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Building bonds with traditional fare

Members of the Sikh community distribute rose milk in Tambaram - Photo: Special Arrangement  

Chennai’s greatest strength has been its deep-rooted cosmopolitanism, its inherent ability make communities from various parts of the country and even the world feel at home. And, as this trend continues with people from all over thronging the city, communities have been eagerly pitching in to help members settle and even get a taste of traditional food.

For the about 8,000-strong Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community in the city, a common kitchen near the mosque at Moore Street dishes out delectable food every morning. The kitchen that functions out of a community hall sets the fire going at 6.30 a.m. and by 9.00 a.m., the tiffin boxes are delivered to some 1,800 families.

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The community kitchen for Dawoodi Bohra Muslims dispatchesabout 1,800 tiffin boxes by auto to various parts of the city where the community members reside. These include GeorgeTown, Broadway, Santhome, Kilpauk, Vepery, Thiruvanmiyur, Egmore, Nungambakkam and Anna Nagar

“A yearly subscription is sought, but we are not rigid about this. Those who cannot afford to give much are balanced out by those who can give more,” says H.L. Mustan, one of the organisers of the centralised kitchen. One of the subscribers of the kitchen, who lives in Perungudi, says, “The food is fantastic, and I’m no longer tethered to the kitchen and can concentrate on so many other activities”.

While the Jain community does have a community kitchen dishing out food at nominal rates from Mint Street, one has to send a messenger with a tiffin box for the food. According to Shantilal D. Jain, secretary at the Jain temple in Puzhal, the food at the kitchen is prepared as per Jain principles. “At the temple, we provide free food for all the pilgrims,” he says. A hundred people eat there on weekdays, about a 1,000 on Sundays and the number goes up to 10,000 during festival days.

Similarly, the gurudwara at T. Nagar provides free food for all visitors, according to a community member. At the Kali Bari temple in West Mambalam, the Bengali community provides annadhanam during Durga pooja, feeding nearly 2,000 people, said Gautham Pyne, the temple’s manager.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 9:34:42 AM |

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