New Delhi: Buffalo meat was back on the Kerala House menu yesterday and was lapped up by the lunch-time crowd as the items that were briefly discontinued following a row that saw police carry out a raid at the canteen here were sold out within 45 minutes.

Kerala MPs stage a protest outside Kerala House over the beef controversy in New Delhi on Tuesday. Pic/PTI
Kerala MPs stage a protest outside Kerala House over the beef controversy in New Delhi on Tuesday. Pic/PTI

The ‘sold out’ tag quietly came up on the menu board much to the dismay of many who had thronged the eatery, a day after the state-run guest house had removed buff, or buffalo meat amidst a political row.

Interestingly, an English menu board placed at the counter of the restaurant announced that Meat Fry and Meat Curry, with Buffalo mentioned in brackets, was available yesterday.

The message was put up seemingly in a bid to clear the air over the controversy and emphasise that only buffalo meat is being served here and not cow meat as alleged by a member of a fringe right-wing group.

“We are serving buffalo meat today and we have been offering only buffalo meat in the past as well. There is no truth in allegations that cow meat is served here,” said Sudeesh, a member of the Staff Canteen Managing Committee.

Another canteen staffer said buffalo meat fry and curry was served between 12.45 PM and 1.30 PM. “Our prepared stock was enough to serve 150 persons during the lunch hours,” he said. The eatery, ‘Samridhi’, mainly caters to the office crowd of Central Delhi.

Interestingly, the crowd profile suggested that the controversy had drawn a large number of youths to the eatery. Restaurant sources said, on an average, anywhere between 60 and 70 plates of items made from buffalo meat are sold daily at R50 each. Controversy had erupted over Delhi police personnel entering Kerala House on October 26 following a complaint that cow meat was being served there.

Meanwhile, maintaining that the Delhi police action on Monday has affected Centre-State relations, Kerala Cabinet at its meeting yesterday discussed the beef row and decided to take legal course if the Centre aped the explanation given by Delhi police that ‘they only did their duty and carried out an inspection in accordance with law’.

No. of persons who ate buff meat for lunch at the Kerala House yesterday

Rs 50
Average price of a dish made from carabeef

60 to 70
Average number of plates —containing buff meat — sold
at Kerala House daily