When popular traditional Kerala dishes pazhampori and illayada disappeared from the train menu last month and got replaced with north-Indian snacks like samosa and kachori, the people from the southern state did not take it lying down and voiced their strong disapproval on social media.
"How can you remove pazhampori, it was my staple on the train journey," wrote a disgruntled user. Another termed it "cultural fascisim".
Cultural Fascism, yes. But who benefits? Companies in Western Europe & US made money off the Holocaust. Have IRCTC contracts been given to someone more familiar with cooking these dishes? https://t.co/h4cpEawiqT— Deepu (@deepusebastian) January 21, 2020
Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden also wrote a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to bring back the local delicacies.
"Some dishes which are very important to Malayalees for breakfast, such as appam, egg curry, porotta, dosa, chapatti, steam cake (Puttu) were excluded along with snacks such as banana fry (pazham pori), Baji ilayada, kozhukkatta, unniyappam, neyyappam, modakkam/sukhiyan. Soft drinks such as lime water also excluded," Mr Eden said in his letter.
Taking note of the feedback from the ministers and the users, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, which runs the restaurants at railway stations, restored the old menu per the "regional preferences" and also added fish curry to the revised menu.
"In view of the demand from passengers and representations received, IRCTC has fully authorised its local offices in zones and regions to bring more items as per the local taste and regional preferences within one week as snack meals," the IRCTC tweeted on Tuesday.
"It is further informed all the food items served earlier will be restored," it added.
Mr Eden welcomed the IRCTC's decision ad shared a picture of the revised menu.
I welcome @IRCTCofficial decision to withdraw earlier decision to exclude Kerala delicacies from railway menu. It was the sentiments of Kerala I echoed to Chairman Mr. MP Mall. IRCTC officials visited me today & handed over the reinstated menu. We got fish curry meals as a bonus! pic.twitter.com/3KRgmqtw2G— Hibi Eden (@HibiEden) January 22, 2020
"I welcome @IRCTCofficial decision to withdraw earlier decision to exclude Kerala delicacies from railway menu. It was the sentiments of Kerala I echoed to Chairman Mr MP Mall. The IRCTC officials visited me today and handed over the reinstated menu. We got fish curry meals as a bonus!" he wrote on Twitter.