NEW DELHI: Excess energy among MPs gets translated into loud protests or keen debates during the morning session of Parliament. It is only the second half that often turns out to be drab and sleepy as well. As it turns out, the problem is not with the long winding speeches of their fellow MPs, but the fat-laden heavy lunch served in Parliament’s highly subsidised canteens.
The iconic Parliament canteens are set for a makeover by including lean and healthy food on the menu, which doesn’t put the MPs to sleep but prevents them from piling on the kilos. And nutritious foods like ‘pesarattu’ and moong dal dosa will soon find a place in the canteen menu.
Ensuring that taste is not compromised, vegetarian and non-vegetarian shikhampuri kebabs and flavoured Bengal gram, among others, are also on the cards. Diet coke will be another new entrant in the menu while famed Hyderabadi biryani and tandoori roti are already being served. The idea is to provide a working lunch which is light, fresh, digestible and tasty.
The new menu will not just ensure that the MPs remain in the pink of their health, but would help to avoid scenes of Parliamentarians dozing off inside the House while the proceedings are on in the afternoon session. The Lok Sabha Food Committee (LSFC) is also working out plans to hold an Open House in Parliament annexe during the session to seek suggestions on food from the MPs. “We want Parliament canteens to be able to provide working lunches to members. We would like to give a good, healthy and a digestible food and it should be a little light so that MPs don’t fall asleep in the House after eating,” said Jitender Reddy, TRS MP from Mahbubnagar and a foodie himself.
Cooks from Parliament canteens managed by the IRCTC are being sent for specialised training at famous eating joints to hone up their culinary skills. Four cooks have just come back after training at Hyderabad’s famed Nizam Club. In the next phase, the chefs will learn how to make coconut chutney at Saravana Bhavan, one of the largest vegetarian restaurant chains and pesarattu at famous Andhra Bhavan kitchen. Hygiene and quality also top Reddy’s agenda.
During the Budget Session in July, Rajya Sabha MPs led by Jaya Bachchan had complained of the stale food being served in Parliament canteens. She and her party MP Ram Gopal Yadav had fallen ill after eating canteen food. Since then, efforts have been made to improve the quality of food provided in the canteens.
Now, PNG line will be brought to cook food in Parliament kitchen itself and serve hot food to the MPs.