The nuns who live at Dolma Ling Nunnery and Institute near Dharamsala, India now have an expanded kitchen facility thanks to the generosity of some very special donors.
The old kitchen at the nunnery was initially built in 1993 when there were just 82 nuns. Slowly, over time, the number of nuns more than tripled to 240 plus 40 staff so it was no longer large enough to adequately prepare food for that number of people.
To try to cope, the nuns, in 2001, took over a ground floor classroom as a vegetable storeroom and cutting room. The space was very cramped and the classroom that served as a kind of kitchen extension was sorely needed by the expanding education program.
Enter some very generous donors who made the nuns dream of a new kitchen a reality. We’re excited to show you these photos and a little video.
In the spring of 2015 we sought funding for the kitchen extension project. Our donors have helped the nuns solve many problems at once. Not only do the nuns have much more space for preparing and storing food, but by moving the solar panels and water tanks the nunnery has been able to solve problems with maintenance and leakage.
The nuns also make tofu each week to supply the nunnery kitchen and to sell to other monastic institutions and local people to raise some funds for the nunnery.
The head cook is always busy and the kitchen is kept spotless. The nuns rotate in and out of kitchen duties so everyone participates. Breakfast preparations begin as early as 3 a.m. Lunch is the main meal of the day and is often rice, two kinds of vegetables, dal, and sometimes fruit. Dinner is often a noodle soup and maybe a steamed bun.
See this blog post showing the old kitchen space at Dolma Ling and giving a recipe for dal.