A restaurant in Madurai has extended its love for parotta into the realm of creating awareness about COVID-19, by making parottas in the shape of masks.
The owner of Temple City, one of the biggest restaurant chains in Madurai, and creator of the ‘mask parotta’, K. L. Kumar, said that they conceptualised the product on Tuesday morning and immediately brought it into the market in the afternoon. It barely took any effort, he says.
The aim was to make people realise the need to wear masks in public places so as to reduce the spread of the infection, he says. With the district currently under a complete lockdown due to the surge in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, Mr. Kumar says that any and all awareness was important for the public right now.
The number of active COVID-19 positive cases in Madurai district only stands second to the number of cases in Chennai among the districts in Tamil Nadu. Mr. Kumar says that he has himself observed many people walking on the streets without a mask.
When the restaurant opened briefly as the lockdown was relaxed in Madurai district between June 8 and June 23, they had to haggle with several customers and coax them to wear masks, he says. “When they walked into the restaurant without wearing a mask at that time, we gave them one for free. We are still handing them out for those who come to pick up deliveries,” he says.
Temple City’s parotta master, S. Sathish, says that they replicated the design of a surgical mask using the traditional veechu parotta. “We folded it in a particular way and crafted the handles. All the ingredients are the same. It was a success on our very first try,” he says.
Since word got out about the parotta, hundreds of people have been calling, Mr. Kumar says. Children are particularly interested, he adds.
Currently, two parottas or one set is priced at ₹50. Residents can pick it up at the branch in Mattuthavanai or can order in through various food delivery apps.
“Not many in Madurai wear masks but everybody here loves parotta. We just put two and two together,” Mr. Kumar says.