"My food without aloo is impossible" : Nitish

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Patna, Jun 23 (UNI) Wonder what Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, otherwise staunch opponents in the political arena, share in common? It is their love for 'aloo', the potato, which is an inseparable part of every vegetarian's daily cuisine.

Expressing surprise on a recent survey report which revealed that an average person in Bihar consumes only 16 kg of potatoes every year, the Chief Minister disclosed here yesterday that he consumes over one quintal of the vegetable a year.

The Chief Minister, a die-hard veggie, was astonished at how a person could live without aloo which he felt was an integral part of food and had a prominent place in the plates right from breakfast to lunch and dinner.

''Aloo ke bina khana adhoora lagta hai (meals are incomplete without potato),'' Mr Kumar said.

He also said it was difficult for him to believe the survey report as he himself relished over 100 kg potatoes annually.

Mr Kumar, who hails from Nalanda, where the potato is cultivated prominently and the area is considered as 'aloo belt', dubbed it as 'king of the vegetables'.

''We can prepare chips, finger fries, bhujiya, pakoda, stuffed aloo, recipes combining potatoes and other vegetables and several other delicacies,'' Mr Kumar said.

He also informed that the United Nations is observing 2008 as the 'Year of Potato'.

''India is the third largest potato producing country in the world while Bihar ranks third in the country in potato cultivation,'' Mr Kumar said.

Incidentally, it may be recalled that former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad himself had once famously claimed, ''Jab tak samosa mein rahega aloo tab tak raj karega Lalu,'' thus revealing his fondness for the universally-loved vegetable.

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