New Delhi, May 25: An assortment of vegetarian snacks, including moong dal kachori and dhokla, would be on the table for the high tea to be served after the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as India’s 14th prime minister at Rashtrapati Bhavan Monday.

Among other snacks would be assorted savoury tarts, cucumber sandwiches, cookies and imartis (Indian sweet), said Omita Paul, secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee, briefing media Sunday on the arrangements.

The private dinner being hosted later by President Mukherjee for the seven visiting heads of government and Bangladesh parliament speaker besides Modi and his council of ministers would be a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine.

The menu for dinner would include for the vegetarians chilled melon soup, tandoori aaloo, and arbi ke kebab for starters. The main course would include vegetable stew, kadhi, Birbali kofta curry, Jaipuri bhindi, dal makhani, potol dolma (parwal curry), and kela methi nusak, a Gujarati dish.

For the non-vegetarians, the fare would be prawn stew, chicken Chettinad and Galauti kebab. Dessert would include pineapple halwa, mango shrikhand, sandesh and cut fruits, plus green tea and South Indian coffee, said a Rashtrapati Bhavan official.

“There has been an effort to get a major dish from each region of India,” said an official. Dal makhani is a dish from Punjab, while potol dolma is a Bengali favourite.

There would be naval bands playing “lively patriotic songs”, while in another first, a commentator would be giving a live bite to liven up the proceedings till the VVIPs arrive. Guests, including media persons, have to be present hours in advance – from 3.30 p.m.
Buses would pick up guests and drop them at the venue. Only the VVIPs would be allowed to come in their cars and that too after 5 p.m.

With very little time between tea and dinner, the foreign guests would be allotted rooms in the presidential palace to “freshen up”.  “The rooms would be given for an hour,” said Paul.