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Puri: A Divine Feast

Puri: A Divine Feast
The entrance to the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha, Photo Credit: Sanjay Rawat
Less than 1 Min Read

Lord Jagannatha's mighty kitchen is probably the biggest in the world

Where would you find a kitchen with 752 sigdis (stoves) fired by wood, watched over by 400 supakaras (cooks), turning out up to five meals daily, with no electricity or gas, lit only by diyas, feeding nearly 10,000-15,000 people a day? In Lord Jagannatha’s rosaghar (kitchen), of course. Men haul heavy kaduas (earthen cook-cum-serve vessels shaped like elongated pots), brimming with bhog — there are no less than 56 dishes (the eponymous chhappan bhog!) — out of what some say is the world’s largest kitchen. The sacred offerings are sold at the Ananda Bazaar, after 2 pm, to eager devotees, at nominal rates. The food is saatvik khana (no onion or garlic, no potato or tomato, no chillies or spices, no cabbage, cauliflower, lady’s finger or papaya either). The daily menu featuring dals, vegetable curries, rice preparations and payas (sweet pudding). Ghee and jaggery are preferred over refined oil and sugar. The bhog must be eaten sitting on the floor, from a plantain leaf. How does it taste? Definitely divine.

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