Piping hot momos, noodles, brownies… gourmet prasad (offerings) courtesy Delhi’s elite appears to have replaced the traditional halwa and aloo bhaji.
Ordered from fancy eateries and caterers, the goodies sitting pretty in fancy boxes are distributed to the poor who queue up outside temples daily, perhaps for their only guaranteed meal of the day.
“Handing over tasteless, cold food is an insult. I serve spring rolls and hara bhara kebabs,” says realtor Chandan Bagga of GK I, who does the good deed once a month outside the Mahavir temple.
Designer couple Kapil and Monika Arora distribute veg burgers and imported cheese outside the Sai temple in Model Town and claim it gives them a “lot of mental peace and happiness”.
Eager to feed this spiritual urge, caterers and restaurateurs have come up with special menus. Rohit Gupta, CEO of Tivoli Garden in south Delhi, says, “As we are quite close to Chhattapur mandir, we have started getting orders for the Friday prasad.”
The orders range from mishti doi and eggless brownies to veg momos and noodles. Sometimes, disposable plates and mineral water are thrown in.
The mixed fare has elicited a mixed response so far. Satya, 60, who begs outside the Sai Baba temple on Lodhi Road, prefers the old aloo bhaji and halwa. But youngsters like Kallu, 13, who begs outside CP’s Hanuman mandir, say “it’s a dream come true”.