North Indian Canteen

Parathas, kulfis and more! The North Indian canteen at Amritapuri has much more to offer as a part of Amma’s 60th Birthday celebrations. “ The canteen was opened to make Amma’s north Indian devotees feel at home”, said Mrs .Bhate, who was trusted with this responsibility . The canteen, set up near the main hall, is well equipped with the necessary utensils and provisions provided by the ashram.

The canteen serves dished from the different states of the northern regions of India. The main states that have been covered are Delhi, Punjab, Gujrat and Maharastra. Cooks arrived from these places to bring out the authentic taste of these regions.

The breakfast and snacks are prepared by the cooks from Delhi, while the lunch is served by the Gujaratis . The highlight of the day is the dinner provided by the Punjab and Maharastra cooks. The concept of unity comes into the limelight when we see people from different states and cultures working together as a team in spite of different timings. “ We all work as one family, Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam” , added Mrs. Bhate, smiling.

The breakfast generally consists of AlooParathas, Stuffed Parathas, Bread pokoda and Missi Roti, while for lunch, roti and chawal are served with a different curry each day along with a kadi. The evening snack is usually a chaat from the streets of Delhi followed by the dinner, which is the king of the day. All the hot favorites from the land of the 5 rivers , Punjab are served for dinner along with some Maharastrian delights.

But the most popular stall of all is the Kulfi Stall” run by Mrs. SadhanaRana. The Malaikulfifalooda served with Rabdi which is considered as the essence of Punjab is served to the customers here.

“ Amma is everywhere, she is not confined to Kerala alone. She has the essence of Punjab in her too”, says Mrs. Rana. The Kulfi stall, which sold a whopping 1000 kulfis on the first day had all utensils and equipment brought from Mumbai. The smattering of dry fruits in the Kulfi was what made it the most sought-after delicacy in the stall.

While the stall opened with an expected crowd of 2000, it attracted more than 4000 people. With an aim of ‘seva’ and not profit, the volunteers rose to the occasion and catered to the extra crowds. Prices were also set reasonably, with Kulfi being sold for half the price than it is sold in Mumbai.

“This is the best stall in the campus”, said Vandana, a first year B.Tech student from Bangalore, while Mrs. Suman Patel from Gujarat felt very much at home eating food from her home state.

- Sreedevi