Hi-tech solar kitchen in Shirdi
Shirdi’s famed Baba dressed and lived as a simple fakir (mendicant). He never told anyone his name, so his followers referred to him as Sai Baba. The fire he lit to cook a meal for his devotees still burns and the ash is regarded as sacred vibhuti. Over a century later, his devotees, regardless of the number of visitors, are still assured a meal in Baba’s kitchen. Shirdi’s hi-tech prasadalaya ensures that visitors -almost 70,000 on weekdays to 1.25 lakhs on Thursdays (Baba’s day) to 2 lakhs on holidays – do not ever go hungry. Catering monitors assess the number of diners from the CCTV screens and transmit the likely number to the kitchen.
The stainless steel kneaders, fryers, and boilers of the world’s largest solar kitchen are then programmed accordingly. On an average day, 2500 kilograms of rice, 600 quintals of dal, and equally enormous quantities of vegetables are cooked.
Within minutes of a thousand diners having eaten, the stainless steel plates are collected, tables scrubbed and the dining halls mopped clean ready to feed another thousand devotees.