Thanks to a new trade deal between the two countries, Indians are eating Australian lamb in their curries and tandoors for the first time.
Small quantities of frozen and chilled lamb have been allowed into India since an agreement on food safety requirements was finalised at the end of last year, reports News.com.au.
AdvertisementInitially the meat will be seen only in high-end hotels and restaurants but, with India's population of more than 1.2 billion people including a growing middle-class estimated at about 170 million, the market is seen to have great potential, the report said.
Trade Minister Craig Emmerson said there is very heavy demand for Australian lamb in India. He said the trade is in its infancy but importers are scrambling to get their hands on consignments.
Emmerson said Australian lamb would appeal to India's growing middle-class as a superior product to what was available locally. He added that it will be premium quality, higher priced lamb.
Emmerson said the breakthrough had come when Indian authorities agreed to recognise Australia's own system of licensing abbatoirs rather than sending out their own inspectors, a long and expensive process.
Indian chef Sandy Behl, who started in hotel kitchens in New Delhi, said lamb was the red meat of choice for many Indian people, particularly in the north, with beef and pork not eaten for religious reasons.
Most lamb in India came from the arid regions of Rajasthan and did not measure up to the meat he used here.