BENGALURU: The warmth of rice being steamed, the aromas of the spices in sambar and the flavours of pulav which is cooking in a pot welcomes anyone entering the Indira Canteen kitchen where dinner is being readied.Express visited one such kitchen at SP Road to look at what goes into the making of food for Indira Canteens.
At 4am, the kitchen is bustling with activity. The staffers are busy preparing breakfast. While four men chop vegetables, eight others are busy steaming idlis and making curries for the same. This kitchen serves eight canteens in the vicinity — Sudhamnagar, Ashoka Pillar, Gurappanapalya, Kodandaramnagar, Gandhinagar, Shakambarinagar, Sarakki and KR Market. The cooks prepare 500 plates of food for each of these canteens. It is a race against time as they have to fill the carriers by 6.30am.
Govinda Poojari, Managing Director of Cheftalk, one of the companies that prepares food to these canteens walks Express through the kitchen that houses a cooking area, storage section and a cold storage unit.“We cook up to 500 plates each for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, it is about 350 plates per canteen,” he says.
Immediately after breakfast is dispatched, work begins for lunch. The menu consists of white rice, sambar and curd rice besides another dish which could be pulav, lemon rice, vangi bath or bisi bele bath.
Lunch has to be sent to the canteens between 11.30am and 12pm.The staff who prepare dinner start their shift by 2pm. The menu stays the same as that for lunch and the food goes to the canteens by 6.30pm.