Sukhois and "Rajma chawal" add spice to Red Flag exercise

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New Delhi, Aug 31 (UNI) The IAF not only impressed the US Air Force with their fighting prowess in the just-concluded Red Flag joint exercise in Nevada skies but also gave them a taste of spicy Indian cuisine.

The occasion was the Indian Independence Day celebrations at which a an Indian dinner for about 250 people was held with the delicious Rajma Chawal, Palak Paneer, Hyderabadi Biryaani, Shahi Paneer and Gulab Jamun. Mahesh Upasni, IAF spokesperson, who just returned home from Nellis Air Base said refusing to survive on low-on-nutrition, high-on-fat American junk food, the IAF pilots had insisted on filling one quarter of an IL-76 transport aircraft with 2.5 tonnes of Indian packed food.

" They certainly did not have plans to throw a party, but that's what they did to commemorate the 61st Independence Day at the Air Force Base. On the 15th August, the team decided on the spur of the moment that a party has to be organised and invited 250 people, which included South Koreans and Americans", he added.

The "chefs" basked in the glory of the Americans and others appreciating their food after the party and even trained some of the South Koreans to eat using their hands. Many of them were seen licking their fingers clean and heard gushing, "Your food is too hot!" The party included a clearly impressed Lt Gen Loyd Utterback, Commander of Pacific Command of USA, who later said, "Your Sukhoi machine is to be respected and your Rajma Chawal is just too yummy." The Indian Air Force team of eight Sukhoi-30s, two IL-78s, an IL-76 and 247 air warriors had participated in the air exercises that concluded on August 23.


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