Trump was presented with veggie choices at beef-free dinner in India

Did he try the goat? Donald Trump ate NOTHING from a vegetarian menu at first stop in Indian visit and was presented with challenging choices at beef-free state dinner

  • Donald Trump, known for his love of hamburgers and steaks, was forced to part with beef during his visit to India 
  • Cows are considered sacred by country’s Hindu majority and beef is not served in many parts, with the slaughter of cows illegal  
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu, is a strict vegetarian, who served the president accordingly with broccoli samosas during their luncheon
  • ‘I have never seen him eat a vegetable,’ one person who has dined frequently with Trump told CNN ahead of Tuesday’s state banquet 
  • Instead of beef, the president was served raan ali-shan – grilled goat that was marinated for 12 hours – at the banquet dinner 

Donald Trump’s menu for his visit to India pushed him far out of his comfort zone, with the president offered vegetarian dishes and even goat.   

President Trump first refused to anything served at a vegetarian luncheon hosted Monday by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, a strict vegetarian.

He and Melania passed up broccoli and corn samosas and the local specialty khaman – a spiced chickpea flower dish – and also turned down apple pie and vanilla ice cream served for dessert alongside kaju katli, a sweet dish with made with cashews, the Hindustan Times reported. 

And then on Tuesday came a new test for a president who loves steak and hamburgers but was in a country whose majority Hindu community are prohibited from eating beef: a multi-course state dinner.

In a gesture of friendship Indian presidential palace chefs whipped up traditional dishes while tossing in some American flavors – but journalists were not allowed in the dining room to see if he touched the food.

Donald Trump, known for his love of hamburgers and steaks, was forced to part with beef during his visit to India where he met with President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind

A rice dish called deg ki biryani  and dum gosht biryani were served for the meat eaters 

A menu from Trump’s luncheon with Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday followed a strict vegetarian diet and served broccoli samosas – but Trump touched none of it 

Vegetarian samosas, similar to the ones Trump was served, are pictured. They are traditional Indian street food 

The president and first lady attended the state dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the ornate presidential palace. Meals are an important part of state visits where business is conducted over breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

Hamburger-loving Donald Trump’s beef-free state dinner menu in India


  • Aloo tikki – ‘aloo’ means potato. It is a a dish made out of boiled potatoes, peas, and various curry spices 
  • Paalak papdi – a dish made of fried spinach leaves. ‘Paalak’ meaning spinach and ‘papdi’ meaning crust. Both are typical street food
  • Lemon coriander shorba soup – shorba or ‘chorba’ is an Indian soup or stew 


  • Salmon tikka – ‘tikka’ refers to small pieces of meat, fish or vegetables marinated in a mixture of spices – but these were Cajun spiced rather than in local spices
  • Dum guchi matar – ‘dum’ means to cook with steam and ‘guchi’ refers to the Himalayan morel mushrooms in the dish, while ‘matar’ refers to peas 
  • Dal Raisina –  the signature dish of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace. ‘Dal’ is a lentil stew served with most meals in India, and ‘raisina’ is used to describe the seat of the government of India
  • Dum gosht biryani – ‘biryani’ is an Indian rice dish, while ‘gosht’ means tender meat, typically goat. There was also a vegetarian biryana


  • Malpua with rabri – ‘malpua’ is a pancake served as a dessert and ‘rabri’ is a sweet, condensed-milk-based dish

Instead of beef, they served raan ali-shan – grilled goat marinated for 12 hours, though it’s not clear how much – if any – President Trump ate. 

The menu was elaborate, both with vegetarian and meat dishes.

Lemon coriander shorba soup was served up first. Shorba or ‘chorba’ is a traditional Indian soup or stew.

To showcase India’s street food, aloo tikki – a curried pea and potato snack – and paalak papdi – spided, fried spinach leaves – were served. Both dishes are vegetarian.

Himalayan morel mushrooms, were used to prepare the dum guchi matar – made with slow oven cooked potatoes.  

Salmon tikka was on the menu, but sprinkled with Cajun spices instead of India’s garam masala spice. Tikka is a traditional Indian dish of small pieces of meat or vegetables marinated in a mixture of spices.

Dal Raisina is the signature dish of the Rashtrapati Bhavan – the Indian presidential palace – and is a dal, or lentil stew, served for the Indian President’s special guests. 

‘Our idea is to showcase Indian food with American spices at the state banquet,’ an official involved in the preparations told the Hindustan Times before the banquet.  

For the meat eaters, rice dishes called dum gosht biryani and deg ki biryani were offered. Gosht means tender meat, typically lamb, and deg means small cubes of meat. 

And for dessert, Trump was served Malpua with rabri – a sweet Indian pancake dessert with condensed milk. 

Hazelnut apple pie and vanilla ice cream topped with salty caramel sauce was also served for more western palates.

The dishes were certainly a change of pace for President Trump, who enjoys steak with ketchup and sings the praises of fast food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC. He once famously served fast food at a White House reception.

‘I have never seen him eat a vegetable,’ one person who has dined frequently with Trump told CNN. 

President Trump sings the praises of fast food; he’s seen (left) eating  a McDonald’s hamburger during the 2016 presidential campaign, while Modi (right) is a vegetarian

Ivanka Trump posted a photo ahead of Tuesday night’s banquet, giving a peek into the dining room with a long table lined with covered chairs 

Whether he liked the food or not, Trump was unlikely to starve. Staff tend to ensure Trump has his favorite foods at all times. 

For example, when Trump returned to Florida after a Thanksgiving visit to Afghanistan, hamburgers were served on Air Force One instead of a traditional holiday meal.  

‘I don’t know what he’s going to do in this case. They don’t serve cheeseburgers,’ a former official told CNN ahead of the visit.

President Trump is something of a reluctant traveler who prefers the comforts of his own bed or a familiar setting. For his four-day trip to the West Coast last week, he returned to Las Vegas every night to sleep at his Trump hotel there.

He and the first lady only spent one night on the ground in India before returning to the United States. 

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