Nalumanikattu heritage food joint turns out to be a big hit

The snacks range from Avalosunda to banana fry, to name a few, all carrying a ‘heritage food’ tag

KOTTAYAM: From a dumping ground to the center of heritage tourism, Nalumanikattu, the wayside recreation spot and eatery on the Manarcaud-Ettumanur bypass road symbolizes the changing face of Kottayam.

The former paddy fields on both sides of the road now receive at least 200 visitors every day and their number goes up to 500 on weekends.

The visitors are mostly families who love to relish the traditional Malayali food such as steamed tapioca and elephant yam with spicy chutney and many other rural delicacies prepared by Kudumbasree units.

“We cook food at home and bring here. We sell at reasonable prices. Most of the time there is real demand,” Sandhya, a member of the Aishwarya Kudumbasree, told DC.

The snacks range from Avalosunda to banana fry, to name a few, all carrying a ‘heritage food’ tag. Some 16 women belonging to 10 Kudumbasree units prepare these 'items'.

Prof Punnen Kurian, president of the Manarcaud-Ettumanur Bypass Residents Association, told DC that the new idea had transformed the culture of the region. It also ensures a decent income for these women. Nalumanikattu was opened in January 2011. However, its activities were lying dormant for the past one year as the road was under renovation. It was reopened on August 12.

“The place has been previously a waste dumping yard, and after its transformation the culture of the area also changed. The place was a haven for anti-social elements earlier,” he said.

The Residents Association is also planning to construct a heritage museum by the side of the road. A plan is being prepared, and it will be submitted to the government soon.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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