Traditional desserts like saffron sheermal, seviyan roll and Kashmiri Kahwa, rounded off a festival-themed dinner comprising dishes from across different regions of India hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for top CEOs.
Michelin-starred chef Vikas Khanna served up a five- course meal for over 50 CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies, presenting 26 dishes based on 26 festivals spread across the regions, states and tribes of India.
Gujarat-inspired corn dhokla molten cake with berry composte, smoked chili crystals from Kohlapur, coconut chutney mousse, poha sea bass, bisi bele bath of Karnataka and Patrani fish sauce were on the menu.
“Everything in the dinner has been inspired by the festivals of India that are so amazing. The menu was totally India centric,” Khanna said.
The Amritsar-born chef who has worked with leading chefs like US’s Gordon Ramsay said he had been preparing for the meal at the Waldrof Astoria hotel for the past 11-12 days.
“I wanted to tell the world about the range of Indian food that such simple food can be elevated to fine dining,” Khanna said.
The chef’s dishes were inspired from his “Utsav – A Culinary Epic” a 16-kg gold crusted book, a compilation of festivals, traditions, ceremonies, rituals and food that was unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
“For the main course I did a combination of dishes from Beetroot poriyal, a traditional dish served for Onam in the south with paneer tikka. There was spring vegetables and chutney rice, a speciality of the Hornbill festival in Nagaland. It was a clever way to represent all major regions and festivals of India,” Khanna said.
Pumpkin mousse, black rice khichdi from Mizoram, spicy sev, thandai inspired chicken roulade, reda rose crust and butterfly pea rasgullas were the other dishes served up with saffron sheermal, coconut roti and prune paley.
Eggplant mille-feuille chaat, tamarind salt, Jagannath pitha crumble, purple cabbage custard, khandvi koothandavar kamban koozh were served as appetizers.
Rice pudding, seviyan-pistachio rolls, chai crystals, chat masala caramel, Goan dodol with nuts and gold leaves, and Kashmiri Kahwa a saffron-cardamom milk with saffron air and candied almond slivers were on the dessert menu.
“I wanted to present a great meal to celebrate the visit of the Prime Minister,” Khanna said.