BENGALURU: The day after Ugadi, it is common to see queues of people outside mutton stalls, for it’s a tradition in South Karnataka to celebrate Varshada Thodaku with a feast of non-vegetarian dishes. Come Wednesday, and the iconic Papanna Mutton Stall off Mysuru Road, in Byatarayanapura, will see a number of early birds eager to buy the best mutton on offer. Despite the fear of the second Covid wave and a rise in prices of mutton, Papanna Stall hopes to do good business.
Papanna set up the stall 74 years ago, and his son Mani took over from him. The business is now being run by the third generation, with grandson Rohith in charge. They get their sheep from Kanakapura, Ramanagaram, Gowribidanur and Magadi. On an average, close to 1,500 kilos of mutton are sold here on this day every year. “We usually open the stall at 4am, but this year due to night curfew, we will open at 5 am. We have 24 staffers and have got all of them tested. We have made provisions for social distancing, kept hand sanitiser ready and put up a board saying ‘No mask, No mutton’,’’ said Mani.
This year, many are opting for home delivery of mutton due to the pandemic. “We are also allowing app-based delivery services to pick up mutton from us on Wednesday,’’ he added.What is so special about his stall? “Quality and taste,’’ he said. Earlier, there was high demand for the ‘Bannur potla’ or the short plump sheep known for its fatty meat, from Bandur village in Mandya district. “But now people are health conscious, and prefer mutton with low fat. We get our sheep from Gowribidanur and Kanakapura,’’ Mani said. Their prefer to buy sheep which are low in weight as they taste good, Mani said.
While mutton costs Rs 600 to Rs 650 per kilo on a regular day, the price goes up to Rs 750 to Rs 780 on the day after Ugadi. Mutton from Papanna Stall commands a premium price with people willing to come here from faraway places.