Nagpur chef to cook 7-tonne ‘halwa’ in giant cauldron for Ram Lalla

Nagpur, Jan 9 (IANS): Acclaimed chef Vishnu Manohar is all set to mark the January 22 Prana Pratishtha of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya with a special ‘Bhog Prasad’ offering of a delicious, hand-prepared ‘Ram Halwa’, at one go in a mammoth cauldron.

Manohar will cook a staggering seven tons (7,000 kgs) of ‘Ram Halwa’ for Ram Lalla on January 29 in Ayodhya which shall be savoured by around 1.50 lakh devotees and other dignitaries attending the historic event and its subsequent programmes, at the temple and in the pilgrim town.

For the venture, Manohar has ordered a brand new, gigantic steel cauldron (kadhai) weighing around 1300-1400 kgs with a capacity of 12 tonnes -- it can be lifted only by a crane -- in which he will cook the holy savoury.

Manohar, 52, said that the dimensions of the massive freshly-built cauldron are 15 feet diameter x 5 feet depth, made of steel with a central part made of iron so that the halwa will not get scalded during the preparations.

The glittering vessel, costing around Rs 8,00,000, will be shipped from Nagpur to Ayodhya in a trailer truck, will reach the venue after a two-day road journey, and will be cleaned up for its maiden auspicious prasad.

The ‘Ram Halwa’ shall be prepared with huge quantities of ingredients -- 900 kgs of ‘rava’, 40 kgs cardamom and nutmeg powder, at least 300 kg dry-fruits, one ton each of cow ghee and sugar, plus 2,500 litres of water.

The preparation shall be stirred by a massive spatula, 10-12 feet long, that will be handled by Manohar along with one or two expert cooks, with the initiative called ‘Kar Seva se Paak Seva’.

“The ‘Ram Halwa’ preparation would take upto three hours… We plan to start at dawn, say around 6 a.m… Then, we shall offer it for the ‘Bhog Prasad’ to the idol of Ram Lalla, and later distribute it among the devotees at the temple and outside in the town through volunteers,” Manohar told IANS.

On the cost of the 7 tonnes ‘Ram Halwa’, Manohar said that it will be borne by the Shri Ram Temple Trust, and he would foot the bill of the cauldron as his humble contribution for the auspicious occasion.

All the ingredients for the ‘Ram Halwa’ shall be sourced from the huge amounts of donations the Ram Temple is receiving, but Manohar is attempting to arrange the one tonne of cow ghee from the famed Tirupati Temple of Andhra Pradesh as a donation, for what he hopes could be a ‘divine amalgamation’.

Although there are modern automatic options available to prepare such massive quantities of food, “but this is a special religious occasion, so we shall do all work manually”, he said with a smile.

The ‘Ram Halwa’ love’s labour is likely to pay off -- in the form of a world record, but Manohar -- who already holds over a dozen global records -- said it will be in the name of the Ram Temple Trust.

The cauldron would be taken out in a procession in Nagpur, certain religious rituals will be performed with the expected presence of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Nagpur Collector Dr. Vipin Itankar, Nagpur Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar and other dignitaries, before it would be loaded onto a trailer for Ayodhya.

Manohar, a chef of 38 years standing, thinks big and cooks even bigger -- some of his past mega-servings include 10 tonnes of Masale Bhat for the tribal community meeting in Nagpur plus 10 tonnes of Samarsata Misal in Pune, 7 tonnes of millets khichdi in Chandrapur, 6.50 Gajanan Khichdi and 6 tonnes Rambandhu Mahachivda in Nagpur, 5 tonnes of Samarsata mix vegetable bhaji in Nagpur, besides many others.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at:




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Title: Nagpur chef to cook 7-tonne ‘halwa’ in giant cauldron for Ram Lalla

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