By serving sumptuous mouth-watering Kerala delicacies in Punjab, Manava Welfare Society from Kodiyathur effortlessly won the visitors’ hearts in the recently-held National Youth Festival at Punjab Agriculture University. Outsmarting the other stalls set up by youths from across the nation, the vibrant group of Kerala walked away with the second prize.
The National Youth Festival, an annual gathering of youths with various activities, including competitive ones, was organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Youth Welfare Board and the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan.
“It was indeed a wonderful opportunity and great pleasure for us,” says Manava Welfare Society president N K Gireesh Kumar. The eight-member group of Manava Welfare Society that represented the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan stole the show by offering fish fry and fish kuruma from the very first day itself. “Most of the visitors have not even seen steam cake and gram curry. Some of them personally approached us for Kerala recipes,” says another member of the society, T Praseed.
“All the Kerala dishes were a major hit among the visitors. Around 200 pieces were sold on the second day of the festival,” says P Assain, a member of the society. “It was the second time that we were participating in such a grand programme where we were asked to follow only traditional cooking methods,” he says. “In 2010, four members of the society had participated in the National Youth Festival held at Bhubaneswar. We were not sure about the rules and regulations of participating in such a festival then. The opportunity we got to participate in it was itself a great thing. But this time we made it,” they say.
“In our stall, the special Kerala halwa, stuffed with dry fruits and banana chips, had many takers. Every food item was sold at a reasonable price, as we were focused more on spreading the Kerala food culture among people from across the nation,” says secretary of Manava Welfare Society, C T Kunhoyi.
Porottas were sold at `10, sea fish fry at Rs 40, sea fish kuruma at Rs 40 and chicken kuruma at Rs 40.
The Manava Welfare Society was established in 2000 with an aim to extend a helping hand to the destitute. They organise blood donation camps, medical camps, awareness programmes, etc and distribute seeds free of cost to farmers.