MALAPPURAM: The name says it. Samosappadi. The aroma of a crunchy samosa anywhere in Malappuram could lead you to the village of Pazhamalloor, the bus stop of which over the years has come to be known as Samosappadi!
Since long, the place has been a default option for bakeries, restaurants and organisers of various functions while it comes to purchasing the north Indian delicacy. And many other snacks too. Going beyond the contours of the state, the village is slowly earning fame in the United Arab Emirates too. Eateries in various parts of the Gulf nation are calling in samosa makers from Samosappadi as special invitees during Ramzan. They make decent earnings, enjoying an overseas trip in the process, before heading home post the holy month.
Fourteen youngsters are currently in the UAE to work in various snack making units. “Mosques, offices and other institutions organise Iftar functions every day during Ramzan,” Mohammed Farooq C, a samosa maker, tells Express. “These functions require samosas in bundles and snack making units there need additional strength during Ramzan.”
When Farooq went to the UAE four years ago, the payment was 30 UAE dirhams for 1,000 samosas. Now, the wage has gone up to 40 AEDs. On an average, a worker makes 3,000 samosas working up to 12-14 hours. Visa and tickets are arranged by the sponsors. Most samosa makers in Pazhamalloor have visited the UAE at least once, with around 60 people having made it so far. “Workers don’t give a second thought to helping everyone go abroad for free,” says Mujeeb Rahman, owner of C T Samosa Company.
During Ramzan, the village produces more than 22,000 snacks a day while the production goes down to 20,000 on normal days. Units there also make traditional Kerala snacks like neyyappam, uzhunnuvada, ullivada, parippuvada and unniyappam.The samosa making saga of Pazhamalloor dates back to the 1980s when Kunhimohammed Kutty started a unit in his house.
Now, apart from four big and five small samosa and snack making units, Pazhamalloor has five other food units where chappati, pathiri, vellayappam, noolputtu and parotta are produced. Around 100 houses earn their livelihood from these units. More than 600 persons, including 60 women and around 50 migrant labourers, are directly employed while more than 150 work as salesmen.
Besides, 30 persons from the area are now working across the Gulf as snack makers.
Pazhamalloor has around 100 private vehicles carrying snacks to different parts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad districts. “The sales part is often managed by local people while a few vehicles come from outside to carry snacks,” says Zainul Abid N, working as a salesman there for the past eight years.