Ayodhya temple: Celeb chef Vishnu Manohar to prepare 7,000kg Ram Halwa | Nagpur News – Times of India

NAGPUR: Celeb chef Vishnu Manohar, whose live cookery classes and famed fusion dishes with its signature ‘tadka’ has the nation hooked, is now taking his king-size cauldron to Ayodhya to prepare 7,000kg of ‘Ram Halwa‘ for the grand consecration of the Ram temple. He proudly calls himself a ‘kar sevak’ and his zeal during the temple movement earned him a special invite to the January 22 ceremony.
Manohar decided to make history in Ayodhya by feeding 7,000kg of ‘prasadam’ to more than 1.5lakh devotees, which he claims to be a record-breaking feat.
“I dedicate this to Ram Lalla and the Ram Janmabhoomi Trust. I still remember the days when I would visit Ayodhya as a young ‘kar sevak’. Those were fascinating times,” he recalls.
He’s setting up a mammoth kitchen in Ayodhya. A crane will lift the 1,400kg steel ‘kadhai’ with 10x10ft circumference and an iron circular plating at the centre for seamless heating of ‘halwa’. It has a capacity of 12,000 litres and the ‘prasadam’ ingredients include 900kg of granulated wheat (suji), 1,000kg of clarified butter (ghee), 1,000 kg of sugar, 2,000 litre of milk, 2,500 litre of water, 300kg of nuts and 75kg of cardamom powder. The spatula too weighs 12kg.
“I am proud the first sweet prasadam to be distributed in Ayodhya will have the flavour of Nagpur. I am representing Ram bhakts of Vidarbha and will add their good wishes to the delicacy,” said Manohar, adding he will begin preparing the ‘prasadam’ at dawn and it will be ready by the time the deity is consecrated.
Vishnu Manohar and his team will reach Ayodhya before January 20. “I was there for a few days to finalize the kitchen site and was astonished by the way the city has changed. The atmosphere is electrifying. Ayodhya is now a dream pilgrimage centre,” he said.
When asked why he selected ‘suji halwa’ for ‘prasadam’, when he’s skilled in other delicacies like ‘khichdi’ and mixed vegetables, Manohar said, ‘halwa’ has a religious connotation.
“It’s often offered as prasad to deities. It’s considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity, and is often gifted during festivals. People also believe ‘halwa’ is a favourite dish of Lord Vishnu, hence it’s sacred. Also, the recipe is easy and quick, and requires only a few commonly available ingredients in Indian households,” he added.

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