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Indian chef to give Obama a taste of Himalayas

Amritsar-born New York-based chef Vikas Khanna, who spent some time with the Dalai Lama in February this year, was so enchanted by the Buddhist meal philosophy that he has decided to serve US President Barack Obama (inset) a special Himalayan cuisine.

india Updated: May 08, 2012 01:50 IST
Debasmita.Ghosh

Amritsar-born New York-based chef Vikas Khanna, who spent some time with the Dalai Lama in February this year, was so enchanted by the Buddhist meal philosophy that he has decided to serve US President Barack Obama a special Himalayan cuisine. Khanna will serve him at the prestigious dinner ceremony at the Rubin Museum of Art next Monday.



"The menu is a tribute to the cuisine of the Himalayan region, and its beauty, culture, and people," said Khanna, who was in the Capital on Friday to launch his book, Flavours First. "Good food is all about the perfect flavour, and that's the essence of the book," said the Michelin-starred chef, whose book has a foreword by famous British chef Gordon Ramsay.



So, why did he select Himalayan cuisine for the US President? "The entire Himalayan stretch has some wonderful cuisines. Besides, The Rubin Museum of Art, where the dinner is being hosted, houses some of the most beautiful collections from that region, so I thought why not!" said Khanna, adding that he will however give his signature twist to the regional cuisine.



So, what is he exactly planning to toss up for the gathering that will also see Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin, and where getting a private chair costs Rs 19 lakh ($35,800)? "I will serve Ema Dashi, the national delicacy of Bhutan. Let the rest remain a surprise," he says.



What is Ema Dashi?


Ingredients


2 tbsp vegetable oil


1 medium red onion, diced


4 cloves garlic, chopped


1/2 tbsp. hot green chilly


1 tomato, diced


1/2 pound feta cheese



Method
1.

Heat oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add onions, garlic


2.

Cook for about two minutes, until they are soft


3.

Add chillies and tomatoes and cook for two minutes


4.

Add the cheese. Heat until the mixture is well cooked


5.

Serve the dish hot with fresh bread or rice.