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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Nostalgia main course in Ivanka Trump’s Hyderabad dinner at former palace of the Nizams

Narendra Modi will host a dinner for Ivanka Trump on Tuesday at Taj Falaknuma Palace, featuring a five-course menu inspired by Hyderabad’s famed cuisine

india Updated: Nov 27, 2017 23:11 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hyderabad, Hindustan Times
The interiors of the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad.
The interiors of the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad.(HT Photo)

A royal treat at the world’s largest dining hall awaits a diet-conscious Ivanka Trump, the 36-year-old daughter of US President Donald Trump, at the Taj Falaknuma Palace.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host a dinner for the White House adviser on Tuesday evening in the iconic 101-chair dining room of the heritage hotel, once the home of the Nizams or rulers of the formerly princely state of Hyderabad.

With 122 years of legendary history, the scorpion-shaped palace’s famed dining hall has 101 identical chairs made of green leather and an intricate ceiling design featuring a selection of royal menus.

A five-course menu inspired by Hyderabad’s famed cuisine is being readied for the guest by the hotel’s team of culinary experts, led by executive chef Sajesh Nair.

The menu will showcase Telangana’s unique cooking styles and present diners with an array of choices. Famed delicacies such as dahi ke kebab, gosht shikampuri kebab, kubani ke malai kofta, murg pista ka salan and sitaphal kulfi will be presented over several courses — Aghaz (soup), Mezban (appetisers), Waqfa (sorbet), Mashgool Dastarkhwan (main course) and Zauq e shahi (dessert).

Plates and cutlery at the Taj Falaknuma Palace.
Plates and cutlery at the Taj Falaknuma Palace. ( HT Photo )

The dining hall of Falaknuma, meaning mirror of the sky, has been a favourite of the Hyderabad’s royals and continues to be the preferred destination for state banquets and grand celebrations.

The signature menu will give the guests a taste of rare Indian ingredients such as sandalwood, saffron and figs.

The table décor is inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the Deccan region. Rare artefacts and silver decorative pieces are being brought from the Nizam’s private collection at Chowmahalla Palace; while all upholstery used during the dinner was made with locally sourced fabrics such as Ikkat, Teliya and Velvet.

The meal is set to get Ivanka ready for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which she will attend in the city.

Her welcome at the palace will be marked by a royal ritual, which begins with a traditional aarti and lighting of a ceremonial lamp to signify infinite prosperity and luck. All dignitaries will be welcomed with local mogra and rose flowers.

Butlers dressed in traditional sherwanis and vibrant headgear will represent India’s ceremonial customs. The elaborate dining set up will be laid out with the palace’s premium collection of glassware and silverware, along with personalised menus for each guest.

A gong will go off to signify the beginning of each course and a personal butler will serve each diner. The 101 servers have trained with experts for the past month and each course was served simultaneously by all of them, in a series of swift and precise movements.

The dinner at Taj Falaknuma Palace, is being organised in partnership with the NITI Aayog, as well as the tourism department and state government as a way to showcase the best that Hyderabad has to offer.

A view of the Taj Falaknuma Palace from the outside.
A view of the Taj Falaknuma Palace from the outside. ( HT Photo )

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 20:55 IST