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Lamb, pulao, zarda rice on menu as Punjab CM cooks up a meal fit for Olympians today

The Punjab chief minister had while hosting the Tokyo Olympic medal winners from Punjab had promised to cook for them. On Wednesday he will be hosting them at his farmhouse — Mohinder Bagh — in Mohali.

Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh |
Updated: September 8, 2021 7:42:51 pm
Capt Amarinder Singh

Capt Amarinder Singh is a man who dons several hats — political leader, chief minister, Maharaja of an erstwhile royal estate, author, military historian. On Wednesday, he will put on a different hat — that of a chef — as he prepares to cook a feast fit for Olympians.

The Punjab chief minister while hosting the Tokyo Olympic medal winners from Punjab had promised to cook for them. On Wednesday he will be hosting them at his farmhouse — Mohinder Bagh — in Mohali.

“From Patiala cuisine to pulao, lamb, chicken, aloo & Zarda rice, CM @capt_amarinder will prepare each of these delicacies himself to keep his promise to Punjab Olympic medal winners (& Neeraj Chopra) at the dinner he’s hosting for them tomorrow!,” said Raveen Thukral, CM’s media advisor in a tweet.

State Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, is not an invitee but the cricketer-turned politician’s close aide and PPCC general secretary in-charge Pargat Singh, a former hockey Olympian, has been invited for the dinner.

Amid the ongoing factional war in the Congress, Amarinder has been meeting MLAs at his residence and trying to get all those who rebelled against him, on his side. Pargat Singh’s presence, if he chooses to attend the dinner, will also send a political message.

On the dinner, Thukral said, “It is a promise that he is keeping. He will be spending a lot of time on cooking. There will be recipes from erstwhile Patiala royal family’s traditional cookbook.”

About 30-40 Olympians from Punjab and Olympic gold medal winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra are expected to be present at the dinner.

The CM, who also has a green thumb, is known for offering a culinary treat to his friends. Rajya Sabha members Partap Singh Bajwa often reminisces about the ‘dal-bukhara’ Amarinder’s used to cook for him during his latter’s first stint as CM from 2002 to 2007.

Amarinder’s promise to the Punjab players had come at the state-level function to honour them on August 12.

Pointing to Kamalpreet Kaur — the first Indian woman to breach the 65m barrier in discus throw — the CM had said in a lighter vein that his sports minister told him that she was fond of good food. Then he told the 11 members of the Bronze medal winning Indian men’s hockey team, including captain Manpreet Singh, “Mainu khud nu khane da shauq nahi par khana banaun da shauq hai (I don’t like to eat much but I love to cook). You all give me a date and time, I will personally cook food in honour of what every single player has achieved at the Tokyo Olympics. It will be a memorable occasion for me as well as you all…whatever we can do for you, we will do,” the chief minister had said.

While the members of the hockey team from Punjab were given a cash award of Rs 2.51 crore each, Neeraj Chopra had given the function a miss due to high fever. All the players were also given 25 kg of almonds each apart from the cash prizes.

“It’s a big honour for us. Winning the bronze medal and captaining the Indian hockey team at Tokyo Olympics has been like a dream for all of us and to see the CM of the state inviting every player to dinner cooked by him in our honour is one of the biggest rewards for every single player,” Manpreet Singh had said earlier.

(With inputs from Nitin Sharma)

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