New Delhi, May 31: Traditional Gujarati snacks like dhokla and khakhra may soon become part of the menu at central government departmental canteens, which generally serve north and south Indian cuisine.
The Narendra Modi-led government has issued instructions to all ministries asking them to include "certain healthy, light and nutritious snacks" in the canteens operating under them and circulated a list of suggested food items like dhokla and khakhra, among others.
As a staff welfare measure, departmental canteens in central government offices or establishments are providing beverages, snacks and meals to employees, it said.
The order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said these canteens may like to introduce certain healthy, light and nutritious snacks such as different types of vegetable soup, bonda, dhokla, khakhra, poha, mattar chatt, pao bhaji, upma, sprouts, patties, muffins, mishti dahi, soya snacks, plain dahi, nimbu pani, lassi and chhaj (or chhach), ice cream and srikhand.
"Items of snacks, beverages, meals may be selected by respective managing committee of departmental canteens depending on local needs and tastes of customers.
"All ministries and departments are requested to introduce hygienic and healthy food in departmental canteens functioning under them," the order said.
In the administrative instructions for departmental canteens in government offices and industrial establishments issued in 2008, the list of snacks includes only bonda, butter toast, dosa, idli, matthi, paneer pakora, samosa, vada, vegetable cutlet, vegetable sandwich and vegetable pakora.
Dhokla and khakra, the popular delicacies from Gujarat, are new inclusions on the list of snacks which may be served at departmental canteens.
There are 723 non-statutory departmental canteens and tiffin rooms located in central government offices across the country.