Believe it or not, this is not a joke. A temple in the suburb of Padappai has switched from traditional offerings of tamarind rice and sweet pongal to burgers, brownies, cracker sandwiches and cherry tomato salads. And if you’re wondering if the food is safe, it is! FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) stamps are present on everything, along with dates of manufacturing, expiry and so on and so forth.
K Sri Sridhar helped set up Jaya Durga Peetham, and he told Times of India, “The idea was to show that anything that is nutritious and prepared in a clean kitchen with a clean mind can be served to God. It doesn’t have to be only traditional dishes.” And as you can expect, the locals and tourists love it! And to make matters even more interesting, even the service has changed a little. Visitors can insert tokens into vending machines to collect boxes of the ‘pret-a-prasadam’ which has been created in the temple kitchen.
“We maintain a computerised register of their birth dates and addresses and door deliver a cake prasadam to them. It’s a hit among the elderly devotees because coming from the temple it adds a special touch to the occasion,” added Sridhar, when talking about introducing the ‘birthday cake prasadam’. This is definitely something refreshing and it also adds to the changing styles of prayers and worship in the country these days. They are obviously still standing by tradition in some ways, but adding a new kind of excitement is not all bad.
Sridhar also said, “When we set up the temple we thought we should give Gods the food we relish.” How can anyone argue with that?