Millets To Be Served At White House State Dinner For PM Modi

By Outlook Planet Desk June 22, 2023

Given that Prime Minister Modi is a vegetarian, First Lady Jill Biden invited Chef Nina Curtis, an expert in plant-based cuisine, to create a stunning vegetarian feast 

Millets To Be Served At White House State Dinner For PM Modi
PM Narendra Modi. PTI

Millets are on the menu at the White House dinner being thrown for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of his favourite meals. He and the other 400 people invited to the upscale dinner will be served marinated millets, corn kernel salad, and stuffed mushrooms. First Lady Jill Biden stated on Wednesday that she invited Chef Nina Curtis, a specialist in plant-based cuisine, to collaborate with the White House staff and develop a spectacular vegetarian menu in light of the fact that the prime minister is a vegetarian.

PM Modi travelled from New York, where he presided over a historic gathering of UN representatives, diplomats, and notable individuals to celebrate the 9th International Day of Yoga earlier in the day at the UN Headquarters. On the invitation of President Joe Biden and the First Lady, he will be in the country from June 21 to June 24.

It makes sense that there would be a millet dish on the menu given that India has been promoting millets internationally. The year 2023 has been chosen as the International Year of Millets at India's suggestion. 

According to Jill Biden, there will be more than 400 guests attending the meal at the elaborately furnished pavilion on the South Lawn of the White House. Marinated millet, grilled corn kernel salad, compressed watermelon, and a zesty avocado sauce will be served as the first dish at the State Dinner. Stuffed portobello mushrooms and a rich risotto with saffron are served as the main meal.

According to the menu, diners might have summer squashes, crisped millet cakes, lemon-dill yoghurt sauce, and sea bass that had been roasted in sumac.Strawberry shortcake with cardamom and rose flavour is served for dessert. The Stone Tower Chardonnay "Kristi" 2021, PATEL Red Blend 2019, and Domain Carneros Brut Rose are among the wines on the list.

California-based Chef Curtis said, "It is truly a pleasure to be able to work with the First Lady and help her bring her culinary vision to life... We have curated a menu that really showcases the best in American cuisine and is also seasoned with Indian elements and flavours.”

"We are also very excited that India is leading efforts to celebrate the International Year of the Millets. We have incorporated marinated millets into our menu and Indian cuisine elements throughout the menu," the chef said.

The First Lady has been involved in this event at every stage, according to White House Social Secretary Carlos Elizondo, who gave a preview of the State Dinner.According to Elizondo, every aspect of the dinner and décor has been chosen to make each guest's experience special and welcoming.According to him, the venue's decor includes elements that pay homage to the history and cultures of the US and India, including the Indian flag.

"The inspiration for our design really began with the peacock, India's national bird. From the invitations to the programmes to the pavilion, we wanted to evoke that breathtaking feeling when it extends its tail, unveiling its colourful beauty, majesty, and strength," the social secretary said.

"Green draping will flow from the ceiling, giving way to tables cloaked in the saturated blues and greens of Indian silks, falling onto a carpet of navy blue. The hues, not only a nod to our guests, but also to our host, as blue and green are also two of Dr (Jill) Biden's favourite colours," Elizondo said.

According to him, each table will have a floral arrangement in various-sized vases. The flowers' hue will correspond to the saffron of the Indian flag and the history it symbolises.The president and the prime minister will deliver their toasts from an eagle lectern, the social secretary said, as they have at State Dinners for decades.

"For this dinner, embossed on the rich forest green backdrop behind them, we have replicated that iconic eagle and a peacock in the same style, framing the leaders with their national birds. In the peacock's talons, stalks of millets, a nod to India's successful campaign to declare 2023 the International Year of Millets," he said.

Elizondo said around them are lotus flowers, which are important symbols in India. "Their gleaming petals remind us, that each day, our nations bloom stronger and more radiant, together. Throughout the space, you will see more images of lotuses, their design inspired by the mandala illustrations found in traditional Indian art," he added.