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Dal Raisina: All You Need to Know about Rashtrapati Bhavan Speciality Being Served at Narendra Modi's Swearing-in

The Dal Raisina was introduced by Machindra Kasture who became the first chef for the President of India in the Rashtrapati Bhavan after he was chosen by former President Pratibha Patil.

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Updated:May 30, 2019, 11:14 AM IST
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Dal Raisina: All You Need to Know about Rashtrapati Bhavan Speciality Being Served at Narendra Modi's Swearing-in
File photo of PM Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. (Reuters)

A major highlight of the Narendra Modi's swearing-in is turning out to be -- not the guest list, neither the ministerial candidates -- but rather, what is being served at dinner following the ceremony. Apart from the samosas and Rajbhog's and an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare being doled out by the Rashtrapati Bhavan kitchen, the famed 'Dal Raisina' has taken centre stage.

The Dal Raisina was introduced by Machindra Kasture who became the first chef for the President of India in the Rashtrapati Bhavan after he was chosen by former President Pratibha Patil.

However, according to an Indian Express report, the dish itself has become the centre of a controversy-of-sorts. While Chef Machindra Kasture claims that it takes any time between six and eight hours to cook, current Rashtrapati Bhavan chef, Monty Saini claims it takes no less than 48 hours.

The 'dal' thickens as the dish that will be served to visiting dignitaries has been cooking since Tuesday night.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, the 57-year-old Chef Kasture reveals that the lentil curry has a velvety texture and is flavoured with mild spices and with kasuri methi leaves, the hitherto unknown secret which when paired with garam masala accentuates the dal's flavour. Kasture is currently the executive chef at Ashoka Hotel, ITDC.

In fact, such is the popularity of the dal first invented on Raisina hills, that it found a place in the menu during former US President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle's visit to India during Republic Day celebrations in 2015. Dal Raisina found space on the menu along with other vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes like Chicken Malai Tikka, Dahi Kabab, Tandoori Mushroom, Mustard Fish Curry, Mutton Rogan Josh and others.

According to Chef Montu Saini, who took over from chef Kasture as the executive chef of the Rashtrapati Bhavan under President Pranab Mukherjee in 2015, the President's kitchen is reportedly always requested to prepare Indian foods during foreign dignitary visits.

Notably, Narendra Modi will take oath as Prime Minister for a second term today at 7 pm at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The ceremony will also see President Ram Nath Kovind administer the oath of office and secrecy to Modi and other members of the Union Council of Ministers.

Following high-tea, guests will be served a light dinner after the ceremony.

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