Eating contests are common in the villages of Kerala during the season of Onam. Local clubs, associations, institutions all include eating contests along with other traditional games during the festival.
And despite the health department’s warning that such contests could be dangerous to the participants, the popularity of the eating contests did not wane this year either. In Kattappana of Idukki district though, the winner took it to another level: He ate a total 2.5 kg of rice to take the title and a cash prize!
“We held the competition in two rounds. In the first round, many participated and nine were selected to final round. The final was on September 3,” Advocate Joshy Manimala, president of the local club, Friends of Kattappana, told TNM.
Rice, moru kachiyathu (curry made of butter milk), and pickle were served to the participants.
The winner, KH Naseer, ate 2.5 kg of rice in 30 minutes, and won a cash prize of Rs 5001.
The second place was shared by Manu and Jeeva, who ate 2 kg of rice each.
“Each participant is first served 1 kg of rice at the beginning, after which we serve as per demand. After eating 2 kg of rice, all participants except Naseer withdrew from the competition,” Joshy said.