New Delhi: A tweet on the official handle of Kerala Tourism has courted controversy after it promoted a beef recipe, even as the state Tourism Minister denied knowledge of the matter.
Taking to its Twitter handle on Wednesday, @KeralaTourism posted a photo of a popular local delicacy called "Beef Ularthiyathu" on their website, along with a link to the recipe.
"Tender chunks of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, and curry leaves. A recipe for the most classic dish, Beef Ularthiyathu, the stuff of legends, from the land of spices, Kerala" the tweet reads.
The tweet went viral, provoking sharp reactions from many social media users who questioned the need to promote the recipe on a day when millions of Hindus were celebrating Makar Sankranti, as well as the festivals of Makara Vilakku in Sabarimala and Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
Many among the Twitterati claimed the tweet hurt their religious sentiments since it displays a picture of beef.
One user on the mico-blogging site wrote: "Dear @KeralaTourism stop insulting Hindus with your mindless hatred, it will prove to be economically disastrous for your already empty coffer state!"
"Try promoting Pork also. you will get a taste of your medicine. Shameless!" said another.
A third post said: "Just this has made all my Kerala tour plans cancelled altogether. I will rather tour Karnataka and Tamil Nadu."
Reacting to the controversial tweet, state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran told IANS that he is not aware of it, adding that Kerala Tourism will never do anything to hurt the sentiments of anyone.
"I will look into what the issue is, and am sure Kerala Tourism will never do anything to hurt the sentiments of anyone. We want more and more people to visit Kerala," Surendran said.