When the PM’s Arab guests ate khan­davi

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Henna Rakheja henna. rakheja@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

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

(right)

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