When the PM’s Arab guests ate khandavi
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the United Arab Emirates recently, his office ensured that not only the PM, but even the Arab delegates who dined with him got to savour Gujarati delicacies. And chef Sanjeev Kapoor was entrusted the task of cooking up meals for the PM and his guests.
Back after accompanying PM on his trip, the chef says, “When my office was informed that I am being invited to the UAE, we thought it is for yet another VIP event. But later when I got to know that the invite is from PM’s office, I felt honoured.”
Speaking about how he prepared for it, Kapoor says. “I called up the chef at Rashtrapati Bhavan to know what the PM likes when he visits there. Since my wife is Gujarati, I am familiar with the cuisine.” So, Kapoor went about blending authentic
Gujarati food with Middle-Eastern cuisine. The result was a mixed spread that included falafels, hummus and fatoush from the Middle East, and khandavi with coconut and mango salsa, aamras, biryani, among other things from India. “As a mark of respect to the PM, all delegates had vegetarian food,” says Kapoor.
However, there was last-minute panic in Kapoor’s kitchen when he was informed an hour before the dinner that the menu would have to be changed. “We had a vegetarian spread, but when we were informed that the PM is fasting for sawan, the scene in the kitchen became quite tense ... The PM probably got to know we weren’t informed earlier, so, he sent a word saying, ‘I will eat whatever has been cooked for me already’.”
When we were informed that the PM is fasting for sawan, just an hour before dinner, the scene in the kitchen became tense Sanjeev Kapoor, chef
Sanjeev Kapoor with PM Modi; The thali that was served to guests