Sumptuous delicacies, music fill banquet for Obamas

Updated - April 01, 2016 11:52 pm IST

Published - January 26, 2015 03:30 am IST - NEW DELHI

Kashmir may or may not have figured in the official talks between India and the United States, but culinary delights from the State edged their way into the spread laid out for U.S. President Barack Obama at the banquet in the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday.

The ceremonial dinner hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee in the Ceremonial Hall had fare from Kashmir, including the laboriously prepared Goshtaba (meatballs in curd gravy) and the delectable Roganjosh (a spicy meat curry), Haak (collard greens) and Kehwa (green tea).

The kitchens of the President’s House also won the guests over with a broccoli and walnut soup and a non-vegetarian platter, which included the famous Galaouti Kebabs from the Awadhi cuisine.

While the Naval band played Hindi, English and Hawaiian tunes, the guests feasted over mustard fish, saunfia fish tikka, chicken korma, roasted leg of lamb, Dal Raisina and the Kadi Pakora, representing India’s divergent cuisines that were served as the main course. The meal was polished off with Malpua and Rabri and baked pudding.

The Naval Band that started off with the English tune “Yes we can” switched with ease from Rabindra Nath Tagore’s sombre “Ekla Cholo Re” to the foot-tapping Stevie Wonder number Part Time Lovers . They also played a medley of Hawaiian numbers.

Dignitaries from a cross-section were part of the banquet. The number of guests has been the highest in recent times, forcing the Rashtrapati Bhavan to shift the venue to the Ceremonial Hall. Among those present were the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP leader L.K. Advani.

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