Millets in gastronomic glory at Jaishankar’s luncheon celebrating humble foodgrain

Millets in all their gastronomic glory were on the menu at a luncheon hosted by External Affairs Minister to promote healthy diets using the often overlooked nutritious foodgrain.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and members of the Security Council were guests at the five-course meal here on Thursday.

The UN will be observing 2023 as the International Year of Millets as a result of a resolution sponsored by India that was unanimously adopted in 2021 by the General Assembly.

Jaishankar told reporters before the luncheon that he hoped to “familiarise the members of the Security Council” with “all the virtues of millets”.

The meal was prepared at the Pierre Hotel, a part of the Tata Group Taj Hotels by Executive Chef Ashfer Biju who bills himself as “Crafter of Perishable Art” and showed how an array of dishes can be whipped up from the humble millets, even chocolate cakes.

It started with an appetiser of Winter Grains and Kale Salad made of pearl millets, watercress, kale, green apple, avocado and radishes with puffed millet and orange dressing.

The choices of main courses were Paneer Pasanda that featured finger millets and Makhani tomato sauce; Spice Roasted Branzino with millet kitchdi and Malabar coconut sauce, and Roasted Malai Chicken, also with the kitchdi and Khorma sauce.

They were served with millet and sprouted lentil Poha, sweet corn and millet fritters with scallion chutney, along with cucumber raita and Indian breads.

The dessert was millet chocolate pudding and Big Apple millet bundt cake.

The meal ended with Petite Fours.

India introduced the resolution for the Year of Millets “to raise awareness and direct policy action to the nutritional and health benefits of millets consumption and their suitability for cultivation under adverse and changing climatic conditions”.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at arul.l@ians.in and followed at @arulouis)

20221216-040003

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