Has ‘Beef Ularthiyathu’ Become The National Dish Of Kerala?

The kitchen of a Malayali household will always have a big uruli, kept within one’s reach, to cook a special dish that most Malayalis would die for, Beef Ularthiyathu. If there’s one thing that Malayalis have gotten down pat, it’s the fact that most of us have beef with porotta in slow-motion and in style. What started as a simple dish meant to feed the hungry soon turned out to be an expression of Kerala’s uniqueness. All the vegetarians and vegans in Kerala would disagree, for good reason. Not complaining. But, the non-vegetarians would proudly call themselves a beef-eater. But, have we, over the years, tagged Beef Ularthiyathu the national dish of Kerala? Let’s ask Kerala Tourism.

On the 15th of January 2020, the social media team of Kerala Tourism tweeted a picture of Beef Ularthiyathu with a caption that got many Malayalis salivating and hungry for beef. It said, “Tender chunks of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, and curry leaves. A recipe for the most classic dish, Beef Ularthiyathu, the stuff of legends, from the land of spices, Kerala.” I am just gonna reiterate the fact that they called Beef Ularthiyathu ‘the stuff of legends’. Most Malayalis in Kerala would have either re-tweeted the post or liked the post, at the very least. I mean, I did too. After all, solidarity runs through every Malayalis blood, especially when beef is involved. But it also got me thinking, does this mean that Beef Ularthiyathu has become the Kerala dish we should all be patriotic about?

*Imagine having an anthem for beef. Damn.*

Kerala Tourism is basically the harbinger of prosperity and money to Kerala. Without their PR efforts, Kerala would have most probably not been one of the most beautiful tourist spots in the country. So, they indirectly intuiting that Beef Ularthiaythu is the stuff of legends and uploading the recipe for the same on their website says a lot about our love for beef. To be honest, it seems as though Kerala Tourism wants more people to visit the state, therefore, the implicit ‘Come to Kerala for the Beef’ promotion. You see, in Kerala, beef unites us. They’ve used this sentiment to bring about a revolution on the internet, and my god, it’s actually working.

The Bhakts, vegetarians, self-claimed secularities, and cow worshippers of the country are not liking it though. Don’t take my word for it, read the comments. I don’t blame them. They haven’t tried beef yet so they wouldn’t understand the kind of sentiment we attach to beef. 

Now, coming back to the main question that got you all to click this article. Has ‘Beef Ularthiyathu’ Become The National Dish Of Kerala? In many Malayalis hearts, yes. Officially, no. The state of Kerala is not so narrow-minded to make Beef Ularthiyathu a national dish. It is home to a lot of cuisines, some, even better than beef dishes. So when Kerala Tourism put up a picture and recipe of Beef Ularthiyathu, it was meant to just promote one of the popular dishes in Kerala. The whole idea of their page is to promote Kerala in its truest form, and that’s exactly what the social media team did. It’s not the only thing they promote. So if your ‘religious sentiments’ have been hurt, please scroll to their other posts and look at the other things Kerala has to offer.

Aishwarya Gopinathhttps://pinklungicom.wordpress.com/
A foodie at heart, an aspiring novelist, and an enthusiastic writer by nature, I love to dig deep into culture and lifestyle of the place and people around me. I hope to make people cry, laugh, smile, angry, and satisfied with my writing.

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