As I mentioned in my previous post, the best thing about the temples in Singapore is the prasadam. During my initial days in Singapore, I used to say that the Senthil episode in ‘Boys’ movie should have been featured here rather than in Madras because you’re sure to get an entire meal itself as a prasadam here if you time your visit to the temple correctly. Even otherwise, you’re sure to get some prasadam most of the times.
The dishes of the day’s prasadam are laid out on a table and either volunteers serve or you can just take a disposable plate/laminated paper kept near it and help yourself to the dish(es). Huge quantities are always served in all the temples. Many people seem to have their breakfast and lunch at the temples itself on a regular basis. Don’t be surprised to see office goers dropping in at lunch time to have their lunch!
The prasadam ranges from kesari, sakkarai pongal, sundal, an occasional payasam, piping hot veNN pongal with sambhar, sambhar sadham, puLiyodharai, curd rice, lemon rice to masala semiya upma with paneer, chole and other gravies and side dishes full of masala and even noodles with spring onions and all the spices!
Come Saturday evening and it is a feast at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple located at Little India. People flock to this area on weekends for shopping and get-togethers with their friends and Saturday being a special day for getting a darshan of Perumal, there is always a huge crowd at this temple on that day. Huge vessels of prasadam are served in the evening and the queue for it would be at its lengthiest at this time. The usual menu is kesari, puLiyodharai, konDakaDalai sundal and a juice. The ladles for serving the dishes are so big that it is difficult to ask for less quantity to be served. You can sure finish of your dinner itself at the temple.
Another temple near Srinivasa Perumal temple is Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temple. During my initial days in Singapore, I once visited this temple at about 12 noon and I was surprised by the variety of dishes being served after ucchi kaala pujai (the mid-day pooja). It had two types of kesaris, sambhar sadham, curd rice, payasam and some more dishes that I don’t remember now. But what I do remember is seeing people bringing chips packets with them and enjoying the food to the fullest! 🙂 Recently, I saw plain rice, sambhar, curd, vegetable curry, venn pongal, sweets and some more dishes being served as a prasadam here.
Sri Sai Baba Temple is also located in a hall at Vadapathira Kaliamman temple itself and so, on Thursdays, Sai devotees too join in with their own home-made prasadams and you’re sure to get some prasadam here almost all through the day.
One of my most favourite temples here is Sri Krishna Temple at Waterloo Street. The street in itself is my favourite place in Singapore and deserves a separate post. The idols in Krishna temple on the walls are either made of marble or of marble-finish (I can’t identify all that) and are so beautiful. This temple gets a lesser crowd than the temples located in the heart of Little India and the quantity of prasadam seems to be less with the prasadam being kept in small stainless steel buckets. But all the prasadams I have had so far have always been yummy. Be it the lemon rice, curry leaves rice, akkara vadisal, curd rice, veNN pongal, payasam or even the noodles! They all have that typical PerumAL kovil prasadam feel!
Sri Manmadha Karuneswarar Temple is a Sivan temple and is one of oldest temples of Singapore. I have seen puLiyodharai being served here several times early in the evening (5/5:30-6:30 pm maybe). Once kesari, veNN pongal with channa masala and sambhar was the prasadam here!
I have visited all the temples in Singapore and I have had the prasadam in many temples. The next time you plan for a trip to Singapore, make sure you visit at least a few temples here and enjoy the prasadam too. 🙂
Good info. I like temple foods. You could have mentioned best time to visit these temples to taste Prasadams.