New Delhi: Hosting a spectacular dinner spread of a traditional South Indian cuisine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday concluded the first day of the informal summit between India and China in Mahabalipuram.
Starting from Thakkali Rasam, Malabar Lobster, Mamsam Biryani, to Kadalai Kuruma and Kavanarasi Halwa your mouth will water hearing the list of delicacies on the special menu that was prepared for President Xi at the friendly dinner party.
Notably, the dinner menu included a variety of items, with a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items, not just from Tamil Nadu but also from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka.
The grand feast included trademark dishes like arachavitta sambar – a gravy prepared with lentils stewed with a special mix of spices, and thakali rasam – a spicy broth prepared from tomato extract. It also included speciality non-vegetarian dishes made with lobster, chicken, mutton, fish, and tender lamb. Meanwhile, the vegetarian side of the menu had preparation made out of beetroot, pea and aubergine, and lentils.
Heading towards the desserts section, the menu was kept traditional here too with specialities from Kerala cuisine like ada pradhanam – rice palettes cooked with jaggery and coconut milk, along with South Indian versions of pudding and ice cream.
Taking a step back to the grand welcome, Chinese President Xi Jinping was received by PM Modi in the heritage coastal town of Mahabalipuram that hosts several UNESCO heritage sites.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his counterpart on a tour around the ancient monuments while embracing their “personal rapport”. Notably, PM Modi was wearing a ‘veshti’ – a traditional Tamil outfit resembling dhoti – along with ‘angavastram’ – a shawl, on top of his shirt.
Situated along the coast of Bay of Bengal, the two leaders walked around the seventh-century rock-chariots of Panch Rathas, took a stroll at the Cave Temple, and toured around the town’s iconic relief sculpture Arjuna’s Penance.
Catching a breath in the premises of the grand sculpture, PM Modi and Xi seen sipping coconut water, an image that reflected the chemistry shared by the two leaders.
Following their long stroll, the two leaders headed for the illuminated Shore temple where the Chinese president was hosted for a cultural programme, arranged by the Kalakshetra society.
In the five hours spent together, PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi had one-on-one discussions about a variety of topics relating to trade and economic issues, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale in a briefing after the dinner.
“Some of the other topics included the challenges that both countries face on account of terrorism, that radicalisation is a matter of concern for both. And both would work together to see that radicalisation and terrorism did not affect the fabric of our societies,” he added highlighting the delegation-level talks on regional and global issues that will be discussed on Saturday, before Xi’s departure for Nepal.