Bush's 'fantastic meal' at Taj Palace
A delicious spread at the Taj Palace awaited US President George W Bush, after the signing of the historic N-deal with India.india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 17:55 IST
A delicious spread at the Taj Palace awaited US President George W Bush, after the signing of the historic N-deal with India. The presidential banquet, for more than 250 people, was specially designed by Chef Hemant Oberoi, who flew down from Mumbai to oversee and design the exclusive smorgasbord.
For starters there was Khumbi ka ras—a mildly spiced fresh mushroom extract served with mini chilli olive Indian crisp bread. A seafood splendour or Samundari Khazana followed - a melange of delectable Cochin prawns, bar-be-qued crabmeat kebab and mint flavoured sea bass served with crisp okra. The Americans dug deeply into the seafood platter, the session punctuated by pauses of silent gorging.
President Bush ate tiny morsels and partook of most of the elements on the menu. Vegans could delight in Subz Khazana, which comprised delectable broccoli, yellow chilli cottage cheese and a delicate kebab of Kashmiri greens and minced morels.
The entrée consisted of Dum Ka Zaffrani Gosht—tender morsels of lamb cooked in a saffron flavoured gravy, tandoori pink salmon — clay oven cooked pink salmon chunks served with a tangy mango relish and a host of other lightly laced, subtly spiced vegetarian dishes.
The biryani served was a vegetable dum biryani because Chef Oberoi wanted to keep the flavour light and enjoyable. The crowning glory was the masala chai crème brulee and the alphonso mangoes served with kulfi.
"Everything in the banquet was a challenge, said Chef Hemant Oberoi, who had also created a banquet for the Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.
"I felt this banquet (for George W Bush) should be different and distinct. After all it is not everyday that American heads of state come to India. So, we gave them a taste and flavour of Indian seafood from the west coast, along with an array of vegetarian cuisine that reflected India at its best," Oberoi concluded.
And what did the US Prez have to say to the chefs? After the meal, Bush came, shook hands with the chefs and said, "Fantastic Meal!"