Medina, Saudi Arabia (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas ensured that food for elderly Hajj pilgrims will be tailored to their needs in order to meet their protein and nutritional requirements.

"Last year, the kitchen's performance was good. I also see that there is a special menu for the elderly pilgrims. I hope this kitchen can provide the best service for pilgrims," Minister Qoumas stated here on Friday.

The minister made this statement after reviewing a catering company that will serve Hajj pilgrims in Medina.

At least 20 percent of the food cooked in the kitchen is for elderly pilgrims. The menu is the same, with the only difference being that the food is cooked to be more smoother and softer in terms of the texture and consistency.

In the kitchen, Minister Qoumas was welcomed by the owner of the catering company. An executive chef from Cipanas, Bogor, named Wan Abdurahman, was also present in the kitchen.

Qoumas also spoke with several chefs and assistants in the kitchen, and most of them were from Indonesia.

He sought information from them about several things, such as the availability of vegetables and spices from Indonesia, for instance, tempeh and tofu. The minister stated that Indonesians love tempeh and tofu to which Abdurahman agreed.

Tempeh and tofu are not only preferred by Hajj pilgrims but also feature in the favorite menus of Umrah pilgrims. In a day, the kitchen can cook up to hundreds of tempeh and tofu blocks that were also produced by Indonesians.

Qoumas also inquired about the readiness of food storage and the availability of ingredients.

Abdurahman explained that the kitchen has six large food storages where beef, chicken, fish, and egg are stored.

Indonesian spices, such as lemongrass, galangal, pandan leaves, orange leaves, coconut milk, and peanuts, were also available.

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Translator: Asep F, Kenzu
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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