Curry for a thousand in 30 minutes; historic temple gets modern $500,000 kitchen

The Sri Senpaga Vinayagar temple's new kitchen is equipped with a 150-litre machine for curries, an automated vegetable cutter, automated rice washer and combi-oven steamer which can produce 250 pieces of idli (steamed cakes) in 10 minutes. -- ST PHO
The Sri Senpaga Vinayagar temple's new kitchen is equipped with a 150-litre machine for curries, an automated vegetable cutter, automated rice washer and combi-oven steamer which can produce 250 pieces of idli (steamed cakes) in 10 minutes. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
The Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple in Ceylon Road. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple in Ceylon Road. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - A historic 120-year-old temple in Ceylon Road now houses a high-tech kitchen that can churn out curry for a thousand people in 30 minutes.

The Sri Senpaga Vinayagar temple's new $500,000 facility is equipped with a 150-litre machine for curries, an automated vegetable cutter, automated rice washer and combi-oven steamer which can produce 250 pieces of idli (steamed cakes) in 10 minutes.

It comes as part of the temple's $4.5 million refurbishment. All Hindu temples undergo renovations and repairs every 12 years.

It is the only temple believed to have such modern kitchen features.

The temple's management said the new kitchen means it no longer has to rely on a platoon of 12 volunteers to support its four cooks.

Its president, Dr R. Theyvendran, said the new kitchen raises productivity significantly and allows the temple to cater more efficiently to the 1,200 devotees and foreign workers who are served free vegetarian meals on Fridays and Sundays.

"It will provide faster service of the freshly cooked warm food to devotees," he said.

The temple also has new ceramic ornamentations on its ceilings, and improvements to its roof structure, lighting and plumbing systems.

Its consecration ceremony will take place on Monday. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and former President SR Nathan are expected to attend.