Annapoorna hall - The Art of Living Ashram’s community kitchen

The community kitchen called Annapurna Dining Hall serves around 23,000 meals a day to thousands of people from across the world! People from different cultures, borders, and backgrounds sit together, and eat in the huge dining area, with a feeling of oneness.

The kitchen is also one of the first mega kitchens in the country to be awarded an “ISO 22000: 2005” certification for maintaining high standards in food safety and cleanliness. Annapoorna has also been featured on the popular English documentary series, India’s Mega Kitchens, aired on National Geographic Channel.

Inaugurated in October 2004, it has the capacity to feed 60,000 people. The food is prepared by 30-35 full-time sevaks (volunteers) who are adept at cooking a variety of meals. During festivals like Navratri, the kitchen serves up to 1 lakh meals which include a number of delicious dishes.

The food cooked here is sattvik and cooked with steam produced from environmentally-friendly boilers that use fuel called briquettes (a mixture of sawdust, groundnut and coffee shells). Wheat and bajra flour are ground on the premises in a mill owned and operated by ashram to cook chapattis (unleavened Indian bread).

Managing the kitchen is an enormous task. Hence, the kitchen follows the policy of Swayam Seva wherever possible. The practice nurtures a sense of respect for others and self-reliance for the individual.