French President Emmanuel Macron was treated to a mouth-watering spread of traditional Indian delicacies at a banquet dinner hosted by his Indian counterpart Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday evening.
The banquet was hosted in honour of the French President, who was this year's chief guest at the Republic Day parade in the national capital on Friday.
A delectable variety of traditional Indian dishes--from kesar badam shorba to sarson ka saag, makke ki roti, jeera aloo and pudina raita, among others--were served to the French President.
Among the other mouth-watering dishes on the menu were chhena paturi (fresh cottage cheese flavoured with mustard, steamed banana leaves), achari aloo aur khumb (pickled potatoes and mushrooms, cilantro relish), anjeer kofta (fig and vegetable roundels in a rich cashew sauce), bagan-e-subz (seasonal vegetables tossed in butter), dal dera (black lentils cooked overnight over charcoal), subz pulao (aromatic rice with seasonal vegetables).
For dessert, there was Gajar Nazakat (Carrot pudding in dark chocolate cups, with milk fudge), Phirni Mille Feuille (Indian flavours in a French classic), Carved fresh fruits, and Kashwa/Coffee.
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud were among the top dignitaries present at the banquet dinner.
In her address, President Murmu said India and France are on a shared journey to the future, adding that the two nations are building a future that matters to the people of both nations, especially the youth. She said the two nations are building a "strong and successful France" and a "secure and developed India."
"From handicrafts and space, India and France are on a shared journey to the future. Together we are building a future that matters to our people, especially our youth. A future of hope, of equal opportunities, of quality education, of research and innovation, and of a clean environment, we are building a strong and successful France, a secure and developed India, and a world at peace," President Murmu said.
"In matters of food and drink too, we have influenced each other with our specialities. Just as there are impressive scholars of ancient Indian languages and Vedic studies in France, the French language is a popular choice for students in India. If we look towards cinema, we again find ourselves connected, be it the influence of the French New Wave on our most eminent directors or the increasing presence of Indian films and film stars on the Cannes Red Carpet," President Murmu added.
Earlier in the day yesteday, French President Macron arrived as the chief guest for the 75th Republic Day parade and was greeted warmly by President Droupadi Murmu and PM Narendra Modi.