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Tandoori-hit IITians invent roti-maker

Necessity is the mother of all invention and the brainy Delhi IITians just proved it with the new chappati-maker.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2006 08:17 IST

It has been said that necessity is the mother of all inventions.

What the brainy Delhi IITians — who hated eating tandoori rotis daily — did to free themselves of the ordeal was to make a smaller prototype of a chappati-maker to suit their needs.

And they did it in a style typical of engineers: after studying the designs and working of bigger a chappati-maker.

Till a couple of months ago, the IIT Delhi students had a genuine grudge about having to eat heavy, maida-mixed tandoori rotis daily.

"I looked into the matter, scouted out for a chappati-maker, only to find one which produced 10,000 chappatis an hour. Then some of the students and professors studied the designs, working of the machine… and then made a smaller prototype of the machine to suit our needs of around 1,000-1,500 chappatis per hour," said professor SM Ishtiaque, dean of students, IIT-D.

The cooking staff too acknowledge the change it has brought. "To serve around 1,500 chappatis to 450 students in each hostel within one hour was no mean task. Earlier we overstretched ourselves in making tandoori rotis. But now we can devote our time to other things. A couple of people can easily produce around 1,500 chappatis in less than an hour," said cook at Nilgiri Hostel.

Finally, they got models of the prototype installed in all the hostels, each one of them costing around Rs 4-5 lakh, comfortably to produce 1,000 to 1,200 chappatis per hour for the daily meals.

"More often than not, those tandoori rotis meant that many of us were regularly eating out and spending a huge portion of our fixed pocket money on it. Now even with our tummies full, the pockets still have some 'greenery' left", said Anirudh Loya, a second-year computer science student of Nilgiri hostel.

Ishtiaque, who has been the inspiration behind this hugely popular and fruitful transformation of tandoor to tava in all hostels just doesn’t want to stop there. "In this kitchen automation drive, I have my eyes set on a prototype peda-making machine," he said.

Talk to him about his yardstick for student satisfaction with the food and he tells you: "I always go to the cafeteria during lunch and dinner time and the number of students there speaks volumes for the food we serve."

Maybe, it is also a food for thought.

First Published: Apr 21, 2006 03:31 IST