The Indian Navy is known to lay out a lavish spread of seafood at high-profile functions — herb-rubbed fish fillets, stir-fried sesame shrimp and spicy calamari. But culinary traditions appear to be changing.
The naval headquarters has issued instructions to the Mumbai-based Western Naval Command to keep the menu strictly vegetarian, traditional and simple when Prime Minister Narendra Modi lands there on August 16 to commission the navy’s latest destroyer, INS Kolkata.
The warship has been constructed indigenously by the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) under a `15,000-crore programme called Project-15A.
The navy is known to serve extravagant fare at momentous occasions, but is making an exception for the PM.
“It will be an all-vegetarian spread based on traditional flavours, in keeping with the PM’s dietary preferences,” a navy officer said. It is believed that Modi prefers simple food.
Guests were served “simple but scrumptious” vegetarian food at a farewell dinner hosted by the PM for former army chief General Bikram Singh on July 26.
The navy is believed to have some idea of what the PM prefers as the upcoming Mumbai tour will be his second visit to a naval platform in a span of two months. He had boarded India’s largest and most expensive warship, the INS Vikramaditya, off the Goa coast on June 14, his first engagement outside Delhi after being sworn in as PM.
INS Kolkata, a 6,800-tonne destroyer, is the first in a series of three warships being built by the MDL. Two other warships, INS Kochi and INS Chennai, are scheduled to be delivered to the navy by mid-2015.