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Chicken, hot and spicy

It was "chicken unlimited" at the chicken mela 2003 organised by PESPA


EAT AS much as you want, said the organisers. Alas! the spectators found it difficult to respond positively, for there was too much, too many. This one was strictly for non-vegetarians, chicken lovers to be precise.

Those, who assembled at the Ramakrishna Kalyana Mandapam in large numbers for the "Chicken mela", organised by the Poultry Employees and Sales Professionals Association (PESPA), had a great feast. Have a good bite to add more protein-the organisers had announced. But, those who came had more than just a bite.

The smell of cooked chicken filled the air as one entered the venue. And the organisers had a tough time in managing things.

Nine chicken varieties and biriyani were offered for Rs.50. "Chicken is the cheapest source of protein," the organisers declared.

Quite a few were surprised by the cheap food that was on offer and made the most of it. Some even remarked that the donor passes could have been priced a little higher.

"It is more than worth the money we paid. The organisers could have charged Rs.100 for the passes," said S Sampath, an employee of a private firm.

"As we got chicken free of cost from poultry units, we were able to provide so many varieties at a subsidised price," explained S R Gandhi, President of PESPA.

"We sold 4000 entry passes," he claimed. So why did PESPA organise the mela?



Awaiting their turn. Pics: S. Siva Saravanan.

"We wanted to drive home the point that chicken is not a food that can be had only on a Sunday. The idea is to increase the per capita consumption of chicken," Mr Gandhi said.

"We are promoting chicken-eating habit among people. The mela was organised to create an awareness that chicken is a far better choice than other non-vegetarian food," explained T L Sriram of PESPA.

Mouth-watering chicken delicacies right from the spicy chicken lollypop, the sweet chicken 65 and chicken shai korma were available at the six stalls put up by the PESPA. From chilli chicken to chicken kashmiri and chicken chettinad-the menu had all popular chicken delicacies.

Potato stuffed chicken cutlet, chicken gola, chicken kheena balls and curd rice were also available.

As there was virtually no space, most people chose to savour the delicacies by sitting on the floor.

"The food served was really tasty. And we enjoyed it very much," remarked T Ramesh, who had brought his entire family for the mela. There were cooking and eating competitions, talks on the benefits of chicken, food and painting contests.

M. ALLIRAJAN

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