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Bon appétit! It’s fine dining atop Dalma hills

- Furnished kitchen replaces unhygienic cooking shed at Pinderbera guesthouse

From a ramshackle shed to a concrete cooking centre. The kitchen at Pinderbera forest guesthouse atop the picturesque Dalma hills, some 40km from Jamshedpur, is making this journey of culinary convenience.

The facility near the guesthouse entrance has come up at a cost of Rs 5 lakh. The kitchen slabs are black granite, while marble has been used for flooring. The dado boasts glazed tiles. There are two windows for proper ventilation and equal number of wash basins.

“The forest department sanctioned the funds and we wasted no time to build the new kitchen. It is neat and hygienic,” said Mangal Kacchap, the range officer (in-charge) of Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary.

He added that the kitchen would start rustling up meals once LPG cylinders, burners, oven, pressure cooker and utensils were in place. “Exhaust fans need to be installed too,” he said.

Three cooks will take care of a tourist’s hunger pangs.

Heaving a sigh of relief, chief chef Munna Akhtar, who has been preparing delectable dishes for guesthouse visitors since 1987, said that the new kitchen would allow them to operate in a hassle-free manner.

“We have been cooking on dry wood. During monsoon, it is difficult to light the woods. Utensils are also in bad shape. The place where food is cooked is not clean and is a semi-open place. We are looking forward to using the new kitchen,” he told The Telegraph.

Tourists at Dalma often complain of slow food service. “Cooking on a single chullah takes time,” Akhtar explained, adding that the new facility was likely to open next week.

Once the kitchen is operational, tourists will have the liberty to order anything of their liking — both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. The forest staff will be at their service and lay the table at the dining hall located on the ground floor of the guesthouse.

“The visitors will have to provide us with the ration, vegetables and non-vegetarian items. We can cook almost any recipe of chicken, mutton and eggs,” smiled cook Shital.

The dining hall also boasts a refrigerator. Thus, visitors planning to stay anchored at the guesthouse for a longer period can use it to store perishable items.

Jamshedpur-based businessman, Krishna Rao, who is a frequent visitor to Dalma and the Pinderbera guesthouse, said he was delighted.

“It is a very good news. I always enjoyed the hot chapattis and crispy fried potatoes with my friends though we were a tad concerned about hygiene,” Rao recalled.

He added that he would visit the guesthouse with his family once the kitchen started functioning.