What's cooking in India's largest kitchens?

Jun 17, 2015, 08:26 IST | Krutika Behrawala

Peep into what goes on inside some of the largest kitchens of India, in the upcoming TV series, India’s Megakitchens

Did you know that Akshaya Patra’s Hubli kitchen churns out over 1,50,000 meals in less than five hours or that Sri Sai Sansthan Prasadalaya is one of India’s largest solar-powered kitchens with 73 solar dishes? To be hosted by Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna, India’s Megakitchens is a new TV series that looks at how India’s mammoth kitchens function, with a focus on scale, volume, technology and process. The featured kitchens include Shirdi (Maharashtra), TajSATS (Delhi), Dharmasthala (Karnataka), IRCTC (main kitchen, Noida) and Akshaya Patra (Hubli). Check out these cool facts about them.

A cook at work in Dharmasthala’s temple kitchen in Karnataka
A cook at work in Dharmasthala’s temple kitchen in Karnataka

Akshaya Patra: With over 20 kitchens, they cater to the world’s largest mid-day meal programme serving wholesome food to over 1.4 million under privileged children from around 10,660 schools across 10 Indian states. Their three-storeyed kitchen at Hubli whips up over 1,50,000 meals in under five hours. A system of chutes and outlets creates a fuel-efficient and labour-free way to save time.

More than 10,000 slices of bread and 6,000 eggs  are made daily at TajSAT’s Delhi kitchen
More than 10,000 slices of bread and 6,000 eggs  are made daily at TajSAT’s Delhi kitchen

Sri Sai Sansthan Prasadalaya: With 73 solar dishes, each one 16 square metres in size, arranged across four rooftops, this mega kitchen is one of the largest solar-powered kitchens in India. As the dishes rotate with the movement of the sun, they fuel the making of nearly 40,000 meals daily. Besides fresh meals, the kitchen also prepares thousands of breakfast packets that are distributed free, early morning. Dishwashing and roti-making is mechanised.

Vikas Khanna
Vikas Khanna

Dharmasthala Annadanam: Run by the Heggade family for over 21 generations at the temple town of Dharmasthala in Karnataka, this kitchen offers sustainable solutions like pressurised steam and biogas to reduce fuel consumption of wood, petrol or LPG. One lakh-plus pilgrims are fed meals at the annual Lakshadeepotsava festival.

TajSATS Delhi: TajSATS Air Catering Ltd is a joint venture of the Indian Hotels Company, i.e. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces (Tata Group), and SATS (formerly Singapore Airport Terminal Services) that caters to 39 international and nine domestic airlines. Its Delhi unit makes over 22,000 meals daily. The kitchen uses a volume of over 6,000 eggs everyday while over 10,000 bread slices are made .

Premieres on June 22; every Monday to Thursday, 10 pm, National Geographic

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