Prof. Ashish Parthasarathy
Assistant Professor

“Impact of Nipah virus and recovery measures implemented by Kerala Tourism”.

19th may 2018 was a fateful day in Kozikode and Mallapuram in Kerala where the epidemic nipah virus broke out. A total number of 14 cases were reports where there were 12 fatal cases [As on 24th May 2018]. The increase in the fatality rate caused tension across the south Indian states of India. With the high fatality rate of the epidemic – Nipah, Tourist and travelers who had plans to visit Kerala Cancelled their intention to visit Kerala. The cancellation of tourist visits to Kerala led to approximately 50-60% of the cancellations (Paul, 2018) Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people. In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis (WHO, 2018) The case fatality rate is estimated at 40% to 75%. This rate can vary by outbreak depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management. (WHO, 2018) Kerala is one of the best promoted states of India for tourism. Tourism plays a major role in the contribution towards the Kerala Economy. Tourism contributes approximately 10 Percent of the states GSDP (Wikipedia, 2018) .With the contribution of approximately 10% of the GSDP of Kerala, The breakout of this epidemic caused a fluctuation of the perception of positivity of Kerala tourism With respect to health safety. The cancellation of 50-60% of the bookings hampered the livelihood of most of the people who were depended upon tourism. In order to counter this cancellations and to change the perception of travel to Kerala because of the epidemic Nipah Virus, Tourism minister Mr. Kadakampally Surendran and his team of tourist officials have started an online campaign for the famous Neelakurinji Season. This is a once in 12 year Phenomenon which happens in Munnar. The State Tourism ministry has started a full-fledged campaign in order to attract tourist all across the globe. The Transportation facilities have been increased and coordination by many state tourism departments like KSTDC, DTPC, Etc., Measures of Waste management and disaster management has been taken into consideration since the footfall is predicted to be considerably large compared to the normal flow of tourists.

Prof. Ashish Parthasarathy
Assistant Professor

EEYA Sombu : An Endangered culinary equipment?

Before the advent of Steel utensils across south India, eeya sombu was very commonly used utensil across the Carnatic region. Eeya Sombu is a very delicate and ductile vessel made using the metal TIN. This vessel was a priced possession of a majority of the Tamil Brahmin communities across South India. With the Low melting point of tin it makes it very difficult to cook using the particular vessel. Cooking using this particular vessel was a skill. One of the greatest south Indian Cook Late. Krishnagiri Ranganayaki once said that during her best years of cooking which was more than 75 years ago, the majority of households in her community used this vessel to make Rasam. “The tastiest rasam was made using eeya sombu” she whispered with nostalgia when she used spoke about her days of cooking using firewood and charcoal. It was a tradition in the Tamil Brahmin community to gift an eeya sombu by the bride’s parents to the newly married couple Tin having a very low melting point used to melt with the exposure of excess heat. Cooking using the vessel was considered a skill even now. The ingredients were added to the vessel first and then they were placed on the cooking range, directly placing the vessel on the fire without the ingredients would expose the vessel to excess heat and the base of the vessel would melt down. The overindulgence of heat in a vessel full of rasam would also cause the base of the vessel to melt down and the rasam leaking from the vessel and spilling all over the cooking range. Manufacturing the vessel is not easy as each vessel is handcrafted. Producing a single vessel consumed an average of 5-7 man hours. A person who moulds the vessel is considered no less than a skilled craftsman. With the less use of the traditional vessel with the busy urbanic lifestyle the production of eeya sombu has reduced over several years. Is this tradition endangered? Yes it is. Traditions are not meant to be broken; if the tradition is lost then there would be disconnection from the practices of the forefathers. Reinstating the eeya sombu is very necessary as using the vessel for cooking was an emotion. Below is a traditional recipe to cook pepper rasam which is ideal to drink it as a soup or as an accompaniment with rice for this rainy season. RECIPE: Tomato – 1 Green Chilly – 1 Tamarind extract – 150 Ml Water – 150 Ml Coriander leaf – 2 Teaspoons Peppercorn – 1 teaspoon Turmeric – Half teaspoon Tempering: Sunflower oil – 2 tsp Mustard – 5 Grams Cumin - 5 Grams Dry Red chili – 1 Asafoetida – 1 Pinch Curry leaf – 5 to 6 leaves. Procedure: 1. Add all the ingredients. 2. Firstly, in a large kadai add in 1 tomato, 1 green chilly, few curry leaves and ½ tsp turmeric. 3. Also add 1 cup tamarind extract and salt to taste. 4. Cover and boil for 8 minutes or till tomatoes gets cooked completely. 5. furthermore add 2 cups of water adjusting the desired consistency, 6. Boil for 2 minutes and add in 1 tsp crushed pepper. 7. Stir well and do not boil further as pepper will loose flavors. 8. Now prepare the tempering by heating oil. 9. Add in 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp Jeera, pinch of asafoetida, 1 dried red chilly and few curry leaves. 10. Allow the tempering to splutter. 11. Further pour the tempering over rasam along with coriander leaves. 12. Finally, serve pepper rasam along with hot steamed rice or drink as a soup