New Delhi: Reacting to reports of ‘Khichdi’ being declared the national dish, Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Wednesday clarified that there are no plans to make such a declaration.
Reports of renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor preparing over 800 kg khichdi at the World Food India event on November 4, in a bid to create world record and popularise it as brand India food globally, triggered the rumour that the traditional Indian dish would be declared national dish.
Khichdi — prepared using rice, pulses, coarse cereals and spices — has been selected as ‘Brand India Food’ because it symbolises the country's unity in diversity as it is a traditional Indian dish relished by both rich and poor.
A giant 'kadhai' (frying pan) of the capacity of 1,000 litres and 7 feet in diameter will be used for slow steam-cooking of more than 800 kg khichdi.
The khichdi will be prepared by renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who has been roped as brand ambassador of the Great India Food Street for the three-day event starting November 3, being organised by Food Processing Ministry along with CII.
"Khichdi is the wonder staple food of India and is considered the healthiest prepared food in India and it is being eaten across length and breadth of India by rich and poor," Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal told reporters at the curtain raiser event.
Khichdi symbolises India's great culture of unity in diversity at its best. Therefore, Khichdi has been selected the Brand India Food, she added.
The cooked khichdi will be distributed to about 60,000 orphan children as well as guests present at the event. The khichdi will also be distributed to the Heads of Foreign Missions in India along with recipe.
Brand India Khichdi's ingredients and recipe will be popularised by Indian Foreign Missions throughout the world.
The government will ensure that Khichdi is available in restaurants and kitchens around the world, an official statement said.
(With PTI inputs)