It isn’t everyday one is flown overseas to put on a chef’s hat to cook up a fine dining feast for a VIP dinner that has Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the guest list.
For chef, entrepreneur and TV host Sanjeev Kapoor, this tall order put him on a plane, headed for Abu Dhabi, where a five-course meal was to be served at a private dinner hosted by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) in honour of the Indian PM’s arrival.
The Jumeirah Etihad Towers venue, which, in the recent past, has hosted Hollywood glitterati that filmed ‘Furious 7’ on its premises, set a perfect backdrop to the Abu Dhabi skyline as course after course was served on this Indo-Arab menu, including a Royal Gujarati thali and a 100-karat gold dessert.
Modi, who is vegetarian, was served traditional Gujarati fare during the course of the meal, with a few samplers of local Arabic favourites such as Beiruti hummus, fatoush and grilled halloumi.
The first course involved the farsaan and mezzeh platter, an all vegetarian selection that included delicacies such as coconut khandavi with mango salsa, chakri, lauki kachumber and fafda chutney too.
Four other courses included the shorba, a ‘shuruaat’ or starter with contemporary take on the traditional khaman dhokla as a French millefeuille.
Those with a non-vegetarian palette relished the Murg Zatar Parmesan Tikka with curry maska brioche as their starter.
The Royal Gujarati thali followed next with dishes from Modi’s hometown, including the classic Gujarati Kadi, undhiyu, Aamras Poori, Khichdi, among others.
Dal ghosht and murghanu shaak was served as the non-veg mains.
The grand finale was the ‘mishthaan’ course with a 100-karat gold Amarkhand, Platimum, with pebbles and fresh cut fruits.
Kapoor took to Twitter following the feast, tweeting: “An honour and pleasure to cook for our PM Narendra Modi ji and other dignitaries.”
Chef Akshay Nayyar, who was also part of the team, tweeted: “Honoured to host the Indian PM. Truly inspired by his kind words.”