World Food India: 800kg of khichdi cooked for world record, Ramdev adds ‘tadka’
A team of nearly two dozen people cooked over 800kg of khichdi, a traditional rice-dal dish, on Saturday in an attempt to enter Guinness World Records at World Food India fair in Delhi. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev added to the star power at the event by making the ‘tadka’ for the dish at the India Gate lawns where the festival is underway.
The giant wok in which khichdi had been cooked was weighed at 1,262kg. Out of this, the wok itself was estimated to weigh around 300kg.However, officials from Guinness World Records were yet to ascertain if a record had been made.
The night-long preparations to make the dish were supervised by chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev put the crowning ‘tadka’ in the dish after it was cooked in a 1000-litre wok before an audience comprising ministers, delegates, ambassadors and foodies.
The dish was prepared with nutritious ingredients from diverse parts of the country. Rice, moong dal, bajra, jowar and Indian spices will be steam-cooked for the preparation before it is served to the audience on Saturday.
“A portion of the khichdi will also be packed and sent to all the heads of foreign missions in India, along with the recipe,” said a person involved in the cooking. The mega khichdi preparation is part of the ‘Great Indian Food Street’ at the festival that features street food from 20 states. The wok, put up on a concrete stand, was the centre of attraction among those who visited the festival on Friday.
The humble dish ‘khichdi’ took the centre stage even before it was cooked at the food fair. The buzz started when it was announced that the dish would be showcased as Brand India food at a November 4 World Food India event. The dish was selected as it symbolised India’s unity in diversity and is eaten by both the rich and poor.
Khichdi started trending on social media right after the announcement, with people whipping up a debate. On Thursday, Harsimrat Kaur Badal put an end to the rumours and tweeted, “Enough Khichdi cooked up on a fictitious ‘National Dish’. It has only been put for a record entry in #WorldFoodIndia.”
“I came to know about khichdi event through social media. I made it a point to visit and see it. I didn’t know that the cooking event is on Saturday,” said Rajeev Kumar, a private company employee from Noida sector 63.
After a series of trials spanning over a month, chef Kapoor, who curated the food street concept, said, “The world should know whatever we have been processing. The intent is to promote Indian culinary in front of a global audience and in a way benefit farmers at the grass root level.”
Apart from the khichdi event, the food street also promotes traditional products like ‘daap chingri’ — a traditional Bengali recipe of prawns cooked in mustard and filled inside a coconut to get a combined flavour of mustard and coconut cream. Besides, it has a stalls displaying ITC products, Ayurvedic foods and South Indian fish cuisines, among others.
“The underlying message is food processing with a dash of culture, taste and mystery to generate excitement among people who want to invest in India,” Kapoor said. Organisers said the event focuses on the globalisation of Indian and heritage foods.
The event also comprises cookery demonstrations by chefs such as Ranveer Brar, Saransh Goila, Imtiaz Qureshi and Kavneet Sahni, among others.
”The food street celebrates food traditions of India which are more than capable of imbibing beautifully with any world cuisines,” said Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, minister of state for food processing.