Ilford Hindu Centre serving meals for worshippers after week night prayers

Worshippers can expect a simple vegetarian meal

Worshippers can expect a simple vegetarian meal - Credit: Archant

Steaming bowls of lentils, flavoursome chapattis and vegetables cooked to perfection are now being served at a Hindu temple.

The Ilford Hindu Centre, Cleveland Road, Ilford has started cooking for worshipers on week nights after prayers.

Often when devotees visit the temple they bring food as an act of devotion to the ­Hindu deities.

This food will now be cooked and served up to ­anyone who fancies a meal.

Vinaya Sharma, a committee member at the temple, said: “It’s simple vegetarian food. So far we have had about 50 people on a week night but expect this will go up to about 100.”

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The temple has always served about 300 to 400 people a meal after prayers on Sunday but has only just started doing this on a week night.

Mrs Sharma said that by making the meal they were following religious tradition.

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“It’s part of Hindu worship to offer something to the deity and get a piece of fruit or something in return which has been sanctified,” she said.

“It’s a tradition within temples known as Prasad. We thought we should extend this a bit.”

Prasad is any food which is given as a religious offering and is then eaten by worshipers and literally means a gracious gift.

“We felt that people offer food and we should offer it back to people once it’s been cooked,” Mrs Sharma added.

“It’s a ritual which perhaps we weren’t sticking to as well as we should.

“We have tried offering it to people like homes for the elderly but it wasn’t what they always wanted.”


She said that often people will eat at the temple who are affected by poverty. “Poverty can also be when someone lives alone, or has just arrived in the country and doesn’t know where or what to do. Some people do not want to eat on their own and others may not have enough money.”

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