The first state dinner held at the White House under President Obama veered away from the old-school American menu of meat and potatoes.
That’s because the Tuesday night dinner was held to honor India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a vegetarian.
Actually the potato part didn’t go away. For their first course, the 338 guests could choose a potato and eggplant salad. And for the third (main) course, one choice was roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra.
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The other main course selection was curry prawns with caramelized salsify, smoked collard greens and coconut aged basmati.
Other appetizer choices included arugula from the White House garden with onion seed vinaigrette and red lentil soup with fresh cheese.
American guests could be forgiven if they didn’t know what they were eating. And all the guests probably appreciated the fact that the cheese served with the soup was fresh.
The dessert menu had a slightly more American flavor: pumpkin pie tart and pear tatin with whipped cream and caramel sauce, petit fours and coffee, cashew brittle, pecan pralines, passion fruit with vanilla gelee and finally chocolate dipped fruit.
The Obamas chose a New York City chef to put together the menu, Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit.
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