India set a Guinness world record on Saturday by cooking 918 kg of khichdi at the ongoing global food event organised by the government in the capital.
A team of 50 people, led by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor and NGO Akshaya Patra, supervised the night-long preparations and yoga guru Ramdev Baba put crowning ‘tadka’ in the dish at the World India Food event. Khichdi was steam-cooked in a giant wok, which alone weighed 343 kg. The dish was prepared using multi-grains like rice, pulses, coarse cereals and vegetables.
“We are still waiting for a few pieces of evidence. For the time being, I am happy to announce that this (khichdi) wins the Guinness World title weighing 918 kg,” Guinness World Records’ Project Manager Paulina Sapinska said at the event. The minimum requirement to create a world record was 500 kg. The cooked dish, however, weighed more than the target of around 800 kg set by Kapoor.
Other leading chefs, including Imtiaz Qureshi, Ranveer Brar, Sudhir Sibal, Rakesh Sethi, Akshay Nayyar, Satish Gowda too helped in the preparing the dish. “Khichdi is a healthy and superfood. It is a solution to those depending on food supplements. It is rich with all nutrition,” Ramdev Baba said. Promoting khichdi as a ‘Brand India’ food is a good step towards promoting healthy superfood not only in the domestic but also in the international market, he added.
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who also lent a hand, said: “It is a wholesome food as it contains most of the nutrients. It also symbolises the country’s unity in diversity.” The khichdi will be distributed to orphans by Akshaya Patra Foundation and Gurudwara to about 60,000 people. “We promote international foods in India and it is our opportunity to showcase our superfoods to the world,” said Kapoor.
Qureshi, master chef at ITC Hotels, praised the government’s initiative to promote Indian foods like khichdi and recognise the talent of Indian chefs. He said new-age chefs were innovating this dish across the world and it was being consumed in interesting ways these days.
Minister of State for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Denmark Food Minister Esben Lunde Larsen, ITC CEO Sanjiv Puri, Tata Chemicals COO of the consumer business Richa Arora, LT Foods Chairman Vijay Arora and Akshaya Patra Foundation officials were also present at the event.
The mega khichadi preparation was part of the ‘Great Indian Food Street’ at the global event, being organised along with industry body CII, that features traditional food from more than 20 states states. It took over three months of planning and multiple trials in attempting to cook 800 kg of khichdi. The dish and recipe will be popularised by Indian foreign missions and the government to ensure it is part of restaurants and kitchens around the world.