Prasadam does not consist of the traditional laddoos or pedhas in this Chennai temple. This little temple in Padappai, a suburb on the outskirts of Chennai has been replaced with fast food. The Jaya Durga Peetham in Chennai offers brownies, burgers, cherry tomato salads and cracker sandwiches. The fast food at the temple is also certified by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) and products come with an expiry date. The western prasad is not the only thing that the temple offers differently, but the service is also trendy. Visitors have to slip token into the vending machine to collect boxes of their prasadam.
K Sri Sridhar, a herbal oncologist, who was the brains behind the idea said that the new menu has sparked interest among locals as well as tourists. Talking about the American prasadam he said, “The idea was to show that anything that is nutritious and prepared in a clean kitchen with a clean mind can be served to God. It doesn’t have to be only traditional dishes.”
Not only prasad, the temple delivers cake prasadam to locals on their birthday. They have a computerised register of their birth dates and delivers cake prasadam to people on their birthday. The concept has become a huge hit among elderly devotees who feels special to be treated differently. 81-year-old Subbulakshmi was elated when she received a cake prasadam on her birthday. Times of India quoted Subbulakshmi as saying, “It was so pretty with flowers and icing. And it came with an agar deepam (a traditional oil lamp) instead of candles which was so nice. Just like they light at the temple. When we set up the temple we thought we should give Gods the food we relish.”