A Banquet in the Mughal Gardens for Bush
New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) The flavour and aroma of India's choicest cuisines wafted across the sprawling Mughal Gardens as President APJ Abdul Kalam played a perfect host to his American counterpart George W Bush tonight.
In the backdrop of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie's soulful song 'We are the World', an American folk song and catchy Bollywood numbers, Mr Bush savoured 'stuffed naan', 'cucumber raita' and 'dal bukhara' in the company of his wife Laura, Dr Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan chefs made elaborate preparations adding to the mouthwatering menu, Bush's favourite 'broccoli soup' and 'beach maleba', a sweet dish relished by the US First Lady.
There was also the American salad, 'red cabbage with pineapple and French seasoning', 'fish tikka', 'fish tandoori' and 'mutton haqqani'.
The Bush delegation, which included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and several American CEOs, enjoyed the food as well as the ambience.
The menu also had 'naan', 'methi paratha', 'mixed vegetable' and 'aman rice'.
Mr Bush helped himself to the 'ginger prawn', which he is known to like very much. For desserts, there was 'moong dal ka halwa'.
It was only the second time that Dr Kalam was hosting a visiting dignitary in the Mughal Gardens. Last month, French President Jacques Chirac and his delegation were treated to a grand banquet in the Mughal Gardens.
Mr Bush and his wife parted with a handful of gifts from Dr Kalam, who gave them a replica of the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan, which the US President had described earlier in the day as ''breathtaking'', and some of his own books.
UNI SKS/FZ LR DB2025