Feeding 40,000 at Jalsa Salana

Jalsa Salana UK 2023, a significant event of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, takes place in Hampshire, Alton from 28th-30th August 2023. This gathering, anticipated to draw over 40,000 attendees globally, is an amalgamation of religious teachings and communal meals, reflecting both a cultural culinary heritage and an ethos of unity and generosity.

In this three-day convention, the organisers of Jalsa Salana are set to serve an astounding total of over 150,000 meals, baking 10,000 roti breads per hour, all free for guests. This hospitality spectacle is not just about the sheer quantity of food but also an exploration into the intricate food preparations, the stories of volunteers baking bread, and the logistics behind it all, an affirmation of faith and the shared joy in dining together.


Also featured at the Jalsa Salana convention are a bazaar and food stalls, a bustling marketplace offering a tantalizing array of traditional Indian food and snacks, underscoring the vibrant culinary tradition of the community, and The Bread Factory, a bustling hub run by volunteers producing 300,000 rotis, cooking at an astonishing rate of 10,000 per hour.

You can get an idea of the scale of the event from this video from previous years.

Some of the meals made over the three days include 10,000 fresh rotis per hour; 112 pots of lentil daal; meat curry and vegetable curry. Below is a short video detailing the cooking process of the Daal (the kitchen is called the “Langar”).


Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy Red Lentil Daal in case you would like to try it for yourself.

Quick & Easy Red Lentil Daal

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped small
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Half a lemon, juiced
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach

For serving

  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • Vegan Naan


  • In a large pot or pan over medium heat, sauté the chopped onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 more minute, until fragrant.
  • Add the garam masala, turmeric and red pepper flakes to the pan and stir into the onion mixture. Add a few tablespoons of water if the mixture is too dry.
  • Now add the dried lentils, canned tomatoes and their juices, coconut milk and vegetable broth to the pan. Stir well and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the lentils are cooked and soft. Stir occasionally.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan, and stir in the spinach as well until wilted. Add salt to taste.
  • Serve with brown or white rice and Vegan Naan.

See also: Becky Excell’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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