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Monday, March 30, 2020

What’s on the menu? Here’s what the US President was served at the Rashtrapati Bhavan

On February 25, the US President and First Lady Melania Trump had met with the President of India Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind at the President's residence in New Delhi.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 26, 2020 10:50:08 am
Donald Trump, dinner menu, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Indian Express news From left to right: Savita Kovind, Melania Trump, Donald Trump, Ram Nath Kovind and Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

While US President Donald Trump’s love for McDonald’s is conspicuous, in India he was only served authentic Indian delicacies. What started with high tea at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, finished with a flourish at the elaborate dinner party at Rashtrapati Bhavan on February 25.

On Tuesday, the US President and First Lady Melania Trump had met with the President of India Ram Nath Kovind and his wife Savita Kovind at the President’s residence, wherein an extravagant dinner had been planned. The delegation — that comprised the President and First Lady, his daughter Melania Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and other senior dignitaries — was served with amuse-bouche (smoked orange peel panna cotta), which is a pre-appetizer course in French cuisine, followed by appetizers which included aloo tikki with spinach papdi, spiced salmon, and lemon grass and coriander soup.

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Next, they were presented with the main course, which included the wildly expensive but superlative in taste morel mushrooms from the Himalayas, lamb biryani, a delectable preparation of the lamb leg called ‘Raan Aalishaan’, and of course, Rashtrapati Bhavan’s special in-house culinary innovation that is known for its rich texture ‘Dal Raisina’, named after the Raisina Hill. The menu also included mint raita.

The Dal Raisina was also served during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30, 2019. Chef Machindra Kasture, who had first prepared the dish in 2010, had told that the dal has a velvety texture and is peppered with mild spices, along with a secret ingredient – kasuri methi leaves.

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For the soirée, special efforts were made by in-house chefs to curate a menu that tasted Indian, but had an American twist, so as to cater to the tastes of the foreign dignitaries.

The dessert included hazelnut apple pie with salty caramel sauce — served with vanilla ice cream — and malpua with rabdi.

The banquet was attended by many politicians, and well-known personalities like music composer AR Rahman and chef Vikas Khanna.

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