in cheese and a sauce.
  6. skyhook
    • Original Member

    skyhook Silver Member

    Misplaced Texan, the thought definitely crossed my mind. As a vegetarian, I've explored a wide variety of soy, wheat, tempeh, and other textured proteins. However, I've only been vegetarian for a few years, so I know what meat feels like! In this case, I bit a piece with my teeth and decided it is either meat or the best meat substitute I've ever experienced (in which case I would like to find out what product they're using).

    I'll try to follow up in a couple of weeks to see if anything resulted from "reporting" the incident to ORD catering...
  7. gujjuglobal
    • Original Member

    gujjuglobal Active Member

    Always order AVML or Jain meal if you want Hindu Veg. Meal
  8. FlyingFree
    • Original Member

    FlyingFree Gold Member

    I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian, but have never had a problem with the Hindu veg meal...
  9. skyhook
    • Original Member

    skyhook Silver Member

  10. kyunbit
    • Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

    Since you say it was brown, my guess (and most probably it is correct) is that it is something called 'soyabean'. It tastes like meat too. But it is totally vegetarian (made from soy). It is quite a staple protein diet for the vegetarians in India. You can find 'soyabean' at any Indian store in US.
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
    • Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Skyhook -- from the email reply you received from UA it seems you took a picture. Maybe post it here for the residential vegetarian food experts to review? :)

    (I am not one of them, and the few times I have ordered the hindu veg meal to try something different it was a vegetarian meal)
  12. Geo
    • Original Member

    Geo Gold Member

    I've had meals here at home ("sausage", ground "beef", and "hot dogs") and a "burger" at Green's restaurant in San Francisco (love that place) that I would swear are meat, but aren't. The industry has made great strides in feel and taste.
  13. the_happiness_store
    • Original Member

    the_happiness_store Silver Member

    I have the "hindu" meal as a preference; there is no "hindu vegetarian" option for me to select. On my AMS-ORD flight on Feb 21, my meal contained chicken. It was quite tasty.

    Did you order this meal ahead of time or did you let your profile select it for you?
  14. skyhook
    • Original Member

    skyhook Silver Member

    I ordered this meal ahead of time (with phone agent who confirmed it as "vegetarian hindu," which is how the thread got its title). I do see that the "hindu" meal doesn't have "vegetarian" in its name, but the description seems unambiguous: "Prohibited: Meat/poultry, fresh fish, shellfish, gelatin, anchovies, aspic, roe, glycerin"

    There is a picture attached to the OP -- let me know if it's not showing up for you.

    I have also had some pretty well-made faux-meat products. Gardein products (currently used in a few Chipotle restaurants) are especially meat-like. However, I am not sure if GateGourmet/SkyChefs/whoever has reached this level yet. All I'm really looking for from UA is a reply listing the ingredients in that meal, but I have not yet heard back.
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
    • Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member


    I guess I am so used to seeing images embedded into the posts that I am not looking for attachments anymore or I might have interpreted it as part of your sig. Sorry 'bout that.
  16. Geo
    • Original Member

    Geo Gold Member

    The CO wesbite is pretty specific about what can and cannot be provided...
    "Continental Asian vegetarian meals and Hindu vegetarian meals follow vegetarian guidelines by excluding meat and meat derivatives. These meals may include dairy products.
    Special Note: Asian/Hindu vegetarian meals are offered as a standard choice on flights to and from Delhi and Mumbai, India; therefore, it is not necessary to place a special vegetarian meal request for those flights."

    I'd say, based on your picture, you didn't get what you ordered.
  17. unroadwarrior
    • Original Member

    unroadwarrior Active Member

    I have ordered 'Hindu' meal several times, both on international flights and domestic F. I have had two instances, once dom and once on AMS-IAD that I got chicken on my meal. As I am not a vegetarian, I did not complain. I was surprised though...

    (This is my 1st post on MP, yay!)
  18. Aditya Vyas
    • Original Member

    Aditya Vyas Silver Member

    I agree with snod08 I always order Asian veg and haven't had any issues so far. Only issue I have is that when I fly SFO-ICN the meal is pretty good but on SFO-NRT leg food sucks. It doesn't make sense to me.
  19. unroadwarrior
    • Original Member

    unroadwarrior Active Member

    I have seen food quality vary too. It all depends upon where it was loaded from. Hindu mealsloaded in UA flights from FRA are usually not so good, where as the ones loaded at IAD (and all other US airports) are pretty good.

    Question for Aditya - do you get Indian food when you order 'Asian Vegetarian'?
  20. sithlord
    • Original Member

    sithlord Silver Member

    I was given an extra hindu crew meal and it had chicken as well. It tasted great but a strict vegetarian would mad!:)
  21. Aditya Vyas
    • Original Member

    Aditya Vyas Silver Member

    Hello unroadwarrior I have been getting indian food when i order asian vegetarian when i travel SFO-ICN,SFO-NRTand NRT-SIN. This is all on united. When I travel SFO-FRA or SFO- Munich on LH i get asian veg. Also in AA ( Which sucked) when I flew from JFK-NRT they gave cheese pizza, salad and some fruit and bread.

    On My trip to Seoul this week I got saag panner, rice and mix veg for lunch + chic peas, small fried bread, kofta for break fast. This is in addition to Dahi ( Indian yogurt). The rice is some sort of basmati. But
    On My trip to Seoul this week I got saag panner, rice and mix veg for lunch + chic peas, small fried bread, kofta for break fast. This is in addition to Dahi ( Indian yogurt). The rice is some sort of basmati.

    Hope this helps
  22. MadameConcorde
    • Original Member

    MadameConcorde Silver Member

    I order the Hindu meal also and it happened that I had chicken in the meals. It was quite good and tasty so I did not say anything.
  23. snod08
    • Original Member

    snod08 Gold Member

    Yes, CO does have this description on their website. But, their Hindu meal is vegetarian only when catered from IAH/EWR/BOM/DEL.
    It is not necessarily vegetarian when catered from some European stations such as MAD/FRA.
    So, from those stations, it is best to order "vegetarian / vegan" meal on CO.
  24. skyhook
    • Original Member

    skyhook Silver Member

    Hello again, OP here. I received a response from 1KVoice:

    snod08 likes this.
  25. snod08
    • Original Member

    snod08 Gold Member

    Dear OP: Thanks for posting this.

    But from experience, I can tell you that the Hindu meal on CO is not necessarily vegetarian when catered from European stations.I have been served chicken and fish with the label as "Hindu Meal"
    Best to order "Strict Vegetarian" on CO for those markets...if one wants to eat vegetarian.

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