Manmohan Singh: in China he relishes his dal and roti

October 24th, 2008 - 1:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghBeijing, Oct 24 (IANS) He once had to make do with just curd and rice at a multilateral summit. Now Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s back up team in China is ready to face any crisis and carries all necessary provisions, including at times the humble bhindi (okra), so a meal can be rustled up for the frugal eater. Unlike his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a self confessed foodie and relished gourmet meals, Manmohan Singh is a man of simple tastes who likes dal, vegetables and roti.

As in the entourages of all prime ministers that go abroad, cooks too are part of the backup team and Manmohan Singh’s is no exception.

“He is a careful and small eater. His meals are light comprising dal, roti and a sabzi (vegetable dish),” said Vijay Bhoy, the prime minister’s cook who is part of the delegation to Japan and China.

Bhoy, who has been with Manmohan Singh for nearly a decade and takes turns going abroad with another cook Shankar Brajapati, said the prime minister also preferred sugar free desserts.

“I have been abroad with the prime minister almost seven times and it has been an interesting experience,” said the Gujarati Bhoy.

The prime minister’s support team carries all the necessary provisions. Insiders in the Prime Minister’s Office said Manmohan Singh once faced a problem at a multilateral summit a couple of years ago where the only thing he could eat was just rice and curd.

“It was slightly embarrassing and we decided to carry the right provisions after that particular trip,” an official, who refused to be identified, told the accompanying IANS correspondent.

Corporate chef of the ITDC-affiliated Ashoka Group of Hotels M.S. Gupta said recently that Manmohan Singh had special preference for grilled items and sugar-free desserts.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on the other hand, is a soup-lover, Gupta, who had recently invented a special soup for her made of pumpkin, had disclosed.

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