Six dosa-making and three idli-making machines have been installed on the aircraft carrier

Even as aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, formerly Admiral Gorshkov, is getting ready for pre-induction trials, it has seen the successful demonstration of a product that is exclusively Indian.

For, a group of engineers from Eskay Enterprises, Bangalore, has installed six dosa-making machines and three idli-making machines on board INS Vikramaditya and just returned from Arkhangelsk region in Russia where the ship was docked. It will help serve traditional Indian delicacies to the Indian crew once the ship is commissioned.

The automated dosa and idli making technology was developed by Mysore-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) and Eskay Enterprises is one of the licensees authorised to manufacture the automated machines.

Sources told The Hindu that initially CFTRI was contacted by the Defence authorities with a request to install the machines on board Admiral Gorshkov which was being overhauled and retrofitted with modern equipment to emerge in its new avatar as INS Vikramaditya.

“But CFTRI being a research institute does not have the mandate for bulk manufacturing of products though it develops the technology. Hence, we asked the Defence Ministry to contact one of our licensees in Bangalore who participated in the bid and was chosen for installation,” the sources said.

S. Krishna Murthy, who owns Eskay Enterprises, said that he obtained the technology from CFTRI and upgraded it for commercial viability before releasing it the market. Both the dosa-making and idli-making machinery have been installed in 12 ships of the Indian Navy so far. “But installing it on board the INS Vikramaditya was privileged work. We have just returned from Russia, and the automated dosa and idli-making machines will be fine-tuned once the ship is handed over to India in December,” Mr. Krishna Murthy said.

The automated technology will enable assembly-line production of 400 dosas and 1,000 idlis an hour on each machine and will cater to the nearly 2,000 crew members who will be on board the ship. Mr. Krishna Murthy said that eight wet grinders have also been installed for grinding rice and other ingredients for batter.

The technology was developed by the CFTRI in 1998 and since then has proved to be popular in major industries where catering for a large workforce requires mass production. The machines have been so designed that they take care of all operations pertaining to making a dosa such as spreading batter to the requisite size, oiling, cooking and even dispensing curry and chutney. The automated technology also ensures that hygienic norms are observed in the kitchen as it obviates manual labour during mass production of idlis and dosas of uniform taste.

More In: Karnataka | National